Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Less than $200 a month for groceries

Okay, so I went over in January.  But check out February and April!!!!
How do I do it?  I've been dreading this post.  I don't know why really, I just have my way of doing things and I've been too lazy to type it out, I guess!  BUT I've been asked several times how I manage groceries for a family of five and guests over for meals at least once a week and keep it under $200.  So instead of taking the time to reply to each of you individually, I'll list some of the ways I make this happen and maybe someone else out there can benefit! In no particular order, here we go:

1. Limit the coupon usage.  Use them BY ALL MEANS, however ONLY use them paired with a sale AND if you will use the item.  Sometimes you can get things nearly free when you remember this.  I don't like to take a lot of time coupon searching, but sometimes if I have a paper coupon, I take a moment to pop over to coupons.com and see if there's also one for the same item that I can print.  This is when you get super cheap food.   We always have about 15 boxes of cereal in our cabinet, but I never, ever pay more than $2 a box.  Preferably around $1.  Just hang on to those coupons until there's a good cereal sale!

2.  Learn to go with out.  No, not starve yourself.  But do you really need that fancy steak?  I was just wanting some good hamburger real bad last month, but I was out of it and every time I go to get some, I'd look at the price tag and put it back.  So I make due with ground turkey until there's a super duper sale on ground beef. (See #5 for more on meat).   Even then, I don't buy the ground turkey unless it's like buy 10 for $10, get the 11th free (Meijer frequently runs these kinds of sales and when they hit - it's STOCK UP TIME, BABY!!). Which leads me to number 3.

3. STOCK UP.  If there's a mega sale, and it's not a perishable item (obviously, most normal humans can't consume 20 bags of spinich in a week), buy alot.  And remember, always grab from the back, as they have longer expiration dates.  Older stuff gets shoved to the front.  Every great once in a while, Meijer will actually have four boxes of pasta for $1!!!  THIS, folks, is when you stock up.  Talk about eating on the cheap.  You can have enough to last you until the next good sale.

4. Never throw out leftovers.  Seems like that should GO WITHOUT SAYING!  But I can't believe the people I hear that say that don't do leftovers.  If you can't eat the same thing twice, make something new with it.  Ours either get eaten for lunch (yes, into the hubby's lunchbox for work even), made into something new, or frozen and pulled out at a later date! When people are at my house I often get this "you're going to save that small amount?!  It's not even a whole serving!"  When my kids want a snack, guess what I just might pull out?  They didn't eat it at supper, but they're hungry now.  Guess they'll be having the rest of their supper for a snack!  No, I don't buy them fancy little Go-gurts, crackers already spread with peanut butter.... yes, my children are highly deprived.

5.  Meat.  If I have to buy meat from the store (I usually just purchase a whole pig from Joe Brandt and have it made into what I want at the locker) I never, ever pay over  $1.89 a pound.  This goes for anything.  No exceptions.

6. Here is a food that's super duper cheap and if you're struggling with money, you need to take a look at:
Potatoes!!!  You can buy a huge bag of these for just a couple dollars and there are endless amounts of things to do with them.  We eat a lot of potatoes, not just because we like them, but they're cheap.  (Eggs is another one of these cheap foods you can do a lot with).
Potato Ideas:
-Cut up leftover ham and make scalloped potatoes and ham.  Hello, comfort food!!
-Potato Soup
-Baked potatoes
-Mashed (garlic, cheesy, etc.)
-Crunchy potatoes (My all time favorite....recipe coming soon)

7.  Buy frozen concentrate juice.  Stock up when there's a sale, and Old Orchard occasionally has printable coupons to boot.

8. Buy off brand.  Get off your high horse and try it.  Most of the time, there's not much difference.  My frugal friend Cilla once told me her that her kids would only eat Heinz 57 ketchup.  Sneaky Cilla, she would pour the cheaper brand into the Heinz bottle and her kids would never know the difference!  (They might tell you otherwise, the color was different and they were on to her!  But she'd get sneaky again and mix them together....)

Let me know how you do with your next grocery bill! :)  Happy Saving!!!!

New Giveaway from Design With Life happening until October 10!!  Click HERE to get entered!!!! 

10 comments:

  1. Wow, great job! You have some awesome tips, thank you!

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  2. Great tips! I see young families wasting so much food-espescially the children! I think to myself, they will never have any savings -these parents are setting such bad examples!I think God expects us to be good stewards of what he has given us. I don't think your children are deprived -I think you are raising them to be responsible.

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  3. That's like our biggest money loss every month is our groceries. We spend $100 easily on groceries a month. Maybe if we do a monthly post like yours to show how good our budget is, then we'll be more motivated to be cheaper about what we buy. =]

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  4. CrystalChristophersonSeptember 21, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    Per #6- we also eat a lot of spaghetti and pancakes. :)

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  5. Great tips for saving money on the grocery budget.

    Visiting from Today's Creative Blog. I've been perusing your blog - you have lots of great stuff. Following now. :)

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  6. Thanks for these tips! We are a family of 5 also. I do a few of your tips always. A few more I do sometimes. And the rest I only talk about doing. I need to print this out and put it somewhere to remind me to stick to a plan. I also tend to shop just one grocery store and not look at sale ads before. I just buy what is on my list whether on sale or not. I need a redo on our grocery budget! I hate how much we spend. Great post- very to the point and you have the numbers to back it up!

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  7. Oh Kammy, will you please come live with Greg and I for a month and get us in line! Lol! You were one of the features today!

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  8. Lots of helpful tips there..I've been taking notes for the past 2 months or so. I had your page opened in a tab all the time to check up on new entries and updates..my husband couldn't resist asking..'why do you open the same page everyday?' Thanks for all the inspirations!

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  9. I was going to do a spot like this, because we eat for less than 200 a month too...and then I read this, and....there is only two of us! Plus lots of company, but the post is a bit less of a wind fall lol...but then we are talking Canadian prices :P

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