Top Ten Ways to Save on Groceries Pt. 2
Make Your Own
One easy way to save money is to cook from scratch and to make your own mixes. You can buy spices in bulk at the farmer’s market, ethnic markets or even the Mexican food section at Walmart and then combine them in glass jars to use when you are cooking.
You can find recipes for make-your-own mixes in my Recipe section.
Combine Sales with Coupons
I used to grocery shop by making my menu and then looking for coupons for the items I needed to purchase. I have since learned that the best way to save money with coupons is to use them in conjunction with sales. I regularly purchase items for pennies and often get items free.
Your best resource for knowing when to use your coupons are websites like Coupon Mom, i heart Publix, Southern Savers and Money Saving Mom (links on left). These websites will tell you what the best deals are and where to find the coupons that match that week’s store sales.
See my Coupon Crash Course for more information on organizing and using coupons.
Be Picky About Produce
Buying produce at its lowest price not only insures savings, but nutrition as well. Prices drop when fruit and vegetables are in season and are most abundant. The freshest produce has the most nutrients.
When buying fruit by the bag, weigh your bags. Individual fruits are not a consistent size and bag weights may vary by as much as half a pound.
If you are buying individual fruit by the pound, choose smaller pieces. You will get more pieces of fruit for less money and you probably won’t notice the size difference when you are eating it.
Use Your Freezer
When you bake muffins, make lasagna or cook chicken for a casserole, make two batches and freeze one for later. Buy 10 pounds of ground beef when it is on sale, brown it with chopped onions and store it in flattened freezer bags for use in dishes like tacos, enchiladas or spaghetti sauce. Make extra hamburger patties and freeze them for next week’s cookout.
Watch sale prices and stock up when the price is at its lowest. Most stores follow an 8-12 week cycle for sale items. For example, the lowest price for boneless, skinless chicken breasts is typically $1.99/lb. I can find this price every two months, so when chicken is on sale at this price I buy two months worth and stick it in my freezer. If the price hits $1.79/lb, which is the rock bottom price in my area, I may buy 3 months worth.
You can keep your own price record or use websites like Coupon Mom which lists a percentage saved on the weekly grocery deal lists. Of course this only works with items than can be stored in your pantry or freezer long term. Make sure to rotate your stock and use what you have so it doesn’t go bad.
By using a variety of strategies you can significantly cut your grocery spending.