I love using the fruits and vegetables I grow in my garden in new recipes. Not only is gardening fun, but it also saves money!
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 moneywhere 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 involved. 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 spreadsheet 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.
70 sq ft
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 gas 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 weekend, I comped some ground round at 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 homegrown tomatoes. Not only can you have great tasting tomatoes for salads, but you can make your own tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, and picante sauce too.
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, 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.
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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 leftovers the next day. We waste so much food by throwing it out. If I leave my leftovers in the fridge for more than two days, I don’t want to eat it and it will go in the trash. Try to use your leftovers 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 leftovers out of the fridge. Find the things that you only have small portions of, such as when you only have one 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 lifestyle. 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!
More About Better, Cheaper Food
- Tips on How to Grow a Vegetable Garden
Growing a vegetable garden is not as difficult a thing as many people make it out to be. My husband and I have grown a garden every year for the last 25 years. There are three basic things that are needed to grow a successful vegetable garden.
- Fast and Easy Venison Recipes
My husband enjoys hunting and I enjoy having the meat in the freezer. I like recipes that don't take a lot of time to prepare. I would like to share a few of my fast and easy venison recipes with you.
- 5 Best Vegetables to Grow in Your Garden
Fresh vegetables not only taste better but are also much better for you. Plant these easy to grow vegetables to eat healthier and save money on your grocery bill all year round.
Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on August 02, 2013:
Hi Patricia! It is always important to save money where you can and buying groceries has become so expensive! I clip coupons and buy in bulk, but my biggest money saver is on our meat. Luckily Johnny is a hunter and we rarely buy meat. I cook mostly deer venison in a variety of ways and we try to keep fish in the freezer as well. I cook a lot of chicken too, thank goodness it is still fairly cheap! I used to drive all over town to save money at different stores, but since Wal-Mart does their price ad matching, I don't waste the gas doing that anymore. (One good thing I can say about Wal-Mart.)
I'm glad you enjoyed my hub, thank you for stopping by! Have a wonderful day! :)
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on August 01, 2013:
Every penny that I can save is important to me. I am always looking for ways to save as it just makes 'cents'.
Even though I live alone I do a lot of cooking since my daughter lives close by and there are four of them. For that reason I often buy in bulk so that I have extra items on hand to share or to use. It winds up costing me less. I also do buy things at Family Dollar and Dollar General as I do stretch my dollars that way for sure
Thanks for sharing, Sheila.
Have a lovely day today
Angels are on the way ps
Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on March 23, 2013:
Hello Au fait! I have to admit the my largest savings comes from my garden and having deer meat in the freezer. I don't buy hamburger, round steak, or fish. I always have green beans, black-eyed peas, spinach/mustard greens, pickles, hot sauce, spaghetti sauce, stewed tomatoes, etc on hand. We have chickens too, but only for eggs. I am NOT plucking chickens! I still use coupons, but they can be tricky. I found myself buying things I didn't need or wouldn't end up using, just because I had a coupon. Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your comment and votes! Have a great day! :)
C E Clark from North Texas on March 23, 2013:
I used to be serious about couponing when I had to buy food for a family, and often got grocery items for free and sometimes even got the product free and cash back too! Now that there's just me I only use coupons occasionally. Lots of good suggestions here for saving money. Voting this up and useful.
Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on December 10, 2012:
Hi Stacy! There was a time when I quit couponing too. I was buying things that I didn't use. Now, I go through the sale ads and buy what I use when it is on sale and stock up. After I write down what I am going to buy, then I look for coupons on those items. I really save alot that way. I also plan out my meals, most of the time. About every 4-5 days, we have pot luck or goulash. That is how I can use most of my left overs. I know, I hate to throw away food. I can just see the children that are eating that awful looking white mush on tv. How they would love to have my left overs! Thanks for stopping in and leaving such a great comment! I always enjoy hearing from you! Have a wonderful day! :)
Stacy Harris from Hemet, Ca on December 10, 2012:
Great tips. When my husband and I decided that I was going to stay home with the kids, one of the things I got in my head was to get a subscription to the paper so I could collect coupons. What I realized, was I wasn't actually saving any money. In fact, I was spending more. I don't use coupons anymore, but I definitely make sure that I plan out meals. When I don't - I notice a lot more food goes to waste. And typically, when I prepare a meal, I only prepare enough for what we are going to eat. There is nothing worse than actually throwing out all the leftovers. Yesterday I cleaned out the fridge and you would be disgusted to see how much went to waste! Should have just thrown a 20 in the trash! Great hub and great tips!
Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on June 24, 2012:
Hello toomuchmint! We try to keep our freezer stocked with deer meat and fish, sometimes turkey. Fresh meat or fish is so much better for us that what we buy at the store that has who knows what added to it. I'm glad you like my hub. Thank you for your kind comment and vote, it is always appreciated. Have a wonderful day! :)
toomuchmint on June 24, 2012:
Great advice, Sheila. Hunting and fishing can be a great way to get fresh, organic meat without paying outrageous grocery store prices. Voted up and useful.