Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How to save money on your food bill

How to save money on your food bill each month

I have been asked by Sarah to post each week on how to stretch your buck further and be frugal. Although I am a couponer, I am here to talk about ways to help you save besides just couponing. A lot of you coupon, while some of you readers don't. I am here to give suggestions to help you save more. Some of the things I say each week, may or may not work for you individually. See what will work for you and try to apply it. This week I am giving suggestions on ways to save money on your food bill each month.

Obviously, my dear readers, there is couponing. I imagine that most of you who are reading this do indeed use coupons. Coupons do save you a lot of money each week, but there are other ways to help you save too. Some of you don't have time to coupon but still want to save money...while some of you coupon and still want to save more! Either way, these are great ways to help you save more!

The most important thing you can do is never go to the grocery store hungry. Make sure to eat before you head over to the grocery store. When you are hungry, EVERYTHING in the store looks good (especially those oreos and chips). Those treats and snacks are so expensive and will add so much to your grocery bill. When you go to the store when you are not hungry, you will have an easier time sticking to your grocery list.

This brings me to my next point. Make a grocery list. Hopefully you have been stocking up on items when they are on sale and you have a coupon. Even the die hard couponers STILL need to go to the grocery store for items they need that week such as bread, produce, cheese, eggs, etc. Make a list of what you want to make for each dinner that week. Plan your meals around what is on sale that week. If you see that chuck roast is on sale that week, then plan a meal with chuck roast in it. Never, and I mean NEVER pay full price for your meat (like I talked about two weeks ago). When you plan your grocery list, only list your essentials that you need. I am sorry, but fruit snacks and pringles are not essentials. Only buy what you need to make your meals. Do not deviate from your list. It has taken me a long time to do this, but I do not buy anything off my list anymore (unless it is something that is on sale and I have a coupon and I know I will need it eventually...but all of us couponers do that).

Next, stop buying pre packaged food. Try to make your dinners from scratch. I understand that most of you are extremely busy and do not have the time or means to make everything from scratch. However, if you can, try to. I make everything from scratch. I do not buy boxed potatoes, or frozen dinners. I am not saying at all that I am above you, it's just what I try to do for my family. I make everything from scratch not only to save money, but to eat healthier. When I make it from scratch, I know exactly what ingredients are in my meal. It is so easy to make a batch of waffles one day and throw them in the freezer. You can make so many homemade waffles for the same price as frozen waffles from the store. You will save so much money if you plan in advanced and make your food from scratch. Obviously, if you are getting the prepackaged meals and sides for free, they are so great. Just don't go out and pay full price for them. Prepackaged food does save a lot of time in cooking, but I will talk in a couple weeks on how to help with that. So stay tuned!

When you need to purchase an item and it is not on sale and you don't have a coupon then buy in bulk. I save so much money when I buy the larger size container. Even though it is more money upfront, you save so much money. It is so much cheaper for me to buy a 25 pound bag of flour rather than a 5 pound bag every month. See if you have any stores around you that sale items in bulk sections. We have a Winco here, and there you can buy almost everything in bulk. I can buy as little or much as I want on so many items. It costs me about $0.10-$0.20 to fill up my spice containers with their bulk spices. When you buy in bulk or buy economy size items, you save so much money.

It is amazing how these few simple steps cut my grocery bill down significantly. Everybody is looking to decrease their food bill, and if you follow those simple steps, you will be amazed at your savings. Soon I will start posts on how to help you cook from scratch for those who don't have much time to.

Next Wednesday I will be sharing something really neat that I have been making to organize up my pantry. The best thing is that it is make sure to come check it out next Wednesday!

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