Years ago when I was single and living on a teacher’s salary, I sewed my own clothes,I had pasta dishes for supper, and I shopped yard sales for home necessities. Then when I got married and my husband began ministry, we took on nearly the same tactics in striving to live frugally. It’s truly been a way of life for me. I’ve often said that even if I ever fell into a goldmine, I’d still shop the sales!
I recently shared with a group of women some of the lessons I’ve learned to save money in grocery shopping and thought I’d share them with you, too! There are a ton of great suggestions on the Internet, along with helpful sites that will snag the best deals and do lots of the work for you! I’ll share a couple of my favorite places to go at the end of this post. But first, here are my best suggestions to reduce your grocery bill:
- Don’t start with coupons, start with the store’s sales.
- By knowing what’s on sale, you can purchase what you need when it’s at its lowest price. Try not to buy foods until it’s at its rock bottom amount. You could keep a running list of what the “bottom” price is so you’ll know if what the store is asking is truly a good deal.
- Did you know groceries go on sale in cycles? Usually every 6-8 weeks the most general items are marked down. You can go to Joyfully Thriving.com and download a free guide that will tell you what is cycling on sale every month.
- Stockpile items when they are at their lowest price!
- When things are at their lowest price, purchase enough of what you buy to last you until the next markdown. If you can’t buy enough to last until the next sale, buying at least couple, will also save you some money!
- The goal is to have enough foods on hand (that your family will eat, of course) so you can plan your family’s menu around that. Then each week, you’ll purchase fresh produce, perishable items and the new items that are reduced.
- Think hard about your Meat-filled meals.
- Having pasta, soups, salads and veggies could reduce the cost of your groceries by $1,000!
- For the meat you do buy, buy it only when it’s marked down.
- Don’t be afraid to buy meat that is on sale that day with a red sticker. If you take it home and either use it immediately or freeze it, it will be safe to use.
- Buy in bulk and freeze serving sizes in freezer bags. Don’t forget to save yourself some time by cooking some of that chicken or hamburger and cooling it, then freezing it so it will be ready for tacos, soups, or casseroles.
- Plan your menu!
- When you know what’s marked down that week and what you have in your pantry and freezer, then make your menu using those ingredients. I used to sit down with my cookbook and find all these great recipes that called for items that were not on sale and quickly learned that was not the way to vary our menu. I learned to look at what I had, then find a recipe for those ingredients. Here’s a cool site I just recently found where you can click on all the ingredients you have on hand and they’ll suggest recipes using those items!
- Without a menu you’ll be scrambling to know what is for supper. You’ll run to the grocery store at the last minute and have to pay premium price for items, and your grocery bill will be staggering!,
- With a menu you can prepare a little ahead of time! Thaw the meat, start the crock pot, etc. So not only will you be saving money, you’ll also be saving your sanity!!
- Use coupons for the store where you shop. Coupons can help, but it’s the last thing you need to worry about. I love Kroger because using their e-coupons keep me from having to clip them. Often I buy an item on sale AND I have a coupon for it! Double savings!! I bought a pound of butter recently $1.40 because of the sale and coupon deal!
So those are my five best tips, friends. I hope this will help you reduce your grocery costs! One more tip I would add is, don’t be afraid of Aldi’s, if there is one near you. Whitney at Come Home for Comfort has some great tips about shopping there. Be sure to check out this post.
My favorite site for finding the sales in the stores where I shop is Southern Savers!
What is the most difficult part of keeping your grocery cost down?