Friday, October 29, 2010

Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill

"The best things in life are free, for everything else there's coupons."

1. Cook from scratch-consistently. Convenience food may be tempting and some may even seem affordable, but the habit of cooking from scratch will save you money over the long run-and the results are nearly always better for your budget and your family.

2. Buy in bulk when it's cheaper, but always check unit prices. Don't be fooled into assuming that the biggest container is the best deal.  Do the math.

3. Try store brands. Some may be plainly inferior.  Some may be different from the national brands, but satisfactory.  Some are better.  How will you know if you don't try them?

4. Drink milk or water. Tap water, that is.  if your tap water tastes a little funny, get used to it.  If your tap water raises health concerns, then at least refill jugs of 30 cents/gallon rather than paying for a new bottle every time you're thirsty.

5. Buy produce in season-then purchase in abundance. We often get case lots from a wholesaler.  If I find a great deal at the grocery store, I buy as much as we can eat before it goes bad.

6. Shop the sales and plan your menu accordingly.  When you find a really great deal on meat, buy enough for a month's worth of meal, re-package it, and freeze it until use.

7. Maintain a healthy diet without going overboard on expensive health foods. Eat beans and bananas, not boneless skinless chicken breasts and organic strawberries.  Buy the special treats when they are in season and on sale, and then buy them sparingly.

8. Learn a new kitchen skill regularly. Make bread, yogurt or kefir, grow sprouts, roll your own tortillas.

9. Know your product. Sometimes meals aren't as cheap as you think-or something you think is expensive turns out to be cheaper than you thought.

10. My biggest and best tip: Use what you buy. There's nothing frugal about waste, even if you got a great deal up front.


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