In our quest for an ever-smaller grocery bill, we are constantly on the lookout for ways to save money on groceries. We’re now managing to feed our family of six for around $400 a month. Yeah, some families do it for cheaper, but we’re trying to balance saving money while still eating things other than beans and rice, so our journey to a lower food bill is going a bit slower than other people’s. 🙂 Here are some of our latest and greatest money saving grocery tips:
Buy Fresh Produce When it’s on Sale, and Freeze it
If you like to eat things like green beans, asparagus, carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and the like, load up when it’s on super sale, then blanche it, freeze it and store it in freezer safe bags, preferably using a vacuum pack system. It’s a good way to have an abundance of cheap and delicious produce year-round even if you don’t grow a garden. What’s that, you say, no freezer space? Get all of that processed crap out of the freezer to make room for your stock of frozen veggies. 🙂
Make a List of Your Preferred Price Points
For things that you buy regularly, make a list of the lowest price you’ve seen it on sale, or can get it for, and when those prices come around, stock up big time. We’ve gotten our favorite spaghetti sauce for $1 a jar (regularly $1.38), our favorite frozen pizzas for 98 cents (regularly $1.58) and loaves of bread for 88 cents (regularly almost $2.00!). We buy LOTS when they go on sale, and then store them up or freeze them to use during the year. Yeah, we get some weird looks at the grocery store, but we save tons of cash. 🙂
Get Creative with Cooking
There really is so much more you can do with cheap ingredients like rice, beans, potatoes and pasta, if you’re willing to take the time to learn. Just do a Google search on “best _________ recipes”, and a whole new world of yummy stuff will open up for you! We’ve been working on this for the last month and have already added three great recipes to our permanent recipe arsenal.
Switch to Homemade
I cannot over-emphasize the cost savings here. Instead of buying granola bars or store-bought cookies, make a double-batch of your favorite cookie type, put them in half-dozen increments in baggies, freeze ’em, and you’ve got ready-to-go snacks for the entire family. Same can be done with muffins, brownies or whatever. Also, it takes just a few minutes to whip up a super cheap batch of biscuits to go with dinner, instead of buying the store-bought stuff, and it costs just a fraction of the amount that the store-bought stuff costs. Same goes with other processed foods like mac & cheese, homemade stews and soups, and the like. You can make up just about any meal, put it in a freezer/microwave safe container, and have a plethora of cheap and delicious meals at your fingertips.
Choose to Settle for Less
Rick’s lunches each day consist of two sandwiches with cheese and meat, and a baggie full of his favorite chips, or a bag from a variety pack if we can get them on sale. We skimp a bit on the meat for him, and we generally can do his lunches for a buck, two bucks max. That’s a whole lot less money than the minimum $5 item at his work cafeteria. His work guys give him grief for his simple meals, but we’re laughing all the way to the bank.
This same concept applies to other meals as well: use less meat in casseroles and soups, or don’t use any meat at all. Choose to use just a bit less cheese than you’d like to on your meal. Have one egg instead of two with breakfast. It’s the little things in money that really do add up.
With a little effort, you can reduce your grocery bill even a little bit more than you already have – you just have to get creative. 🙂