I’d like to begin a series starting this Friday on frugality. Every Friday, I’ll be blogging about being frugal. If you have any ideas you’d love to share or topics you want me to cover, please post!
It’s no secret that many families need to economize and down size in today’s uncertain economic times. Part of economizing is taking a look at all of your expenditures and deciding how you can cut costs. In our family of 7, food costs account for a large portion of our expenses.
I began to take a look at our grocery bill to see if I could cut down on our expenses in a painless way. I am happy to report that I have found some easy and painless ways to save money on your grocery bill.
Plan Your Menu Wisely
Plan your weekly menu around the items that are on sale. Perhaps you can get the circular in the mail, or you may need to look up the sales online. Most stores have a website where you can find bargains.
Find Frugal Recipes
I cook using simple recipes with only a few ingredients. Not only does this save time, but it saves money as well. Casseroles are your best bet for inexpensive meal ideas. Many of these recipes can be found on the internet, or in your local library. Making soups is also a good way to stretch your budget and use up leftovers at the same time.
Find a grocery store that has the best overall deals. I know many people who like to shop at several different stores to find the best bargains though. Remember that factor in your time and also fuel expenses when you decide to shop in several different stores. For example, if it takes you ½ hour to drive to another store and several dollars worth of gas, the “bargain” that was advertised at that store might not be much of a bargain.
My husband is retired military and we can shop at the military grocery store. I can save a lot of money shopping there, especially on meat. However, the store is over ½ hour away and I use at least a ¼ tank of gas to get to the store and back. To make the trips worth my while, I shop infrequently and purchase a large amount of groceries to stock up when I do go. Since our neighbor is also in the military, his wife and I will go together to shop. This way, we save on traveling expenses.
I know many people who use coupons to shop. I am not one of them. I do have a super shopper card that I use at the grocery store to save money on items and I also buy mostly store brand products. If you purchase mostly name brand products, coupons may help you to save money if you are organized.
Some stores will also honor bargains from other stores. Make sure to bring the sale’s circular with you and to tell the cashier that you wish to take advantage of their sales offers. Walmart is one store which has this sort of policy. It may be a good thing to ask if your favorite grocery store also has such a policy.
When an item that you regularly use is on sale, consider buying extra of that particular item if you can afford to do so. Our store regularly has “Dollar Days” where you can purchase items for $1. I will stock up on items that we regularly use such as tomato sauce and certain mixes.
Keep in mind that not all items are a bargain with the $1 price tag. For example, I saw recently that barbeque sauce was on the Dollar Day list. I had seen the same item on sale a few weeks early for 89 cents!
Adopting a frugal lifestyle can be an overwhelming prospect. If you are just jumping on the frugal bandwagon now, take it slow. Begin by picking one area where you would like to start and work on that one area until you have it under control. Then, you can begin to work on another area.
Here’s to frugality!