Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Want to Save Money on Groceries?


I know I have written before on saving money on groceries. As my life has revolved and my beliefs changed a bit, a few things have become clearer. I spend about $250-$300 a month on groceries. I am actually trying to drop that amount to $200 a month because I believe I can. I have a few ways that I have dropped my grocery bill to what it is now and I would love to share those with you.

1. Stop buying the crap. Yes, I said it. Stop buying the processed, pre-made, unhealthy crap for yourself and your family. Stop buying the soda, candy, fruit snacks, potato chips, cookies, crackers, juice, and whatnot. If it is packaged to appeal to kids, don't buy it. If it claims to be low-fat, low-sugar, and healthy for you, don't buy it. I can usually find ways to counter those claims for so-called "healthy" foods and you pay a lot for very little.

2. Eat foods that are created by nature. Most of the time they are cheaper. If they are not cheaper, they are healthier for you and that is worth the cost alone.

3. Eat less meat. Meat is expensive and getting more expensive all the time. Eat some meals without meat. Make meat as an accompaniment to meals and not the main course. Stretch the meat out. If you use a pound of ground beef for something like casseroles, try using three-quarter pound instead. You can also use lentils, beans, or oats to stretch the ground beef out while still eating healthy and getting protein/fiber.

4. Buy in bulk. I am not talking about the 10# cans of vegetables or baked beans. I am talking about flour, oats, chocolate chips, sweeteners, oil, honey, and other baking/cooking staples. Store them in buckets and glass jars. They will last awhile and you will save money.

5. Cook from scratch. I can make a loaf of bread for a quarter of the price of a store-bought loaf. I make my own cakes, cookies, granola, and other baked goods for our household. I buy the ingredients to make my own stir-fries instead of the prepackaged stir-fry kits. I make my own yogurt with very little difficulty and cost. Yes, it may take a little more time, but the savings are totally worth it.

6. Look at the store/off brands. I will usually buy whatever price is the lowest without compromising my eating beliefs. I shop at a lot at Aldi's because their prices are usually cheaper than the local grocery stores and they have started carrying organic goods. I buy a lot of store/generic brand items. Sometimes they may only be a few cents cheaper, but those cents add up!

7. Cut down your grocery trips. Go once a week, bi-weekly, or once a month. The less you shop, the less you spend.

8. Always carry a list and write down the sales. Read the sale flyers and shop from those. Plan your meals around what is on sale and stock up when items are on sale.

9. Shop online. I shop a lot online to save money and get great deals. I use Amazon and Vitacost a lot to get the items we use at a great price! I always, always go for free shipping!

10. If you have multiple grocery stores to shop from, spread the love. If different stores are having great deals, shop at those stores. Some stores, like Fareway, will price match other stores within a reasonable distance. Just don't waste gas driving out of your way to get the deals.

I hope these tips help you on your next shopping trip!

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!
Erica


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