Save Money On Groceries! Each week I share one simple tip that you can implement to start saving on your grocery bill right away.
Many of the tips will be familiar but if you take the Save Money on Groceries Challenge with us, you will actually take the steps each week instead of just filing them in the “I should do that” file. [To join in, just leave a comment saying that you already use the tip of the week, or that you will start this week.]
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[Click here to see all the tips in this series.]
Serve cheaper food once a week (or more).
You’ve probably noticed that there are some foods which are almost always priced cheaper than others. Eggs, beans, rice, potatoes, in-season fresh vegetables, dry pasta, chicken leg quarters and tuna are a few of those “value” foods.
Choosing to eat these cheaper foods once a week can help you cut at least $10 off of your weekly grocery bill.
But I can hear those thoughts in your head right now. Let me address a couple of your concerns:
I have heard the argument that eating cheaper foods is detrimental to your health. I am not a medical professional, so do your own research and make your own decision, but I don’t believe that eating a certain type of food once a week will have a huge effect on your overall health unless you are allergic to what you are eating. If you are concerned, check with your physician.
“My family/husband won’t eat those foods.”
Initial resistance to changes in diet are normal, but within a few weeks your family will probably come around. A positive attitude on your part and a good explanation of why you are doing what you are doing can be helpful with spouses and older children.
If you are creative, you may be able to slip the changes in without notice. Thursday can become “Omelet Night”, beans and rice can be “Mexican Night”, and potatoes can be much more exciting if you have a “Baked Potato Bar” with lots of toppings.
“I feel poor eating cheap food.”
No one wants to feel “poor”, but the truth is that you have a choice.
You can be a victim of your circumstances and allow your feelings to determine how you live, or you can empower yourself by choosing to live your priorities and values in your everyday actions.
Is it more important to eat fabulous food every night, or to get out of debt and save for your future? You can change your perspective from “I have to eat these foods.” to “I choose to make a sacrifice once a week so that we can take control of our money and meet our financial goals.” [If you need some help with this issue read my Poverty vs. Frugality post here.]
It should be noted that some people who grew up in impoverished situations may be opposed to eating cheaper foods because it reminds them of a painful childhood. Your marriage is far more important than saving a few dollars a week on groceries, so if this is something your spouse is opposed to skip the idea for now. Making your spouse feel understood can be an open door to change in the future.
Do you have any special recipes or tips for using cheaper foods? Leave a comment. 🙂
Egg Dishes– Check out my tips for saving money with eggs plus 5 delicious egg recipes.
Breakfast Foods– Oatmeal pancakes, French Toast, waffles (check out my Make Your Own Freezer Waffles recipe here).
Pasta Dishes- Spaghetti with Slow Cooker Pasta Sauce (substitute ground beef), Ham and Spinach Pasta, Chicken Pasta Salad
Bean Dishes– Click here for bean recipes and tips for adding beans to your menu.
Homemade Soups– Southwest Chicken Chili, Navy Bean and Ham Soup, Easy Beef and Veggie Soup, Spicy Chicken and Black Bean Soup.
For more ideas to save money on groceries (and a more in-depth explanation of how to make a price book), check out my ebook Save More–Clip Less: Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half Without Extreme Couponing.
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Thanks for all your great ideas! I am a cheapskate when it comes to shopping. I got to know my butcher at my Food 4 Less and when he sees me he always lets me know what he is putting on Managers special. I take those puppies home and freeze them. We also try and eat Meatless at least once a week.
It can never be a bad idea to befriend the butcher. 🙂
Sure is a better idea than making an enemy of one! ; )
karen b says
We garden here, so that has helped us keep our meals cheaper. Canning & freezing the extra helps to not not buy as much in the grocery during the winter is a whole lot cheaper. I guess I should say we plant to can & freeze. canning 13 qts of greenbeans now, one of our favorites:) Hope to do corn next week so much better & better for you. I know not everyone can do this but its helpful if you can:)
Yes, I am a “wannabe” gardener and canner. I have successfully grown tomatoes and basil in a container. 🙂
Dear Kim, thank you for this post, I really like your ideas. We are only 2 + a cat in a family, but I like to explore recipes and ways to make cooking both healthier and cheaper. This week I made nice salad with cucumbers and grens from kitchen garden. A nice addition is young beetroots, as you can use both leaves and beets. My cheap thing is marrows, as when they grom you can use then young in salads, then bigger in vegetable stews and kind of overgrown – you can just make batter with grownd marrows, eggs and flour. One more, a nice recipe for a big crowd- check http://www.self.com/fooddiet/recipes/2009/11/four-cheese-baked-penne, I just use 1 kind of hard cheese and cottage cheese. What makes this delicious is pasley, other herbs are just extras. So, for me it’s fine to cut out some ingredients or substitute them with my favourites to make some nice dish )))
You are very welcome Elena! I love using fresh herbs–they make such a difference in cooking.
I will be starting to follow the tips. It has been difficult financially with being unemployed, having health problems plus having to eat gluten free. I sure could use all the tips I can for eating health on very little money. Plus, this is my first year without a garden (health didn’t allow it) so no canning for the winter. 🙁
Welcome Vicki! Have you seen my gluten free information? Click here for Gluten Free Weekly Menus, Weekly Gluten Free Coupons & Deals, Product Reviews and Recipes. 🙂
My family tends to eat “cheap” most nights – lol! Eating the expensive stuff is the exception! I try to purchase all my meat under $2/lb. Therefore, we eat mostly chicken, pork, turkey, etc. I buy it when it’s on sale and freeze it. We haven’t had a beef roast for a long time. I use eggs quite a lot, too (although they’ve gone up in price lately). I don’t feel deprived, I feel like a smart consumer. 🙂
We have breakfast for dinner at least once a week. My whole family loves it. 🙂 tonight is leftover chicken with gravy and mashed potatoes (I roasted 2 whole chickens over the weekend and make a few different soups (for the chicken and broth) for my husbands lunches (he is triathlon training so eating a good amount of food)- I had some chicken for my lunches and then tonight’s dinner. For $10 for the chickens that’s a pretty good deal.
Love the idea of a baked potato bar night. I don’t deliberately do this now but I will start.
Jamie @ Prepared to Eat says
I love your advice for a having good attitude with this. My hubby was resistant to meatless meals (for instance) for a long time, but in the past few years he has really come around and realized that we are making a conscious choice to take control of our money. Food is such a hot button topic these days, but I agree with you. Everything in moderation is ok (unless you have serious reasons to not eat that food). I don’t think it’s healthy to binge only on one thing all the time anyway.
Katy @ Purposely Frugal says
I know what you mean about people thinking cheaper foods are unhealthy, but the cheap foods you mentioned like dry beans, potatoes, in-season produce etc…are super good for you! For some reason people always think of box mac-n-cheese or ramen noodles, but there’s so much other healthy foods out there that are cheap!
Breakfast for dinner.
I have had discussions with my friends whose families also had breakfast for dinner while growing up.
On normal busy days who has time to enjoy a nice big breakfast so I like the idea of breakfast for dinner.
Huevos Rancheros is one of my faves.
That’s funny Katy! I almost included mac n cheese and Ramen, but I thought that since we don’t eat those, I don’t need to encourage others to eat them. 🙂