Day 5: Tips for Saving on Groceries!

                               frugal living button

Today let’s talk about saving moolah on groceries.

My grocery haul last week!
My grocery haul last week!

I got all of the above for $50 including meats and fish.

I shop 1-2x per week and usually shop four different stores. People think I am nuts buts I have a routine and it works for me plus I save tons of money!!!

My grocery budget stays around $100 per week for a family of 3. Yeah I would love for it to be $50 but it is not happening just yet. Of course if all I bought was convenience packaged stuff and unhealthy foods, sure I could get a bunch of that stuff for free or pennies with coupons. I buy good food with a couple of junk items like chips, ice cream and candy oh and fake frosted flakes for hubby because he truly believes he will die with any other cereal. 🙂

Here are some tips from me that I use plus some below from Andrea at FS.

#1 Always start out with a list! Keep the list on the refrigerator for all family members to add to it as things run out even if you have it in your stockpile.

#2 From the above, always have a stockpile of 1-2 double items of things you use all of the time so you never get caught running to the (horror) convenience store for a bottle of ketchup that cost $4!

#3 Use sites such as couponmom.com, southernsavers.com, publix.com, coupons.com to find out what sales are where and plan your grocery list. ***If anyone needs help with this let me know****

#4 Do not be store loyal. Shop the loss leader sales at a couple of store to get the most savings. Usually a store will put one type of meat on a ridiculous sale say boneless chicken for $1.79/lb – go get as many pounds as you can afford and freeze. The exception to this in my opinion, is that I do not buy tyson chicken anything. Usually it comes from Quality Foods or Sprouts or Aldi’s. I know Quality Foods uses local chicken.

#5 Buy in bulk when you can.

#6 Get the local newspaper for Sunday coupons, buy a subscription, have friends save their inserts or go by the recycle bins and get some there. Take some newspapers to put in it in case you feel weird doing this. I make my hubby go sometimes with me. 😀

#7 Call all the manufactures of companies you use, actually you can probably email them and ask for coupons. They are super happy to oblige. My mom does it all the time!

#8 On the coupon note – when visiting any store scope out where they keep their coupon booklets and take 2-3 NOT 25!!!

#9 Shop Farmer’s Markets – there are so many vendors, surely someone has fresh produce at the price you can afford. Go towards the end of the day, some vendors may sell to you at a discount if you take a whole bunch.

#10  ALWAYS have a plan of what you can spend no matter where you go!!!

#11 Stacking Coupons – Some stores accept manufacturer coupons AND store coupons so usually you can get the item for free or close to it. In this case I will use junky food coupons if I can get it free or better yet with overage, meaning you get $1.50 off something that is on sale for $1.25 – .25 comes back to you off your total and then give those items to charity.

#12 NEVER SHOP WHEN YOU ARE HUNGRY! – Eat something before going and you will less likely purchase impulse items.

#13 You can buy organic or gluten free good food with coupons, they do exist! Earthfare has little coupon books and in them there are manufacturer coupons on organic products that you can take to other stores – Publix is the MOST coupon friendly and use them there.

#14 – Drink water – no need to spend extra money on friut juices, sodas,diet drinks, etc..

#15 Cook ahead –  cook extra meals once a week or once a month so you always have SOMETHING in the freezer.

#16 Grow Your Own Herbs – this saves a TON each year. Those little tiny bundles of herbs in the grocery store cost $2+ or the good jars of dried spices can cost $4-5 per tiny jar!!! I can grow enough basil, oregano and rosemary to last me until next summer. OR you can buy herbs in bulk at Dekalb Farmer’s Market or organic herbs online at Mountain Rose Herbs.

#17 Reduce the use of plastic wrap(non existent in our house), tin foil, plastic baggies, trash bags for small wastebaskets – use grocery bags for those.

#18 Plan a Weekly Menu – this helps keep those impulse buys under wraps.

#19 – Don’t Leave Out Desserts! Really your family and you need this every so often. Just bake those cookies or cakes yourself at a cost of $1-2 vs. a bakery cake for $10! You have to have little splurges do not deprive your family or no one will be happy.

#20 Join a CSA

#21 Will Work For Food – some farms will love to give you free produce in exchange for a few hours work on the farm.

#22 Watch That Register! Mistakes are made by cashiers so keep a watchful eye. You don’t want to get home and realize the store charged you $5 for something that should have been .75. It happens. Check your receipt too BEFORE leaving the store.

#23 Stock Up! – When your favorite item goes on sale for buy one get one free, find a coupon or two or five and buy as much as you can afford to keep you until the next sale. Mayo is my stock up item. We go through a lot of it and I do not want to pay $4.50 for a jar of mayo – shuddering!!!!

#24 Look for free food. FS – Andrea
Foraging is quickly growing in popularity and rightly so! Once you begin to learn what wild edibles grow seasonally in your area begin looking around. Recently, I was driving down a street that I have traveled thousands of times and noticed a couple gleaning citrus fruits. Naturally I pulled over, asked a few questions, and helped myself to nearly 25 lbs of lemons, grapefruit, and oranges that would otherwise go to waste.

#25 Make cloth grocery bags.
You’ll save a ton of plastic over time, and help the environment tremendously.

Last note on coupons. Some folks like a binder where you cut out all the coupons and file them in slots of clear plastic. I personally like to keep all the circulars in a plastic shoe box with the date written boldly and the latest date is on top. This way when I see a sale I can look up if there is a coupon for it on Coupon Mom find which circular has it and cut it out. Works well for me and my sanity. 🙂

Now It’s Your Turn

Daily Goal:
Pick a few things from the list that you think will have the greatest impact on your monthly grocery budget.

 

Connect With The Community: Take a few minutes and head over to the facebook group. Share your “Frugal Daily Living Goal“, encourage, and support one another.

 

 

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