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Another 10 Things

08 Feb


10 Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Dollars

  1. Buy produce in season and can or freeze your own for the year. Or even better yet, grow your own garden and put away your vegetables and fruits for the coming year. Local farmer’s markets, and local growers are a great source to purchase fresh produce, if you don’t have the space to grow your own.

  2. Shop the sales. I can’t stress this one enough. This is the best way to build up your food supply and actually save a whole lot of money. Look through your fliers each week, and when you find something that is a great deal, buy several of them. Don’t just buy one or two cans, especially if you know that it is something that you use often, because two weeks from now you will just have to buy another one at full price. Buy a case of them or two, then you know you will make it without buying that item again until it is on sale again. After you do this for a few months, you will amazed at how quickly your shelves will fill at home, and then pretty soon you will find you only shop for things when they are on sale.

  3. Buy and cook in bulk. Take advantage of bulk shopping. If you participate in bulk buying clubs, it can save you money. Buy items by the case lots. For example, don’t spend $6 on a small bag of rice, when you can purchase a 25lb box for $8. It just makes sense to purchase food this way. Cooking in bulk and freezing or dehydrating meals, can also save money and make life easier as well.

  4. Save on protein foods. There are a lot of meat substitutes that are way less expensive than always eating meat. Beans and legumes are the most common ones and are readily available almost anywhere. There are also things like eggs, tofu, textured vegetable protein, wheat meat, and grains. If you will substitute any of these for meat at least a few times a week, you will find that you will save money on your meat bill.

  5. Go generic. Most often buying generic brand products will save you money too. Yes, there are certain things that the “brand” might make a difference in the taste, however for most things, a generic or store specific brand is just as good and over the long run, they will save you a ton of money. Often companies will purchase brand name products and simply put their own labels on it.

  6. Make things from scratch. If an item is on a great sale, then by all means by a whole whack of them, but if you are buying a package of “Hamburger Helper” for example, when you could make it at home for 1/8 of the price, then it just makes sense to make it yourself. Another example is cake mixes or ready made cookies and things like this. They all cost far more to purchase them ready made than to make from scratch. Find your favorite scratch recipes and keep them in a binder where it is easy to find the recipes and then you will save both time and money, and nutrition – to avoid the preservatives and chemicals.

  7. Waste Not. Before you are filling up your shopping cart with perishables, go through the process of knowing how you will use these things. Americans / Canadians generate approximately 30 million tons of food waste each year. Food wasted, is money wasted. Take note on these things and how you can stop the waste of money and food in your home. Also as you are making meals, learn how to be creative with leftovers. Make sandwiches, soups, casseroles, etc.

  8. Plant a Garden. I mentioned this briefly in #1. There are so many benefits that go far beyond the fact of saving money, when you plant your own garden. There is nothing better than fresh produce from you own garden. There is nothing better than getting your hands and feet dirty and communicating with the Earth. I always feel this is my best therapy. If you don’t have space for a garden, try growing things in containers. There is a whole lot of information you can find on this, out there on the internet. Plus don’t forget the fact that you can freeze, can, or dehydrate your own preservative free, healthy foods.

  9. Make a menu plan. Make a menu plan for the week or month, then go through your recipes and write out a grocery list. Stick to the list! Too often we go shopping and the biggest problem is our impulse buying. We walk down an isle and something looks good so in the cart it goes. We don’t have a list or any idea of what we really need, so we just fill up the cart. This is the worst thing that we could do. We waste so much money this way, and often end up spending more than we had planned. And to top it off we have no idea why we have purchased half of the stuff in our cart.

  10. Don’t go shopping hungry. Never go grocery shopping when you are hungry or craving something. This is shopping suicide. You will impulse shop, spend way too much money, and get home to find that you have nothing of any nutritional value in your cart and nothing that will last for any length of time. You will then have to go shopping again too soon to get the things that you never got the first time around.

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