Are you looking for ways to save money? Are you saving for a vacation, the birth of a child, a wedding, money to travel, the list of reasons why we need to save money seems never ending. Right now my husband and I are certainly in this same boat. We are looking to make some HUGE life changes (more to come one that in the near future ;)). These changes have really pushed us to scrape and save like we never have. Lets just say I have become pretty creative in the last 3 months! Here are 5 WAYS WE HAVE SAVED MONEY ON OUR GROCERY BILL:
- STOP SHOPPING AT EXPENSIVE GROCERY STORES. You are probably thinking well, of course, and wondering what I mean by this? I am talking about stores like Meijer, Kroger, D&W, Pebles; these are all well know grocery stores in our area. The ones that have all the fixings as I like to refer to them. The stores with the deli, coffee shop, cheese shop, susi stand, bakery… These stores have a TON of employees and they have to cover the pay for these employees too! We do 99% of our shopping at stores like ALDI, I LOVE this place! I might have to bring my own bags, bring my cart back up to the building, and the stores are smaller but since they are able to run to efficiently YOU save money too! The best thing about stores like this, they pass on the savings to YOU without sacrificing quality.
- MEAL PLAN. Now I do not mean that you have to sit and spend hours looking for tons of fancy recipes and filling in a super organized calendar. Let me tell you, no one has that kind of time and there is no way that you will be able to stick to that plan. I simply choose around 5-10 dinners per month. I do not choose certain days to have everything, things come up! I try to choose meals that are easy to make, and that will go a long ways and leave us with left overs. I fill in the rest of our nights with leftovers. You really can get away with only 10 meals a month if you plan it right. I promise!
- BUY LIKE ITEMS AND ITEMS THAT ARE FLEXIBLE. When I meal plan I try and choose meals that do not require a ton of different ingredients and I can only use for that dish. I also choose meals that I can by ingredients in bulk and use for more than one or two meals. I will write a more detailed post on this. But for example I will choose at least 3 meals that include potatoes because you save so much with you buy the big bag, but of they go bad before you eat them, you are just throwing away money. If I plan enough meals to be sure I use them all then I can buy in bulk and not be wasteful and I have enough for 3 of my 10 meals with just one item!
- LEARN ABOUT THE DIFFERENT CUTS OF MEAT AND TEACH YOURSELF HOW TO BUTCHER IT! I wont lie, this sounds a little daring, but it’s really not that bad, trust me. This method also saves you so much money. I bought fresh chicken breasts for .82 cents/lb the other day. I was able to get such a good deal because I bought them as a Chicken Split, all this means is that the breast meat has not been skinned and de-boned. This sounds like a task but it really only takes 3 Easy Steps: Cut chicken from rib cage bones, pull out small attached bone at the top, pull the skin off. You are left with not only the chicken breast for the tenderloin as well, 2 for the price of one! SCORE! This works with pork, ham, and beef as well. I bought a 5lb ham for $4.29 the other day because it was not spiral cut and still had the bone, again a little work on my part but it saves so much money!
- USE EVERYTHING YOU BUY. Again, you are probably thinking of course! But, do you actually do this? When you cut celery do you cut off the “butt end” and throw it away? Do you throw away your chicken, ham, or beef bones? How about the skin, do you throw that away too? DON’T DO IT! USE IT! Last time I bought chicken splits I cut the breast off then took the bones and skin, the “butt end” of some celery I saved from another meal, salt, pepper, and some water. I threw them all in the Crock Pot and in 2 hours I had chicken broth to use in soup and many other meals. I didn’t throw anything away without using it and I saved the $3.95 I would have spent on Chicken Stock.
There are so many ways you can find to save a little money, it just takes a little creativity. Stay tuned, I will go into more detail in my next post about how to buy Flexible foods and how to put together a meal plan, that won’t take you all day to make. Also, if you missed my previous post to learn how we spend only $150/ month on groceries! https://ourlittlewhitehouseblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/13/how-we-spend-only-150-month-on-groceries/