Small things you can start doing right away to see grocery savings.
by Susanne Myers
Hi there. I'm Susanne Myers, better known as the Hillbilly Housewife. I'm embarking on a blog tour during the month of October sharing what I know best and that is saving money by making low cost, home-cooked meals from scratch. I would like to thank Gary for volunteering to have the Dollar Stretcher be one of the stops on this month's blog tour and I look forward to sharing some tips on saving money in the kitchen with you.
You are welcome to stop by my own blog to find out where the other stops on the Hillbilly Housewife Blog Tour will be. With that said, let's talk about how you can save on groceries and how it can have a huge impact on your family budget.
When you first sit down to do your budget, it can be a bit of a challenge to cut back and "balance" your budget once you get rid of some of the obvious expenses you can live without. Looking at your grocery budget is a great next step. There are a lot of small things you can start doing right away to spend less on food. And let's face it that a fairly decent amount of money is spent each month on groceries.
Watching Where You Shop
It's easy to get complacent about where we shop for groceries. We find a grocery store that's close by and end up going there week in and week out. We know the layout of the store and what to find where. It's just comfortable to keep going to this one grocery store. I've been there and done that. Then money got so tight that I couldn't afford to shop at my favorite grocery store anymore. I had to think outside the box and look at other places to shop.
I did some price comparison and now shop mostly at Aldi and Super-Walmart. I can get 90% of all the groceries at those two stores for a fraction of what I pay at a regular grocery store.
A few months ago I did a little experiment. I went out and grocery shopped my old way without any planning (we'll talk about meal planning later this month) and without paying much attention to where I shopped. I ended up buying some convenience foods, but didn't buy anything out of the ordinary and did buy a lot of store brands.
The following week I planned my meals and shopped the way I shop now. I also cooked all of our meals from scratch. I was able to spend less than half of what I spent in my first trip to the store. I compiled the entire experience into a report, which you can download here.
Cooking from Scratch
There are a lot of pre-made mixes and frozen foods that we have come to rely on. Sure, they are convenient, but we are paying for that convenience. Instead, look into cooking from scratch. Many things take hardly any longer than the convenience food version. Take a cake or brownie mix for example. It takes me exactly five minutes longer to bake a cake from scratch as opposed to using a baking mix. As an added bonus, I know exactly what's in that cake. Click here for are some of my favorite recipes for homemade convenience foods. Try a few of them and see how much you can save by making these yourself.
Frozen foods are another biggie for a lot of families. They come in handy after a long day at work, but you don't have to buy pre-made frozen foods. Instead, cook some double batches and freezer one half to use a few weeks later. I'll go into freezer cooking in more detail in another entry.
How much food ends up going to waste before you have a chance to use it? Everything you throw out is costing you money. Plan your meals ahead of time, only buy what you need for those meals and utilize leftovers to their fullest potential. Doing that will quickly add up and create huge savings in your food budget.
That's it for this week. I'll be back next week with some menu planning tips for you. It isn't an accident that I scheduled this blog tour to run during the month of October. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. My grandmother is a breast cancer survivor and breast cancer research is something that's important to me. As part of this Blog tour, I am donating 20% of all sales on HillbillyHouswife.com to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. One of the things you may want to check out is the HillbillyHousewife.com, a membership site for frugal minded moms where we share recipes, tips and plenty of resources to help us all stretch each dollar to the max.
Last but not least, I'd like to encourage you to leave a comment and share your favorite grocery savings tips. I will randomly pick one commenter to win a 6-month membership to HillbillyHousewife.com. Comment away.
Susanne Myers is responsible for HillbillyHousewife.com website.
Take the Next Step:
- Get cash back on the groceries you buy. Checkout 51 can show you how!
- Want some great ways to use up leftovers? Just visit the TDS library.
- Stop struggling to get ahead financially. Subscribe to our free weekly Surviving Tough Times newsletter aimed at helping you 'live better...for less'. Each issue features great ways to help you stretch your dollars and make the most of your resources. Subscribers get a copy of Are You Heading for Debt Trouble? A Simple Checklist And What You Can Do About It for FREE!
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor.
Food, gas and other prices keep rising while my family's income remains stagnant and I worry we are heading for debt trouble. Tell us: Yes, I think we are heading for debt trouble and could use some help! or No, we're not in debt trouble but I like finding new ways to help keep my family finances on track!