Saturday, January 12, 2013

9 ways to lower your grocery bill

With the economy as it is, 
I am starting a mini series on frugal living.
I have to say that I was frugal before "we had to", but now even more it is important that we save where we can.
I hear a lot of people saying that they don't have time for coupons...
guess what? 
You don't have to clip a single coupon to save money on your grocery bill.
(I went to the grocery store this morning and spent a total of $37.49 for almost $80 worth of food. I did not used a single coupon.)
Usually, I use coupons, but don't buy the paper. The coupons I use are often found online.
I am a a big advocate of cooking from scratch, which is less expensive and a lot healthier (less sodium, less sugar, less preservatives).
So here are 9 ways to 


buy items that are on sale. 
5lb of organic bananas $2
I often go to the grocery store and find vegetables, meats, dairy...that are marked down for quick sale. 
(a lot of times the veggies and fruit are organic, as they tend to spoil faster)
If I find organic vegetables marked down...that's what we are having for dinner one night that week. 
Marked down meat? use it or freeze for later. 

Plan your meals around the store weekly promotions.
All grocery stores have weekly ads, bogo items (buy 1 and get 1 free), or incentives for certain products.
eggs where only $1 this week
Same concept as above, use it or freeze it.

buy seasonal when it comes to fruits and vegetables.
When the produce is in season, the price drops and the produce tastes at it's best.
Ever tasted tomatoes or strawberries that are sold in the Winter? no comparison to July's tomatoes or May's strawberries.

Plan not to throw away food.
Check periodically on what you have in your fridge or freezer, and use it. 
Also eat up the leftovers (which are usually our lunch)

Bake from scratch.
When you buy "boxed", ready to go mixes, what you are paying for is some flour, sugar, and baking powder...

plan some inexpensive meals.
Such as pasta/rice night or soup night.
Those meals are filling and budget friendly.
You can use up just about any vegetable when adding to a soup or rice.
Same thing as using up meat or veggies adding it to pasta.
Here some budget friendly recipes

Stock your pantry.
You don't need to turn your garage into a mega pantry, nor do you need to stash boxed pasta under your bed.
With a 2'x3' pantry (+cabinets space) we have plenty of space for our family of 5.
Make sure you always have items such as flour, pasta, sugar, dry beans, tomato sauce, oil, rice, baking soda...most of those items will be the base for the majority of your meals.

stock up during/after holiday sales.
Have you noticed that baking products are on sale during the Winter Holidays?
Or things like condiments and chips are on sale during the summer holidays?
Yes, shop Holiday sales.

Be creative in your cooking. 
Most of my cooking is never exactly the same twice :)

I had people saying that it's easy for me to cook from scratch because I am a stay at home mom and they don't have as much time to cook. 
Well, here is my "secret": I don't spend all day cooking (unless it's for a special occasion). I do my cooking when my husband comes home from work (and have dinner ready in 30 minutes to 1 hour).
Also using a crockpot, is an easy way to provide a hot meal to my family.

Stay Frugal,


Revi said...

If I were to write a post like this, I'd say the same things, but I wouldn't have a lovely Italian accent! It helps that I love beans and rice. :) But your methods are tried and true and anyone can do them.

The Thriftiness Miss said...

Great tips! I'm always on the look out for great money saving info :) Pinning it!

Bonnie@Creative Decorating said...

I agree with everything you said! I work outside the home and I cook pretty much from scratch. I was raised that way and I know it is healthier plus we have good food! Once a person starts cooking that way, it gets easier and you get faster at it. It does take some planning.

Now that we have lost our food budget in the new payroll taxes, I'm going to have to figure out other ways to cut back. CRAZY!

Kelly said...

Those are some great tips! One way I save on groceries is to shop at Walmart. Their everyday prices are lower than most others. I do use coupons on occasion too. My husband trys to buy our meats on sale (based on store flyers) and then I shop for the side dishes. He's a better meat shopper than me and he is VERY picky about it! LOL! Thanks for sharing some great suggestions.

Anonymous said...

excellent tips, sometimes it just takes a little planning,

NanaDiana said...

I hardly ever buy premade things either, Dani. I really like cooking from scratch. I must say you are a good shopper- much better than I am- xo Diana

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

Great tips. I follow most of them. I hate paying full price for anything, so I'm always seeking out the sales. I slip, but I try to cook from scratch as much as I can. It's difficult when I get super busy.

Debbiedoos said...

Awesome tips girl, you are good. I am OK, I do only buy sale items. I have a thing now, that if I cook four days out of the week, the fifth day are left family does not mind left overs at all. You have to be frugal these days like you said, food is expensive.

Tammy @ A Walk in the Countryside said...

Great tips! I do use some of them but unfortunately where I live in Louisiana a lot of things don't go on sale like in other areas. For example, I hear of people buying milk on sale and freezing. Milk has NEVER, NEVER been on sale here. You just have to pay almost $5 for a gallon of it! Blessings, Tammy

Cathy and Paul @One Creative Couple said...

Thanks for the great tips. In this day and age, there are not many of us who do not need to watch the bottom line.

Unknown said...

Good tips! Having grown up in a family of 8, we didn't buy anything unless it was on sale and that has carried on into my adulthood. Our Kroger closed, but I always liked their produce section.

Liz @ Quirky Vistas said...

Such good advice, Dani, especially since it's only going to be getting worse. I've taken to shopping at Target where the prices are cheaper and now I have the red card so I get an additional 5% off each bill. Then they give me special coupons from time to time to save $10 or get a free pizza or whatnot. Way cheaper than the grocery store.

Anne said...

Hello, Dear! Great ideas! I've come to your blog from the blog of one of my sweet commenters ~ you know how that goes ~ :) ~ Now following you!
So nice to "meet" you!

Amy of While Wearing Heels said...

What great tips. I am like you, I prefer to shop the specials than to cut coupons. I don't need a pantry full of processed stuff. I'd rather have fresh fruits and veggies and cook from scratch like you.

Dee ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️ said...

Super great tips! I do a lot of cooking and am always looking for ways to save money :)

Cristina Garay said...

They are all great tips, Dani! I was raised with meals being prepared from scratch, so that's the way I do it most of the time. I got to look for online coupons!

Libby said...

This is a great list. One thing I've realized too is that purchasing items with someone else is a good idea. Sometimes my mom buys a bulk product with a neighbor and they split it in half. Now that my dad is in the nursing home and my mom and I are running two separate households, we are more prone to do this and check each other's pantry items before shopping for what either of us already has.