How do I save $ on Groceries
First I put a lot of work into going to each store in my area that I would typically shop at and recording their price for all of the items I normally would buy. This first step requires a great deal of effort and time but it pays off in the long run. Once you have it you know which store to buy what items at and if a sale or coupon is really a good deal. Here is a small sample of one of my early grocery comparison lists . Since I created it there have been some new stores that I’ve found that have better prices so I need to update this list but at this point I nearly have everything memorized.
Next, when I have time and access to coupons I try to use them as long as it is really getting me a better deal. A few rules to make sure you are getting a better deal with a coupon.
- If you wouldn’t buy the item normally (without a coupon) then buying it just because you have the coupon is costing you $ not saving it.
- If you spend more on the cost of the paper to get coupons than you are saving in the face value of the coupon then couponing is not worth it. I have actually found that in my area during certain parts of the year when the stores send you their weekly sale flyers the Super Saver coupon insert it included so I get those coupons for free, I also check at the front of my local store for their in store coupons and subscribe to my warehouse club mailing list for all of their coupons. Also, stores like Target will print coupons for you at the register for items that you purchase frequently.
- Buying an item because you have a store coupon may not save you money if another store has the same item at a price lower than what you are saving with the coupon, check your price comparison sheet to make sure.
- The best deals are to combine multiple coupons with buy one get one sales. I.e. if you have two coupons for $0.50 off on package of cheese and cheese is on sale buy one get one then you can use both coupons and get two package of cheese for $1 less than the cost of one package normally.
- You can also combine a store coupon with a manufacture coupon. I.e. Store coupon for $1 off cheese and a manufacture coupon for $0.50 off cheese will result in $1.50 off the cost of one package of cheese. Doing this during a sale nets you even bigger saving.
Couponing takes a lot of time & effort both pre shopping and during shopping. I have to admit, I haven’t done as much of it as I used to since having a baby. It is really hard to balance my coupon book in the shopping cart with my baby. Usually when we are couponing my hubby goes along with my & one of us handles the coupons while the other handles the kids.
Another reason I haven’t done as much couponing is that we are
- Shopping at stores that don’t accept coupons but have rock bottom prices that I can’t beat even with coupons at other stores and…
- We are eating a lot more items that there are rarely coupons for like fresh fruits and vegetables. For saving on these items I shop my local farmers market because they have both a better quality and lower price that your typical supermarkets. I also tend to buy in bulk when they offer a discount & we just eat a lot of that particular item for a while. (10 lbs of carrots anyone)
Another way I save $ is by the type of meat I buy. Ground meat is usually cheaper than whole cuts (steaks, etc) but only if you use it wisely. Making burgers out of 1 lb of ground beef will get you 4 burgers, basically one meal. Using 1 lb of ground beef to make shepherds pie, spaghetti sauce, lasagna, tacos (if you stretch it with lots of toppings) or other large dish will net you up to eight servings, doubling your bang for the buck. Also, it is cheaper to buy a whole chicken, turkey, or ham than it is to buy cut portions of these items. You may have to put a little extra work into preping it, cooking and then portioning it but you can save quite a bit this way and have meals for several days off the large amount of meat. We like to cook one of these large amounts of meat, eat some that day with lots of sides, like rice & veggies then portion the rest into freezer bags and use them in different meals later. Your freezer can be a huge $ saver this way, especially if you can get that meat on sale.
Some of the cheapest meals I make that serve my family at least once, usually twice or more.
- Curry with rice
- We have many different curry sauces we like so I make one of the sauces add 1lb of meat & 1-2 lbs of veggies and serve it over rice, very filling and pretty yummy. We can eat this for 3-4 meals or we eat it 2-3 times and my hubby packs whatever is leftover for lunches.
- Rice Casserole
- This is a great way to use up leftover rice. I make a sauce, cheese, tomato, basil etc. Combine 2-3 cups of rice with 1-2 cups shredded or cubed leftover meat and 1-2 cups of veggies add the sauce to hold it all together put it into a casserole dish (usually this actually makes 2 casseroles) and top it with cheese, or breadcrumbs or even crushed tortilla chips. One casserole serves our family for two meals so when I get two out of it I freeze the second one to warm up on a night I don’t have much time to cook. A total of four family dinners at very little cost.
- Spaghetti Sauce or Lasagna
- Shepherds Pie
- Ground beef, veggies and potatoes, super cheap & easy
- Chicken pot pie
- Another great way to use leftover meat a great one dish meal
- Stir fry with fried rice
- One lb of meat, 1 lb of veggies your favorite oriental sauce or spices for flavor and serve with fried rice (rice, veggies, egg and sometimes additional protein).