Does anyone have suggestions for ways to save money these days? I am particularly interested regarding things like, food, pet products, lotions (dry skin in winter)?
By Drew from Piedmont, AL
Yes! The best money saving trick is with Kroger. At least with the one in my area, the first Wednesday of every month is senior day. You get an extra 10% off all groceries.
I am not a senior but my mother is. I usually assist her on these days but there have been a couple occasions when I have gone without her. I take her Kroger card and get the discount at check out. If you are not over 64 you can apply for a card for someone who is and ask them to let you use their card. Kroger usually supplies 2 or 3 cards per application so you could hold onto one.
We shop for three and she stocks up at the beginning of the month on these days. She has saved up to $140.00 on one occasion (counting coupons, sales and senior discount).
Also, if you get a Kroger charge card and have spent $100 dollars on groceries you can get 15 cents off the cost of gas at their pump. I drive a full size van so filling up usually saves me 6 or 7 dollars a fill.
Meat always seems to be the most expensive food items in my grocery cart and when my step-kids were younger and still lived at home, I began one night a week making a meat-less meal (like homemade chili w/o the meat). By doing that I saved at least 5 bucks a week. Also, like another poster said, stock up when the things you use go on sale. Yes, it seems expensive when you start doing that but the payoff in the long run is worth it.
Over the course of a year it really adds up. Coupons don't seem like they save you much but if you consistently use them and added the cost up over a year, I think you'd be shocked at how much money you didn't spend. I get coupons from a booklet that comes in our Sunday paper and our local stores offer sales ads with coupons in them every Wednesday.
I know this probably sounds weird but I keep track of every coupon I use, the amounts I save when I buy something on sale or when I buy in bulk and when I get up to the check stand to pay for my purchases, I write the check for the amount I owe plus the amount I saved. I keep a small note pad in my purse and my checkbook has a calculator and I just add up my savings while I'm waiting in line or shortly before I get to the checkout. It just takes a minute. Anyway, when I get home I take the money I "paid" myself - the amount I saved on groceries - and I put it in a tea tin on top of my fridge. I also do this with the money I save on meat-less meal night.
Once every 3 months or so, I put it in a savings account and once a year we use it for something fun or sometimes to pay off something we bought. Right now, we've not spent the amount we saved in 2009 and after checking the balance in there I have almost $500. I've done this for at least the past 15 years and yeah, I admit, it's easier to use a debit card but I tried that and would keep forgetting to "pay" myself the savings amounts so it wouldn't feel like saving does when I have tangible money in the bank.
One last thing: I live in a rural area and once a year we buy either a quarter or half a cow and have it butchered and packaged and that saves a tremendous amount. It's almost like I'm giving myself a dollar (or more even) every time I use a package of meat. It much less expensive overall than what's in the store. Also, I have them put half the hamburger in 3/4lb packages and when I make spaghetti, lasagna, chili, etc where it calls for a pound of meat, I only use 3/4 of a pound.
You don't really miss the 1/4lb and since most people consume more protein than they need, I feel like I'm doing myself a favor health-wise plus for every 4 times I do that, I'm saving a pound of meat to use for something else. (just an aside here: the money I save from this doesn't go into my savings account I mentioned above). I hope this gives you some good ideas! Cheers!
What am I missing here? People talking about how they save using coupons. The town I live in (not a small town, close to 250 thousand people but no one doubles coupons. When I do get coupons they come from the Sunday paper and there is seldom ever more than one or two that I'd use. Most coupons are for cleaning supplies and prepared foods' stuff I don't buy. You don't see coupons for fresh fruit and vegetables, milk and meat. I save the most by buying store brands, generic items, and reduced to clear meat. I do use coupons for major dept stores like Kohls and Penneys.
Hi. I have lived on a very low income for years and have started going to the dollar stores before I go to the grocery store. You can get a lot of your items much cheaper than the grocery stores. Then things I can't find there I try to have coupons or watch the store ads. I never buy a regular price. Always sale items. When it is on sale buy a few and keep on hand. Then the next week buy the sale items again. It really works out in the long run. Good Luck, Barb from Michigan
All the above suggestions are good. I would also add this: We have 6 major grocery stores in our area. When the weekly flyers arrive in your mailbox invest the time to read each one's 'specials' of the week. After a while you will become quite familiar w/each store.
The 'sale prices' vary widely from each store.
Use a Marker & circle those that appeal to you &
make 1 wkly trip hitting all of them (ergo saving gas) to buy what you need. Split your order if
you are only allowed 1 thereby getting 2 of sale
My parents went through the great depression and one of the things my mama taught me is still great advice : shop and eat the loss leaders! These are the items that are on the front page of your grocery ad. The stores purposely make very little on these items to get folks in the store. Try it and see if you can cut your grocery budget.
Also, make a list and stick to it! Don't buy anything that isn't on the list-or,if you must, buy just one thing that isn't on the list. You'll be surprised how much you can save. Also, I buy two when things are on sale. For example, spaghetti sauce. Then I don't have to buy it the next time when it maybe isn't on sale. Be flexible.
KJABLUE I don't know if you are still on here but I love the advice you give for savings. How does one go about buying a whole cow? Most of our grocery bill is meat, mostly beef (thanks to the hubby) but when I shop I always go for the bogo deals and my husband doesn't understand. But I can get a bag of boneless skinless chicken for 20 bucks and get one free, that for the 2 of us is like 8 meals. When the kids are home, 5 or 6. But I love the idea of paying yourself and I think I might start doing that! I use coupons religiously and save a lot, though I have had to change the way I shop, plus I buy a lot of store brand items because my store gives tickets for so much off your next purchase if you spend so much in store brands.
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I would like some ideas on how to save on my groceries at the store. The way prices are going up and up, I need to save all I can. Thanks ahead for the tips.
Teresa from Richlands, VA
All of the previous ideas are great! One of the things I do is shop at a "bulk food store". These stores are usually small and independently owned. They buy food in bulk (flour, sugar, cereal, spices, peanut butter, rice, pasta, etc.) and then repackage it in smaller sizes, and sell it really cheap. The variety of goods they sell is amazing!
Another idea is to only buy things like dish detergent, shampoo, deodorant, body soap, and paper goods such as toilet paper tissue, etc. at the Dollar store. I would strongly suggest buying a copy of the book "The Tightwad Gazette" and reading it from cover to cover. (08/16/2008)
By Patty Lynn
I go on the supermarkets internet site for specials and coupons. Some major drugstores have great prices sometimes
on coffee, paper goods, dry cereal. Check their websites, too. (08/19/2008)
Shop the market in the opposite direction. Usually they have you start in produce and end in dairy. The store is laid out to coax you into spending as much as possible. By doing it in the opposite direction you have more control. (08/20/2008)
I found a great source to help, Angel Ministries on the internet. You find a list of churches in your area that offer the food. Each month's menu is posted online and they have great packages at low prices. They have new senior meals where you get 10 balanced meals for 25 dollars, and their regular monthly packages are only 30 dollars. (08/20/2008)
I found that one of the best ways to save money is to use google for printable coupons, and to join a free coupon forum so I can talk to others about what is on sale each week.
My favorite coupon forum is: http://thecouponcupboard.com/ (08/22/2008)
Eat before you go. Make a list and take it with you and stick to it. Don't look at the racks next to the cash registers because those are there to get you to be impulsive. God Luck! (08/25/2008)
I've found the best way to save on juice is to buy the frozen concentrates. I've found nice berry blends for $1.29 per can which makes a nice size pitcher of juice. You would pay over $3 for the juice already blended. It really takes no time to do this. (10/25/2008)
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)
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.
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:email@example.com .
This article provided by the Family Content Archives at: http://www.Family-Content.com (05/20/2005)
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)
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)
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)