How do others save money when buying groceries? 

I have two ideas that have worked really well, among others: 

First:

Ask what do we have to eat; not what are we in the mood to eat?

That simple question saved us remarkably by making do and getting creative with what we already have in the house, rather than frequently running back to the grocery store for a "few more things".

Next:

Call your local grocery store and ask what time of day that store clearances meat, produce and bakery items. Shop around that time. I recommend two times per week if possible for the greatest way to save using this method. THEN go home to plan the meal you wish to prepare. (Sites like SuperCook and MyFridgeFood can help with recipes.)

We have saved SO much money on groceries since practicing these two habits. 

#SixOnABudget 

Original Post

I've really started working on the first one here, Melanie! I used to go out and buy more food every time I was "bored" with what I already had in my fridge. Now I try to find fun ways to utilize the food I already have in my cabinets. Just last week, I forgot I had turkey burgers and fish still frozen (and perfectly good!) in my freezer. 

I love doing number one because it challenges me and usually turns out better than expected! I had no idea number two was even an option. Thanks for the idea!

I try my best to meal plan regularly, but usually end up buying the basics to turn into different meals: proteins, fats, fruits & veggies, and grains. 

Sometimes it’s hard for me to balance a budget and a healthy diet but I think I’m getting better week by week. 

The "average" household should not exceed 10% of take-home income for food. The issue that I have, with my wife and I on retirement income, is that we do not have the average income those cited financial experts are talking about. We are literally only a few dollars above the thresh holds for receiving many of the governmental benefits that would allow us more budget boosters. The good news is that we have more time than money that we can use to get to our target, allowing us to have more by paying less. This is achieved with a combination of tools in our tool box. Stay tuned for a future post on what works for my household. I've found that we have been able to change our lives by changing our thinking and behaviors. 

Couponing is just such a waste of time, right? I have a single female friend with multiple stores in her area wondering if she can hit a $3,000 total of savings from her local Stop & Shop by end of year. Not a bad part time "gig" in my opinion for a few hours of time here and there. ((Note: I have seen untouched photos from the same store chain in excess of $20k for a lady with a family very active with donating to charities)). I'm not as cuckoo for coupons but my wife and I do pretty well couponing... when it makes sense.

Attachments

Photos (1)

Another awesome way to save on groceries is by using the various "match up" web sites out there. Web sites like www.howtoshopforfree.net, www.krazycouponlady.com and www.livingrichwithcoupons.com all have individual store tabs that will show readers what items are on sale at stores that they cover AND point consumers to printable or online coupons, store promotions, rebate offers, gas perks for the craziest final price deals. If you're a fan of getting the best bang for the buck (literally) check out how match ups can offer great deals, freebies and/or money makers. 

Good points. Also, another thing I have had to realize is that when there is a "3 for $9" sale, etc, a lot of times the price per item is $3 each for the sale and you don't have to purchase all 3 to get the deal unless specifically stated. Knowing this has saved me from spending extra money to get more than I actually need of something.

Two things that have helped keep my grocery bill down lately:
1. I do only slight variations on breakfast and lunch items I take to work, so that I'm not starting from scratch every time I meal prep. For instance, changing the seasoning I use on chicken makes the salad I take every day taste different from batch to batch; or sometimes I might add cheese, or another veggie, or something but not have to reinvent the salad wheel.
2. Man, my boyfriend took me to Aldi. What a game changer. 

I am a big time couponer (in Canada) but I have noticed that the coupons are getting a little more scarce since the fall. 

I have a recipe box (well 2 actually) that I bought at the dollar store & some blank recipe cards (my MIL gave me hers that she doesn't use) & wrote titles on them to create dividers.  One is dedicated to Grocery Shopping specifically.  I have dividers for grocery departments such as Produce, Deli, Dairy, Meat, Cereal, etc that sort my coupons into as I get them (so much smaller & more convenient than binders), then at the back I have cards for different grocery stores & include gift cards & reward cards & store specific coupons. At the front I have FPC = free product coupons so I see them 1st & am sure to use them! 

My other box is for other gift card & coupons such as Automotive (anything vehicle related, gas gift cards & rewards cards, car wash coupons, etc), Movies, Department Stores, Restaurants - fast food, casual dining & upscale, US coupon & gcs (I'm in Canada but travel to US every couple months) & Misc which includes attractions, library card, dentist reward card, some train tokens, etc.

I keep them in a small bag that I can easily toss in the car with me or my shopping cart with my reusable grocery bags.  It helps me keep all the coupons & gift cards organized & handy.

Good points shared by almost everyone. Here are my two cents for young parents. My wife is a stay at home mom and we have a 13 months old baby boy. My wife saved a lot of money by preparing all his meals at home. 
So rather than buying formula baby foods from the grocery, if you can prepare the meals at home, I bet you it will save tons of money. 


Good points shared by almost everyone. Here are my two cents for young parents. My wife is a stay at home mom and we have a 13 months old baby boy. My wife saved a lot of money by preparing all his meals at home. 
So rather than buying formula baby foods from the grocery, if you can prepare the meals at home, I bet you it will save tons of money. 

Happy Saving everyone!
-Sid

Sid posted:

Good points shared by almost everyone. Here are my two cents for young parents. My wife is a stay at home mom and we have a 13 months old baby boy. My wife saved a lot of money by preparing all his meals at home. 
So rather than buying formula baby foods from the grocery, if you can prepare the meals at home, I bet you it will save tons of money. 

Happy Saving everyone!
-Sid

I agree Sid.  I made my own baby foods, pureed foods for both of my kids.  They were eating very similar meals to my husband & I, just in a different form.  We have a backyard garden as well, so it was fantastic to use my own fruits & veggies.  Now that my kids are older, they love to snack around the backyard!

Even if you live in an apartment, you can grow herbs, lettuce, green onion, etc on your window sill and if you are luck enough to have a patio, a tomato plant is fun, colourful & edible!

Nicole posted:
Sid posted:

Good points shared by almost everyone. Here are my two cents for young parents. My wife is a stay at home mom and we have a 13 months old baby boy. My wife saved a lot of money by preparing all his meals at home. 
So rather than buying formula baby foods from the grocery, if you can prepare the meals at home, I bet you it will save tons of money. 

Happy Saving everyone!
-Sid

I agree Sid.  I made my own baby foods, pureed foods for both of my kids.  They were eating very similar meals to my husband & I, just in a different form.  We have a backyard garden as well, so it was fantastic to use my own fruits & veggies.  Now that my kids are older, they love to snack around the backyard!

Even if you live in an apartment, you can grow herbs, lettuce, green onion, etc on your window sill and if you are luck enough to have a patio, a tomato plant is fun, colourful & edible!

Excellent idea there about backyard garden. We live in an apartment but I think the balcony is sufficiently large to grow some vegetables. I guess now I know how I'll be spending my entire Sunday today. 

menonabudget, both your post on the 10% rule and the couponing were spot on. My wife and I used to coupon quite regularly, but then we stopped receiving the paper. Guess we're going to have to start that again. We can also print coupons off. But, we saved over $4K in one year doing that. And we also go "gas points"...and this saved us on gas when the gas at Wal-Mart's station was too high. Any time we could buy something with a coupon on it that was something that we regularly used, we did it. Again, I'm so thankful that I was raised by a "cheapskate" Father who always tried to buy things for the lowest price, and for a grandfather and grandmother who grew up in the depression and always told us to clip the coupons, share, trade or give the ones away that we'd never use. Helping others in these areas always comes back to us sooner or later. Blessings.

Coupons, sales, specials, rebate programs...If it doesn't have a spiff I avoid purchasing it. Lately, I am overspending on delivery food due to an injury and illness but I still participate in whatever deal is going on.

Doordash has the most promos. just google doordash discounts or the like. Just know if there is something wrong with your order that you can report it by hitting help on your order page and give a detailed review. They are generous with offering refund dollars for your next purchase if you are missing things or food arrives cold or wrong. 

Go to your coupons and rebates page each week for your favorite stores as the offers update weekly. You can find deals better than elsewhere using these little known coupons. Dollar General and Walgreens for example. You can get name brand products for less than store brand using their special coupons.

Check DollarTree or other $1 stores before going elsewhere. Campbell's soup in the big can is $1 all the time whereas you have to wait for a sale. And they do take coupons! But NO returns.

Food displayed on the bottom shelf in the grocery store is your best buys with the smallest margin. Don't shop at eye level. Get your money's worth. Take advantage of rainchecks. Most people don't bother. Sales and coupons are cumbersome but worth it. 

I have noticed that coupons are fewer and far in between this past year. Also with stricter restrictions so read ahead!

 

I just posted about using Aldi vs. Publix. Aldi has the same high quality merchandise as Publix (with the exception of a fresh bakery). I am going to be using them exclusively for the coming months. I'm looking to save $400-500 per month on groceries, and I know I can do it. Groceries are our single biggest expense after our mortgage payment.

Former Member posted:

Two things that have helped keep my grocery bill down lately:
1. I do only slight variations on breakfast and lunch items I take to work, so that I'm not starting from scratch every time I meal prep. For instance, changing the seasoning I use on chicken makes the salad I take every day taste different from batch to batch; or sometimes I might add cheese, or another veggie, or something but not have to reinvent the salad wheel.
2. Man, my boyfriend took me to Aldi. What a game changer. 

Aldi is awesome and so close to my house. I will be going there now!

@lismox I grew up on Aldi's grocery stores groceries.   A lot of people we knew wouldn't shop there, but they were the "ritzy" type who liked to shop at the larger, better-known stores like Kroger, and in our area Korsmeyers and Thompsons. We didn't have a Wal Mart at that time. Many times that grocery store helped a family of eight live quite well. I still shop there. It's a great money-saving tip!

Love Aldi.   Most of their items are better quality that regular store brands you get at Walmart or Kroger and cost less.    More fresh foods and less processed foods will help with keeping grocery bills down once you learn to plan meals around what is on sale and available.

@Shannon H You're correct. I was told if you had to buy from other stores like WalMart, Kroger or Publix, avoid using the center aisles because that is where all the canned goods and processed foods will be. I'm diabetic, and the dietician told me that. After a few months of looking through what we bought in those areas, we found out that she was so right.  Now we try to take her advice on that. 

I love Aldi!! I even found that you can use coupons on some of the name brand items that they have in the store. We save money with our family of 6, five gentleman and myself, by couponing as well. I buy fresh vegetables and fruit but sometimes purchase the frozen because they last longer in my house.

Growing up using Aldi's, we had to use both frozen AND fresh fruits and veggies. With eight of us and friends to boot around all the time, we always had apples, oranges and other things around to eat after school. Of course, we had chips and the fried apple and cherry pies as well, but we were usually directed to the FRESH things first!   Mom always made sure of that. We were also blessed in the fact that we had a friend who grew veggies in an acre leased lot close to our church who brought us fresh veggies all the time. So, combined with Aldi's, Aldi's and the low prices there were a blessing!

Add Reply

×
×
×
×