Saving on groceries

Cutting costs is like cutting calories - a little bit here and a little bit there will add up.  Just be faithful and make those cuts, even if it doesn't seem like much.  You will develop a mindset that becomes focused on reducing unnecessary costs, finding ways to save and repurpose and even, do without. 

These are just a few ideas to get you started on cost-cutting in the area of your grocery budget.  (You DO have a budget for groceries, don't you???)  What other suggestions do you have?


1.  Stock up when it's on sale. 
2.  Shop stores that match prices. Use the sale flyers to see what's on sale and then stock up!
3.  The pantry principle - plan menus based on what's in your pantry rather than running to the store to get what you need. Trips to the grocery store are to replenish what's been depleted...when the price is right.
4.  Be alert to deals in the store.  Take advantage of markdowns - buy meat that is about to expire and then freeze it.
5.  Reuse plastic bags!!!!!!!!
6.  If a recipe calls for 1 lb. ground beef, use 3/4.  You won't be able to tell the difference.
7.  How do you know if it's a good deal?  In her newsletter, The Tightwad Gazette, Amy Dacyzyn suggests making a price book.  Make a list of the items you commonly purchase for your family.  Over a few grocery trips or perusals of the sale flyers, note in your price book what a good price is for that item.  Take the price book with you and don't purchase those items unless they are at or below your best price.
8.  Don't buy convenience foods.  Make your own.  Seriously.
9.  Drink water.  And refill water bottles instead of purchasing them.
10. Use your crock pot.  It turns less tender - and less expensive -- cuts of beef into delicious meals.  Saves time and keeps you from resorting to UNfrugal fast food, too!
11.  Use your freezer.  Not only to stock up on sale items but especially to prepare meals in advance.  If you are always prepared, you can serve others more easily, avoid the "what's for dinner" frenzy, and prevent expensive trips through the drive-through.
12.  Serve oatmeal for breakfast instead of more expensive cold cereal.  Don't whine to me that your kids don't like oatmeal.
13.  When bananas get too mushy for a snack, swirl them in a blender with milk and peanut butter and serve "monkey milk" as breakfast.
14.  Make friends with the butcher at your grocery store.  Might provide some inside information about what's about to be on sale or let you have first pick of what's about to expire.
15.  Lots of folks make use of coupons.  I have gotten a lot of help from a website called "Southern Savers."  Give it a try.
16.  Wal Mart matches advertised prices  Saves me from going to 4 different stores.  And, if you live in the Athens GA area, the eastside WM matches the Publix BOGO the WM price.
17.  Don't throw food away.  Eat leftovers (we call it "CORD" at our house -- "Clean out refrigerator day") or be creative in repurposing -- smoothies, fried apples, soup, casseroles, muffins, etc.

Here's a great resource for you - Eating Healthy for $50 a Week" by Rhonda Barfield. And The TIghtwad Gazette by Amy Dacyzyn. 

What are some of your frugal grocery tips?  I am always looking for more!