How to Really Save Money on Your Grocery Bill
Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half!
Wouldn’t it be great if you could cut your grocery bill in half, or more! With the economy down the way it is right now, everyone is trying to save money where they can. Your grocery bill is probably one of largest expenses you have each month. Here are a few ways you can really save on your grocery bill each month.
The first thing everyone thinks about is using coupons, and coupons are a great way to save money. I use coupons every week, but you have to really pay attention. I have found myself buying things just because I had a coupon, but I really didn’t use it or need it. Clip coupons for the things you would normally buy anyway. If you want to try something new because you have a coupon for it, just buy one. What if you don’t like it, or it doesn’t work as well as what you expected? If you bought more than one, the rest of them are going to go to waste.
Keep up with Prices
Now unless your memory is better than mine, I can't remember what is a "good" price on everything I buy. I really don't think anyone can. Here is where a little work is envolved. I created a spreadsheet that includes the date of purchase, name of the product, a description, the price and the store where I purchased the item.
I go through the grocery sale papers each Wednesday and Sunday and compare the prices on items I normally buy. If I find a cheaper price on something I update my list. I started my spread sheet by using the last grocery store receipt I had and just started listing the items. Once you have it started, it is easy to keep up and so useful! Now you know what a good price is for everything you normally purchase.
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Now that you know what items are really on sale that week, look through your coupons and see if you have any for those items. This is also a great time to buy in bulk. You would be amazed at the amount of money I save by doing this!
Comp Your Prices
In this area, Wal-Mart is the only store I know of that will comp prices. If you find a cheaper price for the same product, they will sell it to you for the same price. Remember that it has to be the same brand and size. Sometimes larger stores like Wal-Mart or Target will have the better prices and you can save alot on has by not having to drive to more than one store. Be sure that you check the price per pound on your meat. Just this past week-end I comped some ground roundat Wal-Mart. Our local Farmer's Market had ground round on sale for $2.99 lb. When I looked at the ground round at Wal-Mart, the price per pound was not listed. The price was just per package. The package was 2.25 pounds for $8.38. I thought that sounded a little high, so I used my calculator and found that the price per pound was $3.72! Yes, I comped the package of hamburger meat.
Create a Menu
Create your menu for the week using the items that you found on sale. You don't want to fix pork chops if the price is high, instead plan of cooking the pork roast that is on sale. By creating a menu, you know exactly what you need to buy and it will keep you from impulse buying. Go through your pantry and see what else you have to go with it. Remeber the cans of crescent rolls you bought on sale last week, use them instead of buying a package of heat and serve rolls.
Plant a Garden
Try planting a vegetable garden. That is where I save a great deal of my money. Plant things that you can freeze of learn how to can. Canning is really very easy, (if I can do it, anyone can)! Plant some green beans and black-eyed peas. These are very easy to grow and can. Even with a small vegetable garden, you can have enough to last until you plant again next year. I have never had much luck with corn, so I buy corn at the farmer’s market and freeze enough to last me through the winter. If you like pickles, plant some cucumbers. You will have cucumbers for salads and snacking and you can make your own pickles. Pickles are easy to make and are really very good for you too. Most people prefer home-grown tomatoes. Not only can you have great tasting tomatoes for salads, but you can make your own tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce and picante saucetoo.
Wild Game and Fish
Do you or your significant other like to hunt or fish? This is probably where I save the most money on my grocery bill! Now I know that not everyone wants to go out and shoot a deer, and that’s ok. I couldn’t do it, but if you have someone in your family that does hunt, the savings can be tremendous! You can spend a little or a lot on hunting, depending on what you do or how serious you get about it. Think about how much you spend on meat each year and it may be well worth it. I use deer meat, (venison), for all my hamburger and round steak. If it is processed well, there will be very little, if any wild taste and you can disguise that with spices. You can also hunt for turkey to use in place of chicken. Of course there is always wild hogs, quail, pheasant and duck and more. Most people like to fish, and we know fish is good for you. Go fishing, it is very relaxing and fun. Keep those fish you catch, clean them and put them in your freezer. I very rarely buy meat at the grocery store. I’m sure I save hundreds of dollars a year by buying very little meat, poultry and fish at the grocery store.
Rice and Pasta
Cook with rice and pasta. There are lots of good meals you can make with either of these foods. Both rice and pastas are very inexpensive and can really stretch your meals. I like to use the “cream of” soups with these types of dishes. You can find soups on sale quite often and there are usually coupons on soup too. These are great types of dishes to use your wild game with. You can cook things like regular spaghetti, chicken spaghetti, beef (deer) tips and rice, beef (deer) tips and noodles, chicken (turkey) alfredo, chicken (turkey) and rice, just to give you a few ideas.
Plan Your Meals
Plan your meals ahead of time and plan them around what you already have. Try new recipes and experiment a little. Try to use your left overs the next day. We waste so much food by throwing it out. If I leave my left overs in the fridge for more than 2 days, I don’t want to eat it and it will go in the trash. Try to use your left overs the next day. You can use them for sandwiches for tomorrows lunch or use them to make stew or a goulash. Pick one day a week for pot-luck night. Take all the left overs out of the fridge. Find the things that you only have small portions of, such as when you only have 1 chicken breast left or not enough franks for everyone and serve them up pot-luck style.
These are things that I actually integrate into my life style and not only have they saved me huge amounts on my grocery bill but we are also eating much healthier too! We are eating much less preservatives and wild game is very low in fat! I hope these tips have been helpful and I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it!
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