Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Saving money on Groceries...any ideas?


Our family is struggling. Groceries and Gas are really the only things we have "wiggle" room on...The price(s) of fresh fruits and veggies are so high here, even at Wal-Mart, where I do most of my shopping. Does anyone have tried and true ideas for saving? Our family, every year (with tax refund) buys a whole beef and puts in the freezer. We want to have a garden, but start up expense is so high, we have no tiller. I guess I am just wondering what every body else is doing when buying groceries. We are a family of four with two teenagers, a boy and a girl. Any ideas appreciated. I am trying (with beef in freezer) to only spend $100/week, that includes all groceries, paper-goods, med. cab. things, etc. Help.

1 comment:

Mandy said...

I can totally sympathize! When we moved from two incomes to one income, we worked hard on reducing our spending. Here are a few things we did:

1) Visit online money saving blogs like They give you all sorts of deals on sales at grocery stores. If you have access to coupons this is very helpful b/c you don't waste all the time figuring out the deals yourself. And name brand things usually are cheaper than Walmart brand. The web sites also have tons of money saving ideas in general.
2) We bought in-season fruit and veggies at good prices ($1 a pound is what I aim for) and then canned or froze them. Fruit can be canned in a water bath so you don't need any fancy canner. If you lay the freezer bags flat when freezing, they take up a lot less space.
3) Make as much from scratch as possible. This is always nice in theory but if you work, you may not have the time. Some working people do once-a-month cooking. I usually just pick the things that are easy and a lot cheaper homemade (like my own cake mixes but not my own spaghetti).
4) We got old pickle buckets free from a local restaurant. We drilled holes in the bottom, filled with some rocks and dirt/potting soil and planted veggies that way. You just need to buy a small thing of fertilizer (or if you have access to compost that works) to feed them every few weeks. Again, go for things you eat a lot of, can be expensive out of season, are easy to store (can, freeze, dry) and easy to grow. Tomatoes (for spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, etc), peas, green beans, and herbs are usually pretty easy and all store well.
5) Freecycle and craigslist - not really for food but for getting things free or cheap. I've gotten all sorts of things this way (stainless steel microwave, snowblower, kid's clothes, vegetable plants) all free from freecycle. I live in a small town and we have one. I also use the one in the city sense my husband goes there every day.

Hope that helps! I am always looking for ways to reduce in any way I can. Some work (got rid of clothes dryer to lower electricity bill) others don't (a big flop for homemade laundry and dishwashing liquid). Good luck!