How to Be Frugal This Friday

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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.

Shop Smart

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.

Stock Up

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!

Comments

Jordan says:

Hi I like your idea of your Frugal Fridays and I’ll participate. Americas cheapest family is making a comeback on the web and I’ve read that they shop once a month!

You have great tips on grocery shopping. My deal is to cook and eat vegetarian at home (unless I’m BBQ’ing in the summer) and when dining out anything goes if I’m so inclined.

The minute I walk in the door from the market I start cooking up all the vegetables and refrigerate them. They last longer that way. I’m very forgetful and have wasted a lot of meat and veggies if I don’t tackle them immediately but that’s just me.

Michelle says:

Thanks Jordan!

We eat a lot of fruits and veggies, but I am simply astounded at all that goes to waste. I’ll try your idea!

I also appreciate the other tips you shared.

Have a great frugal Friday.

HEY–I found gasoline for $2.99 a gallon! YIPEE!

[…] Last week, I posted about how planning before your grocery visit can save you money on your food budget.  There are also ways to stretch your budget by preparing your food and using leftovers wisely. […]

Robert says:

The stocking up idea is one I know I should make better use of to save some money. There are great bulk deals at places like Sam’s Club, but it is hard to walk out without spending a couple of hundred dollars. I’ll give your ideas a shot. Thanks for the tips.

Hi Robert!

I’m not a fan of Sam’s Club just for the reason you mention! Also, it’s hard to find the place to store all the bulk items in our house AND, I notice that the kids eat more stuff if there’s more to eat. Hmmmm…

Let me know how it all works out for you!

[…] do.  It is possible however.  One way you can save money almost effortlessly is by changing your shopping day and the time you […]

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