Tips for saving money on your grocery bill. Post your ideas.
Saving Money on Your Grocery Bill
Everything you have written here is 100% true. I thank you for going to the trouble to educate us. This is a very important subject, now and will help many in the future, like young homemakers. Even ones that also work . (01/15/2005)
Saving Money on Your Grocery Bill
By Melissa Ringstaff
The average family spends several hundred dollars on groceries each month. It is possible to spend $200.00 or less on your groceries each month! Even if you have three or more children.
- First: pay attention to how much each item costs and compare!(/b) Store brands are generally cheaper than name brand products. No, the grocery store does not make their own foods, they contract out to a company who does. Many time one factory will make a food and package them differently for different companies, yet what is inside the package is the same! Don't assume that the store brands won't taste good.
- Use coupons on items that are on sale.(/b) But check to make sure that it is the best deal before putting it into your buggy!
- Bulk purchase sale items.(/b) When something goes on sale for a great price, buy enough to last until the next sale. This ensures that you will pay the lowest possible price for that item. You won't have to purchase it again at a higher price. If you have a small kitchen or little cabinet space, look for other places in your house to store canned goods. Under the bed, in a little used closet, under that accent table covered with a table cloth, etc.
- Don't buy non-food items at the grocery store.(/b) The prices are often inflated. The store gets you for the convenience of buying it there.
- Go over sale flyers weekly and purchase loss leader items.(/b) Good time to use those coupons!
- Get a supermarket discount card if your store offers one.(/b) We have a little key ring with all the different store's cards for our area. We keep it in the car.
- Don't buy convenience foods.(/b) Bake cakes, biscuits, pasta salads, etc. from scratch. You may feel that you do not have time to bake. But think about the amount of time you spend in the grocery store purchasing these convenience foods! If you aren't a great cook, practice! Get a good basic cookbook and follow the directions precisely. Easy! Just pay attention to what you are doing. Besides costing less, homemade foods taste better and are healthier for your family.
- You should never have to pay more that $1.99 for a box of cereal.(/b) Cereal is one of the biggest rip offs in the store. With the coupons we use, we never pay more than $1.99 a box and often less - for name brands. But the generic brands are really good, too! Hot cereals are healthier. We eat a lot of oatmeal, farina (Cream of Wheat) and grits in our home. Check your local health food store for bulk purchasing these cereals. At our store, farina, which is the same thing as the box of Cream of Wheat, costs only $0.45 a pound!
- Never, ever, throw away left overs.(/b) And don't let food go rotten in the fridge! Make sure leftovers are used up. Before cooking, take an inventory of what needs to be used up. In our house we use everything. Even the juice in the canned fruits. Our children must eat everything on their plates. If they don't, they do not get dessert. If they are truly full, they know they are welcome to finish there leftovers for the next meal before eating what we have prepared for the next meal. Since we are consistent on this, we never have a problem. We also don't allow snacking between meals (except on occasion). This ensures they are hungry when they sit down to eat. And for the most part they clean their plates at every meal. We have also taught our children to eat all their potatoes, including the peel, as well as eating their crust. People are always amazed at how well our kids eat!
- Plan what you are going to buy before going to the store.(/b)
- Buy bread at your local day old bread store.(/b) You can find loaves of wheat bread for as little as $0.25 a loaf!
- If you live near a salvage food store, shop there routinely.(/b) Great deals on dented cans and speared boxes. Canned goods are safe unless bulging. Check for leaks and broken seals before buying.
- Shop at wholesale warehouses where you can bulk purchase items.(/b) But as with any other type of store, compare prices. Bulk items are not always the best deal! Be aware of what you are spending.
- Don't impulse buy!!!(/b) If you are really craving something, drink a large glass of water and
- Become a vegetarian.(/b) Think of all the money you will save not buying meats!
- Plan to eat dried beans two to three times weekly.(/b) At as little as $0.89 cents a bag, a pot of bean soup is a fantastic way to feed your family cheap and healthy at the same time!
- Grow a garden and freeze or can the excess.(/b) Gardening can save you lots of money on fresh produce. If you find a source of inexpensive produce (free is best!) spend a few days canning and freezing for later. It is easy enough and although it can be time consuming, is well worth the effort. We canned 50 lbs. of tomatoes this May. We would have canned more except that we had to go out of town. Someone gave us enough peaches to make a few jars of peach jam. And my mother in law gave us 15 flats of strawberries! Boy, were we busy canning them! But the jam and frozen fruit is so nice to have on hand. And they make nice gifts for Christmas! Add a loaf of homemade bread and its a great gift.
- Keep a record of how much items cost and how much you spend each week.(/b) Note how much you are spending on WANTS (chips, soda, etc.) and how much you are spending on NEEDS (beans, produce, soy milk, etc.). The first time I did this years ago, was I amazed. That very day I determined to no longer buy junk that I didn't need anyway.
- Don't buy sodas.(/b) They are bad for you, make your kids hyper, promote loss of calcium from your bones, and are empty calories that nobody needs.
- Make your own potato chips in the oven at home.(/b) As well as hashbrowns, and french fries.
- Leftover vegetables can be used in casseroles as well as stir fry or soup.(/b) Be creative!
- Don't go to the store hungry. Eat a good meal before you go.(/b)
- Check to see if your store offers rein checks on items they have sold out of.(/b)
- Take advantage of free samples at the pharmacy in the grocery store.(/b) Often there is a basket of aspirin or nasal medication at the window. Don't be shy. Everything comes in handy sometime.
So what are you going to do with all this extra money you have? Don't go out and blow it on something else! Be wise and your family will benefit in the long run. Begin paying extra toward the principle on your mortgage. Put the money into a savings account and leave it there! Cut up that credit card and use this money to pay off your debt!
Use the savings to purchase something that will help you save even more money, such as your own lawn mower so you don't have to pay the boy down the street. Or a saw so you can cut your own fire wood instead of buying it from someone else. Think about how you spend your money. There are thousands of ways to cut back, use less, and save more!
(b)About The Author:(/b)
Melissa Ringstaff is a wife, mommy, homemaker and the director of A Virtuous Woman, an online women's ministry based on Proverbs 31. You can visit A Virtuous Woman at http://www.avirtuouswoman.org or you can email her at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org .
This article provided by the Family Content Archives at: http://www.Family-Content.com (05/20/2005)
Shopping Sales and Cooking Ahead
I buy things when they are on sale and use coupons to save money. I also buy food in family size and divide it into freezer bags and freeze. I prepare extra meals at home on my days off so that I can freeze and just heat up on busy nights when there is a concert or sports practice so I don't have to always get fast-food on the run.
By Kimberly Wood (05/20/2005)
Saving Money on Your Grocery Bill
There are a lot of disposable things that you really don't need. By eliminating them from your grocery list, you will save a lot of money and cabinet space. There was a post "don't buy" lists a while back.
Here is mine:
plastic wrap, aluminum foil, trash bags (all sizes), paper towels, sandwich bags, freezer bags, disposable "mop" pads, cleaning products, paper napkins, paper/foam plates, paper/foam/plastic disposable cups, disposable plastic "silverware", disposable razors, disposable pens, notepads, liquid hand soap.
If you are like most people, you are wondering how not to survive without buying all this stuff. My grandmother always had a rag drawer. Finding a few cleaning rags from worn out clothing or towels is not hard and is free. If you don't want to use an entire worn out bath towel to clean up spills, cut it into pieces. If you must, buy some good quality cleaning cloths. I got two dozen. Use them and toss them in the wash. I use vinegar, baking soda and on rare occasion diluted bleach for all my cleaning. It works great and at $1 per gallon or less is a bargain.
Instead of scrubbing, soaking most grime will make it come off easily. Use plastic bags from vegetables, bread, shopping, or even large paper dog food bags for your trash. Small loaf bread bags work great for cleaning up after your dog or turned inside out as a rubber glove substitute. Use a cookie sheet over your baking dish instead of aluminum foil. Use yogurt containers to store leftovers or as scoops for dog food, cat litter, or bulk products. Store your sandwich in a small plastic reusable container and it will never arrive flattened.
Reusable cloth mop covers are wonderful and machine washable. Buy or make a few cheap sets of place mats and cloth napkins. Ours are linen, but were not expensive and we spill things on them, but they are still in excellent shape after using them 15 years! We have a pretty basket on the table for storing them between meals and each fold our place mat and napkin a different way to tell which linens belong to which person. We put them in the wash if there is obvious food on them. It feels like a luxury, but is actually the frugal thing to do. The occasional extra small load of laundry or dishes is far cheaper than the cost of buying a bunch of things over your entire lifetime just to use them once and throw them away!
Also, our plastic bag supply gets too large, so we use canvas or string bags when we go grocery shopping. Many stores will give you a discount for using your own bags. I also agree with eating vegetarian and not buying convenience foods, if possible.
Also, chop up all vegetables as soon as possible after purchase. That way when you need to make a quick meal, just dump in what you need and save the rest for the next meal. It helps us use them up before they spoil. If you can't use them immediately, freeze them for use in soups and casseroles. (05/21/2005)
Saving Money on Your Grocery Bill
If you shop with coupons always buy at least 2 Sunday papers. This way when stores have buy one get one free sales you will have a coupon for both items and save even more. Most stores take 50% off each item, so if you have a coupon for each and your store also doubles coupons you can get some really good deals. Also on holiday weekends there are usually not any or very few coupons in the Sunday paper. (10/26/2005)