Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Thrifty Cook

 

I love to cook and I enjoy being frugal and I've learned through the years that you don't have to spend a lot to make delicious meals.


How to Save Money on Groceries 17 Ways

Food is one of the few things in a family budget that a person can control. It's not a fixed expense like rent or car payments. Instead you determine how much you spend on food and how that grocery money is spent. There are ways you can learn to spend less on food each month.

1. Set up a food budget and determine to stick to it, no matter what. A good suggestion is to start by spending 20% less than you currently do on food.


2. Make a detailed grocery list of all you need to buy before you ever leave the house. Include all the items you normally buy, all the items you've run out of, and any items that you know you'll be needing soon.

3. Eat something before you go shopping. Studies have shown that grocery shoppers average between 10% to 25% more money spent on groceries when they shop hungry.

4. Make arrangements to leave the kids at home. Again studies show you'll spend more when you bring the kids with you to the supermarket

5. Clip coupons only for items you normally buy.

6. Join a food co-op with your friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers, and purchase some of your food that way. You can save a lot by buying in bulk, and with a food co-op the expense is shared.

7. Pick a quiet, less-busy, time of the week to do your grocery shopping. You'll be less stressed and have more time to search out bargains and compare prices.


8. Grow a garden. Use what you grow. Eat what you can freshly picked, and then can, dehydrate, or freeze the rest.

9. Shop less. This is an old trick but it's a very effective one. You aren't spending money if you aren't in the grocery store. Shop twice a month, or once a week, or even once a month if you can manage that.

10. Bring only the exact amount of cash with you that you plan to spend on groceries this week. Leave your checkbook, credit cards, and debit cards at home. Again, this is effective because you can't spend money you haven't brought with you.

11. Determine to buy most, or all, of your personal items at the dollar store rather than the supermarkets. It's much cheaper. Or, make your own. This applies to household cleaners too, either make your own natural cleaners, or buy them cheaply at the dollar store.

12. Buy bread at a bakery thrift store, and shop at a salvage grocery store for real bargains on food. Also check out ethnic grocery stores for bargains on produce and spices, as well as other foods. You can even check out the food at the dollar store, or places like Walgreen for bargains.

13. Cut down on or eliminate paper products, soda, and empty calorie foods, (especially chemically-laden and sugary breakfast cereals for children), as well as all prepared foods. Buy real food, and make your own meals. By the same token, cut down on meat, dairy, and milk. We eat more of these products than is healthy as a rule anyway.

14. Buy the generic, or house brand, whenever you can. You'll save a lot with this tip alone.



15. Buy bulk foods and stock up, so you'll always have plenty of good, wholesome food in your house. Eat more beans and legumes, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat ethnic more often, these dishes are often inexpensive, healthier for you, and delicious.

16, Use the smaller size grocery cart whenever you can. The temptation to add items to the bigger carts can be huge. Grocery stores know this and are making their carts bigger all the time, just to trick you into buying more every shopping trip. Keep your eyes firmly pointed away from the "impulse items" located near the checkouts. And watch the register when your groceries are being checked out for errors. Sale items especially are often rung up incorrectly. Produce is too, as the codes for each kind are different and clerks make mistakes every day.

17. Don't waste or throw away any of the foods you buy. Try to avoid running out of items between shopping trips, but if you do, learn to substitute for whatever you're out of instead of making an unplanned trip to the store where, chances are, you'll buy more than just the item you ran out of. By careful planning and substitution you can avoid blowing your food budget this way.


1 comment:

Sage Harman said...

Hi Terria! You have a really great site! I'm glad to have stumbled upon it! I was wondering if you feature guest postings. Thanks and have a great day!