Thursday, February 17, 2011

How I Stopped the Grocery Store From Taking All My Money!, Part 2

This post is part 2 of a 3 part series on saving money at the grocery store.  If you have not read Part 1, click here.  This is a series on what I have found works for me and is my own opinion that I wanted to share with my "groupies" so that you may find an idea or two that you can use!  Please read and leave comments of other ideas that you use...

For the past year I have read countless bloggers and how they have slashed their families grocery budgets. If there is one thing I have learned from this is that nobody has one cookie cutter way that works for everyone. You just need to find the way that works for you!

I have taken different ideas from different sources and have come up with my own grocery slashing tips that are working for me. So for the next few posts, I want to share these with you, my bloggy friends, to see if there are any tips you can use...

Cooking From Scratch:
To me, cooking from scratch is a key if you really want to save money.  This is one reason I stopped using as many coupons.  I found that most coupons were for processed or what I call convenient packaged food.  Most of these foods are filled with preservatives, hidden sugar, and fats.

I found that when I compared packaged food to what I could cook from scratch, even with coupons, the homemade cooking was much cheaper. 

An example of this is wheat bread.  Now let me start by saying that I like my family to eat healthy.  Wheat bread is much better for all of us but does cost more than white bread.  This is something that I do not like to slack up on! 

Normally wheat bread costs me around $2.50 a loaf.  I could occationally get it for around $1.00 with a coupon stacked with a sale.  Because the coupons were so infrequent, I would have to buy in bulk, freezing what we didn't eat.  This would take up freezer space that I could use for other things.  

I can make my own bread for less than a $1.00 a loaf whenever I need bread.  I also know what is in this bread because I grind my own wheat.  I now know how fresh my flour is and that it is not filled with preservatives.  I also know that fresh ground wheat is so much better for my families digestive health than store bought bread and boy does the house smell great while it's cooking!

With the use of the internet, I can find a recipe for just about anything and everything!  I have found that it doesn't take me any longer to cook a meal from scratch than loading everybody in the car, going to a restaurtant, ordering, and waiting on a meal!  It just requires a little thinking ahead.  Many times I cook a meal one day and use parts of it for multiple meals.  Click here for my favorite example with cheap dried beans.

Making Just About Everything:  I try to make most of my cleaning products.  This is not only cheaper, but in most cases in better for the enviornoment!  Things like lanudry degrentant and clorax wipes are simple to do and so much cheaper than just about anything you can buy. 

Now they do require a little more time, but if you are serious about saving money, the extra time shouldn't be a big deal.  Just think of it as the time you would spend looking for deals, driving to the store and waiting in line to check out.

Keeping the House Stocked: I work at always keeping things that we use on a regular basis stocked somewhere in our house! When I buy shampoo, I never buy one or two, but 10 or more. When I buy toilet paper, I buy a case at a time, or more if there is a sale.

A good example is when I buy Cetizian (generic Zertex). I buy the 120 count store brand. The drug store I use, has their store brand Cetizian at a buy-one-get-one-free.  I have enough points on their discount card that I get a 20% discount everytime I buy thier store brand items. For 240 tablets that should cost me ~$74.00, I only pay ~$26.00. That's a ~$48.00 savings! So when these go on sale, I always try to stock up. 

Always remember that if a store is out of the item you want, ask for a rain check! I have found that most stores don't mind this and they don't always put a "use by" date on them. This makes it easy to group with a good coupon!

I also keep a running grocery list on my ToMarket app on my Driod phone.  I work really hard at keeping the pantry stocked with most everything I use on a regular basis.  When I take something from the pantry, it goes on my shopping list.  This also helps me to see how much of certain items I am using between shopping trips. Knowing how much you are using between shopping trips allows you to know about how much each shopping trip will cost you.  This helps with monthly budgeting.

Check back next week to read part 3. I'll share more tips that I use to save on my grocery bill! If you have any tips that you use, fill free to share them.

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  1. I, too, strive to keep the house stocked with certain items (toilet paper is a good example), but you have to live in an area where you have room to store it! My lovelies in the big cities don't have that option- and even in the suburbs, I need to be careful about what I buy. We don't want to be living in a sea of canned goods and tissue boxes!

  2. I love this! First of all, I love eating authentic homecooked meals and I think we need it more. So much is processed these days.

  3. Following from Thirsty Thursday Blog Hop, you can follow back at :)

  4. Following you via Thirsty Thursday. Hope you will follow me too @

    BTW, I do cooking fron scrath and really it's a money saver with the most important option of feeding my family healthy meals.

  5. Those are great tips! I now bake all our bread and it is so much better for us plus saves a lot of money.

    I'm now following from the hop. I would love a visit back! Right now, I have some green giveaways going on at my blog, check them out at


  6. Thank you so much for the tips!

    I am a new follower from the weekend hop and I look forward to following your blog! I hope you have time to stop by!

  7. Thank you for this post....I love going into my pantry seeing what I have in there and making something new. newest follower via blog hop.


  8. Very good advice. I cannot believe I used to do all of this when I managed a restaurant...
    I started a small veggie garden last year and I have bigger plans for this year!
    I already follow so I just stopped by to say hello!


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