It’s easy to learn how to save money on groceries! These easy tips show you painless ways to easily save hundreds of dollars a month on your food bill!
How To Save Money On Groceries
If I said I would give you $150 extra a month to help you pay off your credit cards, lose weight and help your family become healthier, would you accept it? Does it sound too good to be true? The average American family spends 1/4-1/3 of their monthly grocery bill on things to drink but can’t find any extra money to pay off their credit cards. It’s really not that hard to learn how to save money on groceries. In this post, we’ll look at just one way to do it, but there are lots more!
Do you buy sodas, coffee, tea, juice and milk, plus all the things that go into these drinks like creamer, flavorings and sugar? Do you grab a glass of soda, juice or milk instead of a cold glass of water? You may even argue that juice and milk are good for your children.
We all know that fertilizer (food for you grass) is good for your lawn, but too much fertilizer will kill it and if you don’t water it, it will die. I’m beginning to wonder if most of us are more concerned about making sure our yards are watered than our children. Of course they need some milk but like everything else do it in moderation.
Here are few tips to cut the costs of the drinks in your home, save money on groceries and find some extra money to pay off your credit cards:
- Find out how much milk is actually needed for your child. The USDA recommends that children under 5 get three to four servings of dairy per day. That is 2 cups of milk OR one serving equals one slice of cheese OR ½ container of yogurt. Don’t forget milk added to cereal.
- Juice is just sugar water. Eat the whole fruit instead and give one glass of juice as a treat for breakfast or snack.
- Limit the number of glasses of milk or juice given a day. After the allotted amount they get nothing else but water. If they are used to drinking it for meals, either give them one glass (1/2 cup) and when it’s gone they drink water or have them drink water first and then milk after they finish their meal.
- Use small juice glasses. They give the appearance of more.
- Don’t fill their sippy cups with juice or milk. Give them water instead.
- If you put some milk in a cup and they don’t drink it all, put it in the fridge until later.
- Limit sodas to a treat once or twice a week.
- Don’t dilute your juice with extra water. Not only does this not taste very good but by “stretching” the juice you teach your kids bad eating habits by giving into their demands for juice instead of giving them water.
- Keep water in the fridge. After water has set, the chlorine evaporates and the water also tastes better cold.
- Add a small amount of lemon juice to your water if you don’t like the taste.
- Be careful to shop wisely. Sometimes buying name brand flavored or specialty coffees on sale costs less than making your own.
- Use powdered milk instead of creamer in coffee or tea or try mixing your creamer half and half with dry milk.
- After making coffee save the coffee filter and the coffee grounds in the maker. Add your coffee for the next day on top of the old grounds. This way you can use each filter 2 or 3 times. Buy a reusable coffee filter. They last for years.
- If you run out of coffee filters, use a paper towel until you can get to the store to buy more.
- You don’t always have to make a full pot of coffee. Just make one or 2 cups at time.
- Save extra coffee in a thermos instead of making a new batch or buy a smaller coffee maker.
- To make flavored tea, add a package of flavored drink mix to each pot of tea.
- For leftover soda – Combine 2 cups of flat soda with 1 package of unflavored or same flavored gelatin to make a rich flavored gelatin. This is particularly good with root beer, orange and grape sodas.
Here are some easy recipes for drink treats to help you save money on groceries:
Easy Orange Julius Recipe – Creamy Orange Smoothie
This easy Orange Julius recipe makes a creamy orange smoothie that tastes just like the ones at the mall. Starting with orange juice and ice cream, it makes a perfectly refreshing cool treat for warm summer days!
- Yield: 4 servings
1/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup milk
5-6 ice cubes
1/4 cup sugar
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup water (optional)
- Combine all of the ingredients in blender until smooth.
- Pour into a glass and enjoy!
This Orange Julius recipe can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. Serves 4.
If you like, you can add other things like strawberries, banana, pineapple or coconut. If a smoothie-type ingredient sounds good to you, you can probably add it!
For Dairy Free:
If you’re dairy free, you can substitute coconut milk for the milk and vanilla coconut milk ice cream in place of the ice cream.
You can use Coconut Silk, but it will result in a thinner smoothie. It is better to use coconut milk in a can, if possible, because it has a thicker consistency and will more resemble a smoothie or shake.
Easy Cafe Vienna Recipe
This easy Cafe Vienna recipe is a delicious homemade specialty coffee. Creamy like a mocha but with a cinnamon orange flavor, it is sure to please the coffee lover in your family.
1/2 cup instant coffee
2/3 tsp. cinnamon
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. dried orange peel
2/3 cup nonfat dry milk (optional)
- Stir ingredients together.
- Process in a blender until powdered.
- Store in a jar or container. Makes 1 1/3 cups mix.
Easy Swiss Mocha Recipe
Save money with this easy Swiss Mocha recipe! It’s a less expensive way to enjoy this tasty treat and works well as a jar mix that you can give as a gift!
1/2 cup instant coffee
2 Tbsp. cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 cup nonfat dry milk
- Stir ingredients together.
- Process in a blender until powdered.
- Store in a jar or other container. Makes 2 cups mix.
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Those are some great ideas. thanks
Do you have a copycat recipe for orange cappuccino? I’ve tried a couple that I found but they didn’t taste the same.
Here is the link to our post for cappuccinos. There are a couple of orange ones in them. The orange spice one you could try and leave out the cinnamon if you want and there is another orange farther down the page. One thing on any of the recipes you can adapt them to your taste if you need too and you might try getting some orange syrup or flavoring to add to them.
Ruth E. Brown
We do drink a lot of milk at our house. But we have dairy goats. We make a lot of cheese too. Saves a lot on our grocery bill.
We have to learn to buy groceries on the “offense” not the “defense” as most people do. when you buy on the offense you purchase in bulk when prices are lower instead of being at the mercy of the prices offered when you NEED to buy something. We have been accustomed in this country to just wait and buy only when necessary assuming that items will be available and will be affordable.
Our economy has changed for us and in order to survive we have to think “ahead of the game”. Yesterday I purchased underwear for my husband at a good price….I put it away as he doesn’t need it right now but I know that with the rise of cotton prices it will be more expensive a year from now. I also purchased coffee in bulk as coffee prices are going up.
If you buy basic staples in bulk you can make many things from scratch and over a period of a few months your grocery bill will become greatly reduced.
This also applies to toiletries and cleaning products as well….just check expiration dates carefully and purchase the newest items on the shelves.
Tawra buys in bulk often. I keep some things on hand but there are a few exceptions to every rule of course and part of the reason I don’t buy in bulk is I move so often it isn’t worth moving plus I can’t use the things up before the expiration date even when it is 3-4 years ahead. Then there are things like if Tawra had bought Mike a bunch of new underwear he has lost a lot of weight and they wouldn’t fit him now.
I’m not saying it isn’t advisable to do bulk (right now I am dehydrating a 20 year supply of apples it feels like and am going this week to add to my long term storage of canned goods) but be sure to look at your life and make sure you don’t just get all excited, go buy a bunch of things and then find they go to waste or you can’t use them.
Great advice Jill.
I am a 67 year old single female in Australia. I bought a chest freezer recently, and am now questioning whether I actually needed it at all. It’s never full and costs to run it. I have a two door fridge freezer. The upper part now seems adequate once I cut back on food. I have also addressed portion sizes thanks to you. I have put on 20 to 30 lbs over the last few years. Portion size IS DEFINITELY THE CULPRIT.
Thanks for all your info.
Oh thank you Sharon for taking to the time to let me know. I am so glad it is helping. I do agree portion size is the culprit. If people would just look they would see that the one base factor in all diets is you have to watch and control portion sizes. If you do that with eating regular food you would have the same results. But I know I am preaching to to choir LOL but I get so frustrated sometimes that so many can’t see that and spend so much on special diets and foods.
I’d like to add a few comments to the great advice about saving money on groceries above.
“Don’t fill their sippy cups with juice or milk. Give them water instead.”
Putting juice, milk or soda in sippy cups leads DIRECTLY to tooth decay. Doctors call it ‘Baby Bottle Mouth.’
“Don’t dilute your juice with extra water.”
If you are really a juice family (adults, too) there are some brands that are so strong and sweet that they can bear dilution. Many 100% juices use apple or white grape juice as sweeteners, and they are too sweet for a lot of people.
“Add a small amount of lemon juice to your water if you don’t like the taste.”
I have found that a TINY pinch of baking soda sometimes helps improve the taste of water. Look at the labels of bottled water. Many read ‘minerals added to enhance taste.’ I found out that one of those minerals was baking soda.
“Use powdered milk instead of creamer in coffee or tea or try mixing your creamer half and half with dry milk.”
Many frugal sites suggest the use of powdered milk, but where I live, it is more expensive than cold milk from the fridge. Check the prices, don’t assume it is cheaper where you live than for others across the country.
“After making coffee save the coffee filter and the coffee grounds in the maker. Add your coffee for the next day on top of the old grounds. This way you can use each filter 2 or 3 times.”
In certain parts (hot areas) you learn quickly not to leave coffee in the filter/machine overnight. It molds! Maybe keep used grounds in the fridge?
Thanks for the great tips. I think some things may differ by region, and wanted to share some of this info.
I’m not a fan of cutting milk to save money on groceries. It’s foolish, if you ask me. I have a couple of older cookbooks in my collection, and back then, it was recommended that children drink a quart of milk per day and adults drink a pint. That’s a lot of milk! Of course, it was fresh and unpasteurized back then, and more nutritious, but I believe it’s still very hard to beat milk as a food source.
Milk is a good food source but you can get calcium etc. from many other sources too and milk is very high in calories. Part of the obesity problem in the US is that parents are of the mind if a little is good a lot is even better so they are filling their children with “healthy” calorie laden drinks – juice, milk etc. way more then they really need with the idea if it is healthy you can drink or eat as much as you want. I saw a thing recently where people were asked if healthy or organic food had less calories and most said yes and some even believed organic food had no calories!! We have really got to stop being brain washed by these things and do the “numbers – calories” and figure for ourselves.
As far as milk back then being fresh and more nutritious that is another major falsehood people have fallen for. During World War II when the soldiers were enlisting they found huge numbers of down home farm boys were malnourished so in order to help them they started fortifying things like cereal and milk. That is why people of my parents age and my generation have lived longer then their parents before them because they were feed this “horrible” food which this generation has started hollering about. Our main problem is we took a good thing and over indulged and decided like I said if a little is good even more is better so now we are having problems with diabetes, obesity etc.
It isn’t the food it is our attitude and the way we use it that is a problem. I heard the other day of a man who went on a Twinkie diet and ate nothing but 1500 calories of Twinkies a day. He lost 50 lbs, his cholesterol and blood pressure when way down and his doctor said he had never been healthier. See it wasn’t the food but the amount and the calories which was the problem. I would find this story hard to believe but when I say I check things out for myself I really do. I did a similar type of thing and once for 6 months I went on an extremely healthy diet and I gained weight, my cholesterol and blood pressure went up. Even though he had the numbers my doctor couldn’t believe it.
I just caught a bit from the end of the article where you mention that your health problems increased when you began to eat healthier. This is due to your body shedding all of the toxins accumulated from years of eating the wrong things. It can take some people a year or more to go through this detox process. It goes much quicker if you have the assistance of a skilled naturopthic physician (which I am not, but my own mother was) Please do not give up on healthy foods. The man who ate the twinkie diet may not feel the effects of eating virtual poison now, but his body will record that and it will come back to haunt him.
Thanks Jen for the info. We have looked into that as a matter of fact Tawra is working with a naturopthic physician now and doing all of that. When I mentioned things got worse it wasn’t the toxins it was the fact I started gaining weight and my cholesterol started going way high. Controlling my cholesterol by my diet just didn’t work for me. Of course I sometimes think I have a very weird body for example I drink coffee to help put me to sleep not wake me up.
I have a child who had ADHD & caffeine allows him to go to sleep. The stimulant actually calms him.
Lesha thank you for your post. For years people have said I was crazy and now I can say I’m not. I don’t have ADHA or anything but coffee always not only relaxes me but can put me to sleep. If I can’t sleep in the middle of the night I get up and fix me a cup of coffee and I am out like a light. My grandson too has loved coffee since he was barely a year old. He would beg for my coffee cup (I was the only one who drank it in my family)and I would let him drink it. I noticed that he seemed to calm down and relax when he drank it and have tried to convince his folks that it relaxed him too but they thought I was crazy because “they” all say it gives you energy but it sure doesn’t for my grandson and I.
Kinda funny about coffee relaxing you. If I drink even a SIP of coffee or any caffeine drink after noon, I am up all night. Soooo, guess what I drink the rest of the day….WATER! ;)
Thanks for all you do.
When buying hambuger what percentage of fat do you think is the best buy? I don’t want to buy ground beef that ends up being mostly grease when it’s browned, but I don’t like it to be dry either.
Barb I think it is just a personal choice and really just a matter of experiment with a few different % to get what you like. Me, I don’t worry about it too much one way or the other. I know I will have everyone down on my head for this but I just buy what is on sale.
At one point years ago I did all of this figuring and calculating on which was the best buy price wise – hamburger with more or less fat and price wise I could tell a major difference. I am like you I don’t like my meat to be dry because the fat is what gives it the flavor and it is easy to cook and work with.
I do usually buy mine at Dillons and am happy with most of what I get there.
I purchase the 80% because it is ground from scraps of the sides that are butchered locally. The 90% comes in bulk ground tubes and there is no guessing how many cows went into your package. This, from the meat cutter himself. I drain the fried meat in a colander and fitted mixing bowl. The fat goes outside for the birds. The cost is about the same per pound after cooking. I do save money on groceries by checking the “frozen for quick sale” case and stocking up.
When it comes to ground beef, I save money on groceries buying the ground round or ground sirloin. 2 reasons: 1- I need less because it does not shrink down due to the water and fat content. Because I use less i save money or can get 2-3 meals out of it. Not to mention I don’t have to drain all that fat which to me is messy, less water, less waste , less time cleaning up. 2- it isn’t that pink slime and I don’t like those mystery kernels in my meat. Plus all the ammonia, ecoli worry. Anywho that’s what I buy:)
UGH, those “mystery kernels” GROSS ME OUT. :::shiver:: And I am always the one that find one in my meal. Husband doesn’t even notice or care if he eats them. Sometimes it can turn my stomach to where I have to stop eating.
I use the 80% then use the drippings to flavor my beans (throw them in the crock pot with 3 lbs washed beans, 1/2 chopped onion, salt, pepper, and cumin — cook overnight).
Barb with ground beef I usually buy a package of the extra lean or lean and mix it with the regular. depending on the colour of the regular I just judge how much of the more expensive to add to it.
I don’t buy reg. very often since when I make the burger the size of the bun I hate to have it shrink so much it looks like an afghan square on a double bed. I like a bit of meat with my burgers.
Was at the store last night and their blade steaks were a decent price except for one thing. There was more fat than meat. I like the fat for flavour but these were way too much flavour.
I am not a coffee drinker but noticed one time that a friend did not empty out the grounds but added a tablespoon of coffee to the already used grounds. I ask why they did this and they said it streched the coffee and you could not taste the differance. I didnt ask how often they really cleaned out the grounds but surley they did at some point!!!
I do this same thing Stefanie with my coffee too. I get compliments on my coffee all the time. I change the filter every other day or so depending on how often I use it or it gets full. I once read the more the coffee is filtered the better it taste. I wonder if filtering it through so many grounds does the same thing. I have never been able to figure why everyone thinks you need to change the filter each time you make coffee.
One other thing is I never make a full pot of coffee but make a fresh cup each time I want one. I just add more grounds to the filter which is in the pot. So many think they need to make a full pot even if they won’t be drinking it all at once and then often it gets thrown out.
I am just amazed that about $15 of our weekly grocery bill is for the beverages. I buy milk, soy milk (for me, it has helped my allergies) and grape juice. I also buy coffee and apple juice (for when my grandkids come over), but I only buy these when I need to, not every week. My 17 year old son would love it if I bought soft drinks for him, but i only buy those if it is a holiday. And then not too many because my son-in-law works for Pepsi and gets a great price on their products, and they share with us for holiday dinners and bbq’s. I am always working to get the food bill down, but it is hard. I like Winn Dixies meat, especially the hamburger. Save a Lot seems to have the best price on produce in my area.
Thanks all for your input on hamburger. Jill-I try to buy on sale too, but I steer away from the rolls in plastic sleeves. It bothers me, I guess, that I can’t see what I’m buying. Grandma-I like the idea of combining a cheaper and a more expensive. Do you have the meat dept. do it for you, or do you mix them yourself at home?
Does anyone use ground turkey much? The cheaper ones have lots of skin, fat, etc., but the ground turkey breast is so expensive! I just don’t know if ground trukey is all that much healthier anyway-especially when it’s used im casseroles, etc…….any thoughts?
Tawra uses it all the time and it is usually really good.
Try ground chicken breast. It is less expensive.While the breast ( be it turkey or chicken) is more expensive , it doesn’t cook down so you buy less , or can use half and get 2 meals out of it. Also I wait until the mark bit down with those red stickers, take it home portion it out then throw it in the freezer. :)
I like ground chicken better. It seems a little bit more moist, but it makes great patties, like salmon patties, except I add cracker crumbs to absorb the moisture, chopped onions, 1 beaten egg, salt, pepper and garlic powder. I then fry them. I serve them with white gravy or a crushed pineapple/brown mustard sauce. My husband says they are company good.
We use the logs of hamburger meat in plastic wrap tubes and it always looks and tastes the same as the kind you can see. Most of the hamburger meat I cook goes into casseroles, tacos, chili, or hamburgers with seasonings on it, so I’m not sure you can taste much difference anyway with all the other flavorings used. I also worried about not being able to see it, but tried it once because it was cheaper and couldn’t tell a difference. One thing about it is better, actually – there’s no air in the tube, so it stays fresher.
Barb, I mix it myself and go by the colour. if it is really pale I know there is a lot of fat in it. So I mix more lean with it. If it is a nice bright red I sometimes don’t mix it at all if I am using it for shepherds pie or macaroni and hamburger.
Burgers I like to use lean as it has a nice balance of fat and meat.
For ground turkey you can do your own.
When turkey is on sale buy one and thaw it then cut it up into different parts. Legs and wings for soups and stews.
Breast and thighs put through a meat grinder or food processor for ground turkey. No skin, less fat but with the thigh you get a moister mixture than just straight breast meat. You can mix the spices and onions right in the food processor so it saves you work when you go to cook it.
The rest of the turkey cut meat small for casseroles or stir frys and use the bones and neck and gizzard for making soup stock just as you would when using the carcass after it is cooked.
Doing your own cutting and grinding you get turkey parts for under a dollar a pound and ground turkey for about the same even if you add in the cost of using the processor. A lot cheaper than what you find processed in the stores.
Color is related to fat content, but it’s also related to how much food coloring used to improve appearance.
I remember when liquid coffee concentrate was one of the passing fads. You could buy it in a plastic jug and store it in the frig. I guess I have adapted that strategy to some extent. When I make coffee i brew a whole pot-and, I make it strong. Not stand-alone-strong, but pretty darn strong! Then I add cold water to taste in each cup, stir and microwave til really hot I would guess it’s about 1/4c. cold water for each cup. I put all the leftover coffee in the frig and make one cup at a time when I want a fresh one. I have found with the strong, cold coffee adding a little fresh water to each new cup makes it taste fresh brewed. The cold coffee will keep a LONG time refrigerated, and I never waste any this way. In the evening I occasionally mix some Kahlua and coffee and blend it with some ice cream. I think that counts as a health food because of the dairy, doesn’t it???? Haha
When I was in college back in the late ’70’s, my neighbor used to drink Community coffee (I am not a coffee drinker, so was not familiar with that brand at the time). She made it strong and froze leftovers in ice cube trays. If she wanted/needed a cup of coffee while studying late, she would pop a cube in a cup of water and microwave it. She said it tasted just as good as fresh-brewed.
One way I save money on groceries is in juice.
We are not big juice drinkers but I like to use apple and pineapple juice for cooking hams, fish, and chicken.
To buy a litre container it could sit in the fridge for months before I use it up.
I have started buying the small drinking boxes. One or two of those at each useage and they sit in the cupboard instead of my fridge.
I pick them up when they are $1. for 6 boxes.
I bought 20 packages of 6 in August because they were on sale getting ready for kids starting back to school. I still have a few left and now they are $2. for a pack of 6. Will have to get more next time they are on sale.
Another way I save is by making my own egg rolls. We love them for snacks instead of chips which we are trying to cut way down on.
A package of 20 cost around $10 and they are full of cabbage and maybe one tiny piece of meat.
I make mine with bean sprouts, and lots of either meat or shrimp and I use a spoonful of peanut butter instead of peanut oil. Add some green onions and soy sauce then the wrappers and I make 100 or more for less than $10. I make them up and freeze them before I fey them or freeze them after it really makes no difference.
I make the filling one day and then put them together another day and fry them up for supper. I also send a bunch to my son freeze them after frying and put them into the box of Christmas presents that gets to them the next day. They stay frozen since under the bus is always freezing so no problem with health issues.
I’m going to remember to make my own egg rolls with the peanut butter, sounds great. Things are getting too high in the stores. I’ve never understood though, why real fruit juice is discouraged. I buy simply orange and thought that it didn’t have added sugar. Eating them is better, but they often are no good and very expensive. Also, I regularly check the discounted meat that the store is wanting to get sold. Very often I can get a few good steaks and roasts a whole lot cheaper, and either eat that day or freeze them for later.
Vicki we don’t have a problem with people drinking juice it just is when they drink too much of it. Here is an article on portion control. Often people use juice as a way for their families to get the nutrients they need instead of taking the time to make 3 well balanced meals a day.
Another thing is people have so very bad misconceptions about food. For example I have seen many things recently where people were asked if a product says it is healthy or organic does it have as many calories and a huge percentage of the people said that these foods had less and often no calories at all. A carrot has the same calories whether it is organically grown or not.
Another misunderstanding is what you mentioned and that is if a product says no sugar added it means there is no sugar at all but isn’t true. Many foods have a ton of sugar in them naturally. Which like anything else way too much of it can be bad for you.
This type of sugar in some ways I think is worse for you because I call it “hidden” sugar. At least when I am snarfing down a candy bar I know I am eating a bunch of sugar and will maybe (noticed I said maybe :) control myself and eat only half (who am I kidding?? :) but with things like juice which has hidden sugar people often drink huge amounts of it thinking it is good for them but the are still consuming bunch of sugar and if they drink enough will consume more sugar and calories from it then my one little candy bar.
One last thing. We try to teach people to save and get out of debt. One great way to do that is to teach people how to save money on groceries. One third of most peoples grocery bill is spent on things to drink or to put in drinks – juice, milk, coffer, tea etc. If you are serious about saving you can find many less expensive ways to get your vitamin c and to make sure you are not getting more then you need. We are so intense about health now a days and making sure we do so many healthy things but most doctors will tell you people need to drink more water. It is less expensive and really really good for you. Jill
(even though I posted this mom wrote it, Tawra)
vicki, if you want to save even more by making your own egg rolls use cabbage.
My husband hates cooked cabbage in any form that is why I use bean sprouts.
But shredded cabbage works just as well and is a lot less expensive.
I just put some soy sauce and about a tbsp of peanut butter in a large pan and add cut up green onions and fill the pot with the bean sprouts. Turn it to simmer and when steam comes out of the lid they are ready to turn off and when they cool you can make the rolls.
Deep fry them at 365 any higher and they tend to explode. any lower and they absorb too much oil.
You can freeze them uncooked or cooked which ever your energy level dictates.
I have just finished making up 24 and still have the same number or more left to go.
I am knitting pants for Ken doll and reading in between sessions.
Tomorrow it is onto the beef turnovers.
At least these are less fussy than cookies.
how do you do the beef turnovers?
I’m not sure what recipe you are talking about but what I do is to make circles out of bread dough or pie pastry, then put a couple of tablespoons full (depending on how big your circles are) of chopped beef with gravy. You can leave out the gravy and add anything you want to that too for example a few diced potatoes, hashbrowns, cheese, peas, corn, carrots, onions, what every you like. It only takes a few tablespoons in the center. Fold the circle in half, press the edges together well and bake at about 350 degrees until golden brown.
You could roll the large can biscuits into circles too to use.
This is my first glimpse of your website, it is great. Coffee….I drink lots of it, I’m going to try reusing the grounds thing tomorrow morning. My daughter out of necessity came up with a very frugal idea. She lives in NYC where the cost of food is astronomical. Her coffee maker broke one morning. She had been given a one cup filter as a present but never used it, she put it on one of her travel mugs and brewed a single cup, for her second cup, she just added fewer fresh grounds onto the filter..she said she couldn’t tell the difference. Now no more coffee maker for her. As for milk, yuk. I don’t like it. But to keep on hand for cooking or baking I buy the small drinking boxes and keep in my cupboard. No difference tasted. Again, I’m glad I found this site.
Linda we were just recently talking about this some place on the blog about reusing your coffee grounds. I have done it for years and I get more compliments on my coffee. I pretty much don’t change my filter until it is almost full (I do have a small 4 cup pot). After I had done this for a long time I heard a thing about how to brew good coffee and they said the more coffee is filtered through something the less bitter it becomes. Now I am wondering if all of these years in trying to be frugal I have accidentally been filtering my coffee the right way by allowing it to filter through the grounds which are already in there.
PS…..the only other thing I drink besides coffee is water. My tap water here is awful. I bought an expensive filter to attach to the tap, didn’t work, I have a water filtering system carafe, doesn’t work. I will try the lemon, but I’m not hopeful. The only indulgence I have is spring water, but I buy it in the large ‘fridge container and use my own travel mug to take it with me.
There are a few places where water is beyond really really bad and in that case you may have to do something else. You might try putting some water in a glass pitcher and letting it sit for at least 24 hours in the fridge and see what happens.
I drink a ton of water and hate the taste of purified or bottled water but believe it or not I probably wouldn’t drink a drop of water if I had to drink it straight from the tap. I always fill a jug of water and keep it in the fridge. I can taste a huge difference after it has sat in there for a while.
One reason it tastes better after you let it sit is because the chlorine evaporates. I think one of the best tips you give is to only give kids a little in their cups and then if they don’t drink it to save it for later. I don’t know how much money I was pouring down the drain!
Wow! A lot of traffic on this topic!
My children only get half a cup of juice diluted with water for medicine once a day. Only one cup of milk with meals. Water between meals. Fresh fruit to finish their meals.
Hamburger: never regular! There is just too much fat. When cooking that up, the kitchen gets greasy. If your regular hamburger costs $2.00/lb, 60 cents is for fat. You are paying $2.86/lb for your meat. I try to keep my cost per pound under or at $2. So we stock up when ground beef at 85% or greater is $2, which can happen occasionally at Stater Bros. Otherwise, we stick to boneless/skinless chicken, which often is under.
I don’t often drink coffee at home, but I do drink tea at home. I have the habit of brewing a pot with two tea bags meant for one cup each. Then I keep adding 2 bags per brew. I like to combine green tea with a cinnamon tea. Both have health benefits. My tea is always bought on sale too. During the winter, if I don’t drink that immediately, it becomes ice tea on my island. Room temperature is quite lower in winter in my house.
Water: I use lemon to help with flavor when I run out of my good water (20 cents a gallon). I heard or read that lemon helps make water better, but I forget how, besides taste. I can’t drink cold water. Room temperature is better for me. Even warm water with lemon is good! And our lemons are free, right off the tree!
I have been working with my friends on a “best price list” and I have made a “best place to buy” list for my friends. It’s time for a new “best price list” since so many prices have gone up! For our family of 6-7 (college age daughter comes and goes) we spend under $500 month for food in Southern California. No fast foods and lots of scratch cooking.
Thank you for encouraging others into my frugal habits!
Sheri instead of using cinnamon tea try dropping in a half stick of cinnamon. better taste and that is all they do to make cinnamon tea.
One 1/2 stick should do about 3 pots of tea if you keep brewing it in the same pot.
My husband drink Moracan mint tea with the cinnamon and I always carry cinnamon in my purse so when we have to stop at restaurants and they serve orange peko which he hates.
I do not buy juice for my family but every once in a while, even koolaid is
a treat. I buy fruit instead and it all gets eaten fast. We drink alot of
milk, it is 99 cents a gallon at Aldi’s so it no big deal. When it was $4 a
gallon seems like we didnt drink as much but we do eat other products with
As for meat, I have bought 99 cent ground meat and it was perfect. I drain my meat after cooking well done and rinse a bit. It really is up to individuals taste how they like it.
As to the difference in regular and lean ground beef, If you drain your hamburger after cooking as I think most of us do, there is very little difference in the fat content of regular and so called lean ground beef. The difference is in how much cooks away so it is the cost factor rather than the % of fat that you need to concentrate on. They did a study a few years ago using ground beef, ground chuck, and ground round, identical size patties were all grilled to an identical internal temp and all visable fat absorbed with paper towels, and the final fat content was almost identical for all three.
I just wanted to comment on a couple of the issues above. I realize water is good for us and I do drink it (has to be super cold) but my(teen)kids and husband don’t like it. I make them koolaid but instead of the sugar I use Splenda (or Apriva from Krogers) which makes it basically sugar free. I use the Splenda in place of sugar for almost everything.
I have a reverse osmosis system (from Culligan) at my house because the water is bad here. We drink it, cook with it, feed animals & water plants with it. It is $20/mo but I would spend way more than that if I bought it at the store. The dog alone goes through a gallon himself every day.
Just been reading what people had to say. You can make your own low cost soda by using tonic water, soda water or something of that nature. Take fruit and puree it( can strain it if you like. The rest is to taste. Use the fruit puree, some water an add tonic water. If not sweet enough you can add honey, sugar, or some type of sweetner. You can even use this with plain water. Watch how much sweetner you use.
To make a ” milk shake” for those that can’t have milk. Take frozen fruit. Tofu, and soy, almond or some type of milk substitue. This again to taste. Put all this in a blender and blend. You may need a few ice cubes. This is very rich. The milk substitue is used to thin the shake. You can also use a little milk if it’s not a problem. Kids love this. If they don’t see you make it they would never know it’s made with tofu. If you use a whole carton of tofu, fruit(about 6-8oz.) and thin(which you need to do) with the milk substitue, you will serve about 6-8oz. size. As far as keeping it in the fridge, we never had any left over.
Hey Grandma I’d like your pattern for those pants your kniting, we grandma/nana’s need to stick together. lol
The milk shake may not be totaly cheap, but if you freeze your own fruits, make your own milk and tofu(if you have the time) it does help with costs. Also it will help those who can’t have milk and milk products(as my son once told me) to feel more normal.
Sorry I’m a joining in a little late, but just wanted to share a money-saving tip that might help someone else out. When shopping for meat, be sure to check out the local meat locker plant. Some meat products may be more expensive, but not all. Not only is there a possibility of financial savings, there is also the added bonus of being able to have your meat prepared exactly as you desire it. Also, be sure to visit with the locker plant and inquire of sales or other discounts available. We were completely surprised to discover delicious, lean breakfast sausage was less expensive at the locker full price than when on sale at the grocery store. As with other sources, prices do fluctuate. So be sure to continue checking the price out. And the flavor…no comparison.
Thank you also for the comment mentioning the difference in prices and usability of advice in other regions and locale. That is so true.
Herd mentality and assumptions will cost us more than just money. We need to check things out for ourselves. Never assume, ANYTHING.
I thought you might be interested in this:
Lat week our local grocery store had boneless beef roast on sale for $1.79 lb. and I bought one for around $10.00. I noticed that they also had hambuger meat on sale for $2.49 lb. I got to thinking why buy hamburger meat at that price when I could buy the roast a whole lot cheaper and take it home and grind the roast up in the meat grinder and save $.70 a lb. After I ground up the roast I had (5) 1 lb pks of hamburger and (1) 1/2 lb pk. that I put in the freezer. This is the way to go on hamburger meat. I have also bought boneless beef roasts on sale and cut it up to make stew meat with instead of buying stew meat $2.49 lb and there is/ was less than a pound of stew meat in the package.
A lot of times the butcher will grind it up for you if you don’t have a grinder.
You are right Yvonne. I haven’t bought “real” stew meat for years. You can also ask you butcher to cut the meat into cubes for you too on most things. Even the butcher at our regular Kroger grocery store does this. Also you can buy the different cuts of meats too and cut them yourself to make your own things like chops and things.
You can buy turkeys too and grind them up for ground turkey. The sky is really the limit.
our supermarket makes chicken sausage .. adn to be quite honest it tastes alot better than the pork sausage … its in the links (large) and well its made with dark meat ..
its juicy and its listed as organic .. and the best thing of all .. its the same price as regular sausage (meaning it doesnt have the organic sticker on it) …
thought i’d share with everyone …
i like the idea of grinding up the better cuts of meats to make hamburger and etc ..
we have a butcher shop that does sell venison (i think they are still in business) but i am not sure how much they charge ..
we dont go hunting and well hubby is from ky and misses eating venison .. i will have to check this out and let everyone know if this place is still open ..
our neighbor (when he is able to get venison meat either thru his own hunting adventures or if he gets it from friends) says to add a bit of reg hamburger to help solidify it .. bc of hte fat content ..,
Hi Jill — happy babysitting! Hope Tawra and Mike find a great house.
I had a canning question and didn’t know where to post it so here goes.
My daughter wants to start canning, but she says her boyfriends parents use mayonnaise jars sometimes with just new lids and bands.
I was a little concerned about the safety of this, I see that “Classico” spaghetti sauce jars are marked and look like they can be reused.
Have you or anyone you know ever tried this? My suggestion was to take just one mayo jar with a new lid and band and try it in the hot water bath to see?
To be honest years ago people use to reuse all kinds of jars but in recent years they say the glass is weaker and will break or they don’t seal as well. I remember once when we were in Japan my grandma sent us what we thought was Tang (powdered orange drink). It had just been invented and we had never seen it. We put spoonfuls in some water like the label said and stirred and stirred. The jelly stuff did nothing. We finally found out my grandma had canned jelly in the Tang jar to send us. :) If you have more questions you can also just call your county extension and they are real good about giving details.
I have canned for 20+ years. Certain jars are OK– but most will not seal well. When breakage occurs– it breaks your heart too! My advice-don’t chance it, you have put in a lot of hard work canning. Look for used jars without chips or cracks at thrift stores, garage/estate sales etc.
I re-use salsa jars for making pickles and foods that do not require pressure. They usually reseal good ONE time.
I get powdered milk also .. This way we make what we need > Also I buy tea bags and make Cold and hot tea > I have recipes for home made Gatorade > and different other healthy drinks ..
I also do a 2 week menu plan and buy accordingly … in between we stock up and we are planning to make sure we have a 3 month supply of what we need to survive this way IF anything happens we are prepared
I can’t believe I’m having so much fun just reading alike people. The ideas and share information is wonderful.At times in the past when I adjusted for loss wages or to much waste I thought is it me and everyone else is rich.
thanks for such lively debate!
i am a guy just now learning to live on his own after almost 25 years of marriage. you all are going to make me a better catch for the next one
My son’s second wife told someone at work one day that dinner would be ready when she got home. a coworker said she had him trained well. Her response was he came that way. I taught my son to do housework and my daughter know how to use tools as well as any man. All mothers should teach their sons to do housework, he does a great job of it. Good luck on your next catch;’)
This is my most recent money saving revelation:
I’m not a coffee drinker but I like to get my morning dose of caffeine from cola. I love Pepsi, Cherry Pepsi and Cherry Coke.
There is a Dollar General store next door to my office. It was my morning ritual to stop and get a cold, 20 oz bottle of Pepsi or Coke on my way to work. Then I would enjoy the cola while sitting at my desk and sorting out my e-mails and in basket and gradually waking up. When the cola was gone, I’d had my caffeine fix and was ready to start my day.
One day a couple of weeks ago, I had the revelation. I was spending $1.79 a day for a 20 oz bottle of cola. The same Dollar General store sells 2 liter bottles of Pepsi and Coke for $1.25. Hmmm…$8.95 a week for the 20 oz bottles versus $1.25 a week for a 2 liter bottle. Why did it take me so long to figure that one out? LOL! :)
Now, I buy one 2 liter bottle a week. My office has an fridge/freezer with an ice maker. I keep the 2 liter bottle at my desk and start every morning with a nice cold glass of Pepsi or Coke with ice. Perfect!
That one, small change saves me $7.70 a week…$400.40 a year. Not too shabby! :)
Angie we talk about coffee drinkers all the time and spending I forget sometimes to make sure I mention Pepsi drinkers (my dad was a Pepsiholic).
For those of you out there who don’t have our Grocery Shopping on a Budget e course you might want to watch how much you spent on “drinks” of any kind a month that I talk about.
1/3 of the average person’s grocery budget is spent on “drinks” – milk, chocolate for milk, tea, sugar, cream, pop, coffee, juice etc. That adds up to quite a bit over a year. If you spend $600 a month on groceries that means you spend $2,400 a year on just things for drinking. Compare that to just a few dollars ($10) for drinking water if that much.
Now I know we all love our Pepsi, coffee etc. I do too and I am not saying don’t drink it but for those of you who are in a mess financially and are really serious about getting out this is how I did it and did it so quickly. I drank water. For those who aren’t desperate you might just consider cutting back or do like Angie did and check out your options.
Jill, I tend to be a Pepsiholic if I allow myself to be. I don’t allow myself to keep cola at home for this reason. If I have it at home, I drink it way too much. Which isn’t good for my health, waistline or wallet… So, I limit myself to the treat once a day and drink water the rest of the time. And now I’ve figured out how to save money on groceries while still having my treat.
It’s so true that a large portion of the grocery budget can be spent on beverages alone. I see it every week when I go to the grocery store…carts filled with cases of soft drinks, juice boxes, cartons of designer juices, cases of sports drinks, etc.
We save money by drinking tap water most of the time. I say most of the time because we buy soft drinks in 2 liters for special dinners, cook-outs, etc. at home. Then we buy soft drinks in cans and bottled water for our cooler when we are fishing, camping, traveling, etc. By buying in the case at the grocery store, it comes out to $0.12 per bottle of water and $0.25 per can of soft drink instead of $1.00 or more per bottle or water or $0.75 or more per can of soft drink at convenience stores.
Both of my sons play baseball and we do also buy bottled water and sports drinks by the case to take in a cooler for their games. Gatorade at the concession stand at the games is between $1.50 – $2.00 and I can get for $0.75 by the case. Bottled water at the concession stand is between $1.00 – $2.00 and I can get it for $0.12 per bottle by the case. We also limit the boys to 2 bottles of Gatorade per game day (they usually play double headers) and have them drink water the rest of the time.
The smallest things make the biggest difference when it comes to being frugal. :)
That’s the way I am too Angie. I love my Pepsi especially in crushed ice so I don’t dare keep any in the house. I do have some will power but don’t want to test it daily. :) :)
Canning with mayonnaise and spaghetti sauce jars (people give me)has worked great for me!(although doublecheck-some of the sauce ones don’t fit the lids) I have been canning for 25+ years and have used them quite a bit since I do alot of canning. Once in a great while one will break but for the most part they work great! I sterilize them in my dishwasher before I use them. Sure saves with all the canning we do in open kettle!
I love this website. I live in an area where I swear I am the only person that is frugal; Washington DC. We are a family of 6,3 teenage boys and 1 girls and live off of $450 monthly and $38 for 3 pets. I just up the food budget from $400 to $450 for more meat (teenage boys are always hungry). Anyway love the idea of the coffee, never thought of that, but will do it from now on. Keep up all the great ideas, you all make me feel normal in this over spending area. Thanks….
Save the coffee grounds for the compost pile or just put them around your roses.
LOVE IDEA OF TRY POWDERED MILK INSTEAD OF COFFEE CREAMER
I USE A LOT OF IT AND EVEN STORE BRAND IS HIGH. I WILL
TRY THIS IDEA.
DENTIST SAYS YES IF A CHILD HAS TEETH BRUSH THEM NOT WIPE
ALSO IF A CHILD HAS TEETH NO NO NO SIPPIE CUPS
NO NO NO STRAWS.
IT KEEPS LIQUID NEAR TEETH AND THEY WILL ROT.
POUR LESS IN CUP AND NO LID ON CUP.
MESSY FLOOR IS BETTER THAN A DENTIST BILL AND PAIN
OF KNOWING YOUR CHILD HAS TO HAVE CAPS OR TEETH PULLED
This is absolutely true! I thought you couldn’t use fluoride on children under two. when my son was four he had to have two teeth pulled and almost the rest capped. the surgeon that worked on him told me AS SOON as teeth come in you need to brush with fluoride. of course my daughter was already two by then and her teeth are horrible as well. but I know now, and the next one will have NO juice or milk in sippy cups and I will brush with fluoride from the start. Of course I think genetics plays a role in what your teeth can stand, I know now my kids inherited my moms bad teeth.
be sure to use a children’s toothpaste because too much fluoride is not good either. Also don’t let them go around with a bottle all the time. It is just as bad as a sippie cup. As a dental assistant I have seen too many children come in with rotted teeth when just limiting the time their teeth are exposed to liquids and brushing make a world of difference. It is also a wives tale that the baby teeth don’t matter because they loose them, but they do effect the adult teeth as well as can cause a lot of pain to our precious babies.
i have 3 kids, they all used/use sippy cups. none of them have rotting teeth. if you brush their teeth the recomended 3 times a day. be dilligent that after the evening brushing there is nothing but water, and no sippy cups at nap time. their teeth should be fine. I personally don’t have time to run around cleaning up spill messes ever 30 seconds.
I applaud you for your last sentence. My parents put drinks in those old Tupperware tumblers, which they still make today, put the sippy lids on top, and my sisters and I drink away. Our teeth have never rotted because we drank out of a sippy cup. The reason I have had cavities is because my parents were lucky if they could get their stubborn child (me) to brush her teeth once a day. Of course, my childhood dentist said I needed braces but my parents said no and I’m still alive and can chew, just like my childhood doctor said I needed tubes in my ears but my parents said no and I’m still alive and hearing well.
Back to the topic at hand. Love the tips. My toddler gets milk very morning for breakfast, sometimes gets juice on a daily basis (just depends on how much fruit has been in his diet), and the rest of the day he gets water. He LOVES water. Every time he takes a swig, he acts like he hasn’t had anything to drink for a week! My parent’s rarely bought pop because it is expensive, so when I started college I went on a pop-drinking binge. After a year or so, I made the adult decision to stop drinking pop so much. Now, I drink water more than I do anything else. I hated water, but I started by buying the expensive flavored water in bottles and flavorings to add to a glass of water. Today, I just drink straight water, and I feel it when I haven’t had enough; I get headaches. I will put lemon in it at restaurants or lemon juice or even a little bit of lemonade, just to change things up a bit.
We don’t make coffee every day, but when we do, I leave in the filter for the next time. If it hasn’t molded by then, we reuse it and don’t add as many coffee grounds as it says to.
I’ve been using the tip of adding new coffee on top of the old to save on coffee filters. Even my husband and sons are now doing this. I’ve had to place a two day limit on this, though, because one time my husband did this after a weekend off and the coffee tasted terrible! We have a mechanic shop and make two to three pots of coffee per day, so it saves a lot! My husband especially was astonished that it made no difference at all in the taste of the coffee (except the weekend one LOL).
Coffee filter reuse. I too lived in an area that uesing the re-use method discribed above got my allergies in an uproar (mold). SO I would toss the old grounds,rinse the old filter, and simply spray the filter with a diluted vinegar mixture and lay it out to dry, I could reuse them many times over and the vinegar was never tasted or an issue. Vinegar kills germs/mold.
It is not recommended to use coffee filters that are not of paper. Because the filter paper filter out the dangerous fat that turns into cholesterol in your arteries. So guys always use the paper filter for coffee.
I am wondering if anyone has a meat grinder they like, I am looking for one but am not sure where to look or what kind to purchase, I’d like to grind my own but have never done so. Thanks,
Tami, I have a Kitchen Aid food mixer, professional, and you can buy a meat grinder to go on it. We use it for vension, pork and lamb and it works fantastic.
As for saving money on groceries, a good way to do this is to shop in bulk, go once a month instead of every week. Take cash not cards and a calculator. Buy what is on offer, and keep a pantry so you are never desperate. This way you don’t have to buy the basics until they are on sale. Milk, butter and cheese freezes.
A good place to be amongst likeminded friends is www.homesteadingtoday.com
Also grow a vegetable garden and if you can, have some chickens for eggs etc.
The reuse of the coffee filter and grounds had to be suggested by a person who does not enjoy coffee!
No Candy it was by someone who loves their coffee. Since I have mentioned this there have been many people who have said the do the same thing.
PleaSE TELL ME HOW THIS WOULD SAVE $150 ON MY GROCERIES? ESPECIALLY EVERY MONTH?? I ALREADY DONT BY SODA, I DRINK TEA AND MY HUSBAND DRINKS COFFEE. I HAVE ALREADY HAD TO PARE DOWN MY GROCERY BUDGET FOR 5 PEOPLE-2 OF WHOM ARE TEENAGERS-DOWN TO 350 DOLLARS A MONTH.
This is for the average family who spends at least that much on sodas, excess milk and other drinks.
I would like to hear some good tips on how to cut my grocery bill. As a Celiac I cannot buy or make many lower cost items / meals, and my family is very tired of “plain” meals. I do my best to buy naturally gluten free foods, but would like to do better in managing my grocery bill.
For those who don’t know, Celiacs cannot eat gluten, the protein in wheat, barley and rye. This is in many things, including, for example, most soy sauces, meat balls and soups.
We keep a Sun Tea jar of Citrus water (water with lemon and orange slices) or Cucumber water (water with cucumber slices and a sprig or two of Rosemary from our garden) in the fridge all the time. The orange slices make the water taste slightly sweet. If the jar gets low on water during the day, I simply top it off in the sink and put it back in the fridge. We start a new jar each day. A rosemary plant can be bought very cheaply at the home improvement store or at a chain like Walmart. Plant in a Sunny spot. Allow to grow a bit then harvest sprigs all summer. Rosemary doesn’t require tending other than occasionally some water (which could be any water left in the jar at the end of the day). When my kids come in hot from being outside the cucumber water is so smooth, they can gulp it without feeling sick. (Make sure you leave the rosemary sprigs whole)
One way I have stretched our grocery budget is by making at least one meal per week meatless. I call it meatless mondays and there are websites out there with great recipes! Some of our favs so far: beans and rice, cheesy potato soup, meatless spaghetti or lasagna (add veggies instead). Hope this helps!
I have well water and its just absolutly horrable so i found a spring close by i take empy jugs with me and fill them up when i come home from work. I still hate drinking water but i think i will start tying to put lemon or orange in them overnight:) To also save money i got rid of all my big bowls they are hiding for when i need to put things in the frigerator and am making the kids use small bowls for cereal. They can only have one glass of juice a day and one glass of milk with dinner. The rest of the time they drink water. I used to spend a lot of money on soda pop, milk and juice and i had to cut out a lot in order to make it. I also am planting a garden and going to learn how to freeze, can and dehydrate. If you don’t have area for a garden there are some areas that you can rent space for a small garden usually for a small fee or another alternative is some farmers have odd shapped land and they may have an area that they can’t get to with there machines this they might let you use for free. It never hurts to ask. I’m hoping to cut my grocery bill to only 1/4 of what it is now:).I also learned that if i buy a half a cow then i save money on my grocery bill also. Hope this helps
Great ideas Brandy and it sounds like you are really going for it. Keep up the good work.
Do you want to trade houses? I LOVE well water. I was raised on it, and I miss it. :) Good thing my parent’s aren’t far away so that I can still drink it.
If you don’t have land to grow your own garden – try growing tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, etc. in pots – less care than in garden (no weeding) – but make sure you give them plenty of water as they will dry out quicker. So convenient also to just go outside your front door and pick nice fresh veggies.
I boil my hamburger instead of just browning it in the skillet. It gives it a moisture taste.
I also cook my hamburger in water. I freeze the hamburger meat in meal size packets, or if it’s on sale I buy the hamburger patties (1/4 lb. each patty). I prefer to cook from frozen since I have had a few traumatic instances of food poisoning from bad meat. I just put the frozen meat with a bit of water, watch to see it doesn’t dry out until it’s all defrosted, then when the water cooks out fry it briefly to brown and bring out the flavor. It is definately moister this way.
I used to do the put half the amount of coffee needed on top of the old grounds thing. It worked for me with my old coffee pot. The coffee tasted fine. Things relaxed for us, so I stopped doing it. Things were tight and I was low on coffee, I tried again with a new coffee pot. Ack! the coffee over flowed the reusable filter into the basket and down into the pot bringing grounds with it. The grounds swell up just too much for the size of the filter basket when I make a 10-cup pot. It may work if I am only making 6-cups (which is really only about 4 “real” mugs of what we drink, and generally we are 3 cup-a-day, especially during allergy season).
My new pot came with a reusable filter. Before I was using paper filters. Apparently the “trick” doesn’t work with my new pot and its smallish reusable filter. It may work better with paper filters, but I think I like not messing with filters better.
I was told to try and dump out the old grinds into a flat dish, and let them dry over day or two. next time you make a pot of coffee, use about 5 REAL scoop, and 3-5 scoops of the “used” coffee grinds. if it’s not strong enough experiment with the ratio. after these grinds are done, I put them in my potted plants as “soil”. saves money as it “extends” the coffee yield you get from the LB of coffee, or the 10.5 oZ a pound is NOW? what’s up wit dat?
I poor used coffee grinds on a plate or in a bowl, then stir with a fork for a day or three. I live in a moist climate, so If I forget to stir it twice a day, it grows mold. When the grounds are dry, I put little bowls of it around my house, especially the bathroom, as an air freshener. Then I add it to my kitties litter box to save on litter.
Using a French Press Coffee Maker saves us TONS of money on coffee. We only make 2-4 cups at a time, there are no filters to wash, and it tastes amazing. We boil water so there isn’t any energy wasted by the coffee machine. We grind our own coffee in little bits at a time, so we can buy the coffee beans in the bulk bins.
Sometimes I fancy it up by adding a sorbet syrup (2:1 sugar/water/flavor extract) makes it taste about 20x better than coffeebucks coffee.
It takes no more time than getting a coffee pot ready. There is less waste.
We are a family of 5 (two teenagers and a kindergartener) with a grocery budget of $75/week. My best advice for saving money on your grocery budget is to take inventory of your pantry/fridge/freezer and see what meals you already have on hand or can make with a small purchase. We often have a month where we will only use what we have in the house and limit our grocery trips to produce and milk.
I also make a weekly menu…saves on my grocery bill because we don’t buy fast food.
I agree with Beverly…I have recently begun taking inventory of my pantry/freezer/frige and making small purchases to complete meals. I find menu making helps me save money on groceries also!
We have a percolator, which comes with a reusable filter, so we don’t need to add that to the grocery list. Kinda nice. We make a full pot, then just reheat cups as we need. I LOVE coffee, but I also like to save money. This is a happy medium for us. My parents never threw away coffee just to make a new batch unless it was just way too far gone. When I was young I thought they were overly frugal, but now I realize they were just practical and saved where they could.
I can’t fathom spending THAT MUCH on soda and juice! Holy Moly! Great article and ideas, though!
The idea of putting orange slices or cucumber/rosemary into a jug of chilling water sounds great. I have rosemary plants, and also appreciate the idea to dry out coffee grounds for reuse since I too have a bad mold allergy. Another idea could be to immediately run another pot through and chill it for iced coffees later. I’m learning to sprout dried beans and lentils safely for added nutrition. Groceries are getting outrageously expensive.
I have a coffee pot that uses the cone shaped filters but I buy the large round ones. I get 200 for the same price as 40 of the cones. Then I fold one in half then in thirds, it will be the same shape as the cones. Since I am the only one in my home to drink coffee I can go a couple days on one filter. The idea of drying the used grounds and adding to cat litter is great, I am going to try that today!!
I was just struggling writing a blog post about the same topic. Your post is outstanding wish I had seen it before I wrote mine. Thanks for the great ideas.
Wow! I never even thought of this. I’ve been wanting to cut back my soda intake because it’s healthier not to drink soda, but I never even thought of the drain it could be putting on our grocery budget! I’ll also definitely remember this tip when I have kids.
just clicked on save money on groceries and wanted then on some freebie, i can’t even remember which one, because i ended up on the never ending coupon survey thing. extremely disappointing. just wondered if you know that’s what happens with this link?!
I think you got one of our Google Ads. We try to make sure those aren’t on here but do miss some. Sorry! Tawra
I hear you on the no juice and soda! I’m a milkoholic, and now I’m pregnant so its worse… but I scrounge the whole county for the cheapest local milk so I do get it pretty cheap especially if I use coupons. When I buy juice, I get 2 gallons (of grape juice) from coscto for 6.50 something which is outstanding. I then water it down for my husband and I. I fill a tiny juice glass a little more than halfway full and the rest with water. Since grape juice is so strong it still tastes quite good; drinking it this way makes a gallon last for almost 3 weeks. I make a lot of sweet tea and lemonaid from my neighbor’s lemons and keep those in the frige for sweet cravings.
About coffee…I can’t win on this, thats my husband’s territory. I’ve got him off those ridiculously expensive and sugared up creamers and onto milk. He has switched to cheaper preground coffee and I got him down from 10 cups to 6-8cups. I garden so I have him dump the grounds into my compost pile. I can’t push him further at this point. But I’ll ask how he feels about saving the leftover coffee day to day.
Thanks for the tips!
I live alone now and have a little 5 cup coffee pot. I can get 3 cups of coffee from that. My sister told me to add the tiny bit of coffee left to my houseplants. They love it and have gone crazy since I started them on a coffee treat. I don’t have enough leftover for iced coffee, which I don’t like anyhow.
I have always been frugal and when my kids were young I never bought sodas or fruit juice, maybe OJ, ocassionally. They drank milk or water.
Love this website. Don’t know who started it, but it is great.
Thank you Judi. My daughter and I wrote the book about 15 years ago and started the web site about 10 years ago long before being frugal was the in thing and things started crashing and burning. I had been left with 2 kids to raise and $35,000 of my husband’s debts (he had accumulated them while we were separated) and didn’t feel bankruptcy was right for me. I by being careful in the extreme I was able to pay off all of the debt including my house in about 5 years and with an income of only about $12,000 or less during that time.
I love your tip on putting coffee on the house plants will have to try it.
Jill, another tip for stockpiling is a great deal I got last month on coffee, my fav brand was on sale for almost half the regular price. I snatched up 6 huge containers. I’ll have coffee for the next yr, even when the prices go up.
My son says I can make Abe shout in pain every time I spend a cent;’)
Now I log in to see what everyone saying.
Using a reusable filter alone does not remove the harmful chemical that coffe gives off when brewed. According to Dr. Oz you should be using the paper filter to remove harmful substances. Those substances increawse cardiac risk!
do not use coffee or tea,and little soda and juice,water is really good with lime or lemon.and i am mormon so we do not buy coffee or tea.
Milk can be frozen, so if it goes on sale and you have the freezer space, buy extra and freeze it. Just remember to pour a little off first for expansion room. It will take a couple of days to thaw in frig.
I must keep my fridge too cold, it took over a week to thaw out a gallon & by then, it started smelling “off”. :(
I don’t thaw my milk in the fridge. I set it in the sink over night and let it thaw there. It doesn’t hurt it to sit out like this. If you think about about for many years received their milk from a milk man who would set it on the porch where it would stay for many hours unrefrigerated without hurting it a bit. For years we set everything on the counter to thaw and then they said you couldn’t thaw meat on the counter and we translated that into meaning you can’t thaw anything out on the counter which isn’t true.
Grandma, Love your sense of humor – “a little meat with your burger”. Couldn’t have said it better myself.
About milk – when I was a child, milk and cheese were about the only source of calcium that we ate. Nowadays, there is yogurt, cottage cheese, cream cheese, and the varieties are unlimited. Perhaps that is the reason the information said to drink a qt of milk a day for kids. In our house, we had milk on cereal, iced tea or water or kool-aid for all other drinks. Sometimes we would have a coke if we went to MacDonald’s on payday. Milk was for babies, and for breakfast. My mom used evaporated milk for cooking (easier to store), for her coffee and for desserts. With 4 kids in our family, if it was in the fridge it would get consumed and not when mom expected it to. Milk was not the cheapest drink for a large family.
dburham .. my friend used to can jams/jellies to give as gifts by using baby food jars .. i am not sure if she reused the same lid or got new ones .. but she said it worked well for her all the time ..
as for saving on juice.. well .. this might be a bit expensive but when i was buying the half or even the quart gallon .. after it was opened, if we didnt drink this fast enuff .. it seemed to go sour .. so now i buy a few of those little juice bottles (not sure of the size, i think its like 10 oz) .. and now no more waste ..
as far as saving money on milk in this house .. no can do .. my son drinks alot of milk (still) and i have about 1 cup daily .. we love milk .. :D .
we just got a freezer .. and have been trying to fill it with meat on sale .. and plus trying to come up with recipes where we can get 2+ meals out of each main dish .. so far, its working and we have differnt kinds of leftovers .. so .. we are thinking of other ways to save ..
some things we cant save on tho .. like produce .. other than growing our own but we live in an apt so .. we dont have a backyard now .. altho in the old house i wasnt about to grown anything in the backyard ..
there are plenty of farmers markets around here now .. in fact this week i will be going to a new one that just opened about 6 months .. its 2 blocks from where i live at now .. one of the neighbors told my hubby he saves a bunch of money there .. so i will be checking this out this friday .. :D ..
love this blog .. thanks for the great ideas! :D ..
My mom used to use baby food jars to do freezer jelly. When I was growing up, we just used pectin to seal the jars of jam and called it good. I would not dream of doing that now.
For fresh produce, it might be possible to find a community garden near you. Our community college has one on some of its vacant land and a couple of churches do it as a community service. Our Cooperative Extension service keeps a listing of that and of places that you can go and purchase fresh produce at field prices.
We planted a garden this year but the only thing that grew was the baby tomatoes (the only thing my brothers won’t eat of course) so I had a lot of tomato salads this year. My brother watered every day ($145 water bill to prove it) but still was to hot and humid for anything to grow I guess. Hopefully we do better next year.
I only buy juice when it is on sale and I have a coupon (usually get it for less than a dollar). It is good to have once in a while. We don’t buy soda much though this week Pepsi 2 is on sale for 50 cents a 2 liter so I am going to get some for treats for my granddaughter and brothers. I only drink coffee and sometimes milk or juice.
Neigther my brothers or granddaughter will drink orange juice so don’t have to worry about that.
I am going to try the flavored water and see how that goes. Maybe I will start drinking water. I used to drink sprudel and mineral water in Germany but can’t find it here (perrier is not the same).
I need a good recipe for iced tea. My brother won’t drink it unless it is bought (in gallon container) at the store. I am going to try to make my own and put it in the same (cleaned) containers and see if he will drink it (he is mentally challanged so it might work).
I agree that powdered milk is way to expensive too! I can usually get creamer pretty cheap when I match up a coupon with a sale so that is what we do.
I’ll see if the butcher at Kroger will cut our meat for hamburger and stew meat. I never thought about that idea.
Thanks for all the wonderful ideas. I am hoping to stretch our budget and hopefully save money to get the roof replaced in the next year or two.
We just happen to have a recipe for Homemade ice tea Pat that you may like to try. It is on the web site and is one of the recipes in Dining on a Dime. If you like it without sugar just leave out the sugar. Also if you like flavored teas try doing something like using 2 regular tea bags and 1 peach(or any flavor) tea bag instead of 3 regular ones. This just gives it a nice hint of flavor.
For water unless you have really nasty water where you live I have found putting a pitcher of water in the fridge over night gives you the best tasting water ever. It is even better flavored then bottled water because the water hasn’t been sitting in a plastic bottle for who knows how long on a shelf picking up the plastic taste of the bottle. I like putting it best in a glass pitcher with a lid but those are harder to find so I still sometimes use a plastic pitcher which works ok because the water doesn’t sit as long in it as it would like a bottle sitting on a shelf.
Don’t know when the question was asked about using mayo jars for canning. Here is the answer.
Do not use them. The seal though it feels sealed is not. Also they may break in the hot water bath and will definitely break if pressure canned.
Some jars of spaghetti sauce you can re-use the jar and but buy new rings and sealer discs and they work great.
Just one of the things I have learned through researching since I am into canning this year.
On another note about stocking up on meat.
About 4 months ago my husband decided that this huge pork loin was a good buy so into the cart it went. We only have pork chops once every 2 months so I left most of it in 2 roast forms. Well it turned out that when bbqed it was dry. It needs a gravy which we are trying to not use so much of. So what to do with the rest of the roast. Unfortunately I found a use for it yesterday.
On Sunday night a bad 2 car collision happened on the road to the small reserve about 4 miles from here. 4 young men 3 in the same family were killed. A call went out for donations of food for the grieving families since most people on he reserve were related to the young men. I called and said I wanted to donate but didn’t have a way to get there so was told that someone would call me for a time to pick it up.
Took the roast out and thawed it sliced it into chops seasoned it well added thickly cut potatoes and carrots. sliced onions red peppers mushrooms more salt and pepper and added 3 cans of mushroom soup and half a quart of half and half. It is now in the oven in a tinfoil roaster baking slow for another couple of hours. I got about 20 chops out of the roast so it should make a few meals and it is easy to reheat or zap in the microwave.
Glad I had it since it is between grocery days and I was still able to help.
So yes stock up a bit but make sure you know what you are stocking up with. Don’t know if I would ever have used this roast for ourselves and I am so glad I was able to make a few meals for people in need, even between shopping trips.
Their deaths have affected people from this small area but also they all played hockey on teams and one was being scouted to play down in Minnesota I think it was. ages 17 to 36. My son went to school with the 36 year old.
Such a loss for so many people and a greater loss for the immediate family.
I was telling my husband that I don’t pray I don’t go out and give hugs and kisses, I help. that is why the big meal it is my way of saying how sorry I am for their loss.
You are a blessing to those of us who read this website. You are a good-hearted person and I love to read your postings. My prayers to those in your community, too, who lost their family. And a special thank you to you for all the good things you share with us.
I noticed that you suggest just not giving kids juice since it won’t kill them, but you list several ways to reduce one’s coffee budget. People won’t die if they stop drinking coffee either.
Yes this is true Kelli. I am a big believer in drinking nothing but water if you are serious about reducing your debt. I didn’t mean though not to ever give your kids juice but to use it as a food for nutritional value not to drink in place of water. The same goes for coffee, tea or pop.
You can also freeze cheese and butter ( don’t know about margarine, I don’t use it). The shredded bagged kind gets slightly sticky when thawed, but most of the time you throw on top of a casserole anyway. The trick on the shredded cheese is to lay the bag flat in the freeze. You can stack the flat bags. The blocks of cheese, like cheddar. Portion out and wrap that way you won’t have to thaw the whole thing if you only 1/4 or 1/2.. Butter, just wrap or bag the individual sticks makes it easier then getting out the whole pound.:)
Yes you can freeze margarine too. Butter and margarine are 2 things that freeze well. Tawra freezes all of her cheeses because she uses it mostly for cooking. I freeze only my mozzarella cheese because I use a great deal on mine for eating and I find it is a little crumbly when I take it out of the freezer. So you can freeze it depending what you are using it for.
I am a flight attendant and I fly the very long international routes. It amazes me when the parents of young children ask for juice, usually apple juice, for their kids. I have seen kids drink as much as a quart of apple juice on a twelve hour flight (nothing else). Then the parents wonder why the kids are so “wired”.
Wow! I wish I could drink coffee to put me to sleep. I love coffee. In fact, I have to buy decaf and either mix it with the kind that has caffiene and drink less or just drink straight decaf. You are right on the money about the sodas. It can really eat up the food budget. I guess most things are O.K in moderation,but it seems if I buy them, they always disappear very quickly. I think your idea of just not keeping it in the house is probably the best. If it’s not there, you can’t over-indulge.That’s really funny about the Tang. Gosh, I haven’t had Tang in years.
Here’s a little more food for thought. When my husband was out of work due to disability, we were doing everything possible to conserve $$. Our income was low enough to qualify for WIC (a program in the states to get milk, cheese, juice and cereals to kids and pregnant/lactating mothers). Although I was grateful for the program it was too much food and caused problems later. Once the kids hit 5 yrs old the program went away. Well, it was really tough making that adjustment; the kids were devastated (mentally) –talk about feast or famine. At that point that was the only diet they knew.
Fast forward now that there is more than enough money for food shopping, my husband demands juice be bought. He drinks an incredible amount of juice (up to 1/2 gal a everyday). I see it as overeating (although he is actually underweight)and frankly don’t think it is worth all that money. What I started doing is canning my own, cranberry, grape & mixed flavors. It is really easy and incredibly way less $$. For those interested google canning granny muscadine juice.
these are some great ideas, however the coffee thing, a better investment would be for about $5 you can buy a reusable coffee filter that will last you for many, many years. that way when you have made your pot of coffee, you discard the grounds however you do (we compost) and rinse out the filter and it is ready for the next pot. never run out, never spend any more money on it (unless you have to replace it, however we have had ours for somewhere around 10 years so it is unlikely)
Shonagh @ An Offal Experiment
I like to put mint leaves in my water. Mint grows like a weed so is a cheaper alternative to lemon and local if you grow it yourself! I highly recommend starting a herb garden to boost your cooking for no money. Get creative to find free potting containers and take a cutting from a friend’s garden so you don’t have to buy the plants.
I got some seeds last year from a community seed exchange meeting and just started my tomatoes and beans. All of my bean plants sprouted (7) and most of my tomatoes (8). I am going to give them away as presents or exchange them with other gardeners for other veggies. Seed saving is really easy so next year I am going to save my own tomato and bean seeds. You are also saving heritage varieties usually so they are far more interesting and tasty than store-bought varieties. My tomatoes are black and my beans are purple speckled and called “River of Tears” beans.
For those who need more info check out our web site on free plants and seed and starting seeds just to get you started. I will be posting these and other gardening ideas in March.
Since spices are so expensive and so many times you use so little of them, do you have any suggestions on saving money on spices. I have been storing them in the freezer but wonder if that takes away any of the flavor. It doesn’t seem to. Many times there isn’t an expiration date on the spices, usually how long should you keep them.
Different spices last longer then others. I personally use a spice until it no longer smells strong or has much flavor left. Years ago we never had expiration dates on anything. Food was much more precious then and more expensive in some ways so we used it all even if it was older. Many things like spices really don’t go bad in the sense they can hurt you or make you sick they just lose their flavor.
To store them my favorite way is to vacuum seal part of it and use the rest. I have kept many spices for years with vacuum sealing. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer then you can go some place like grocery stores which sell bulk things or we have a place called the Spice Merchant here that you can buy as little or much of spice that you want. Even if you don’t have something like that I can buy cinnamon and basics at Wal Mart or Aldis for $1 for a nice size jar of it. Even if I have to throw away half of it that is still cheaper then buying at a bulk store or spice place a small amount.
Another thing to do is to try to find someone to split the spices with – a neighbor, friend or family member. My mom and daughter and I do this all the time.
One last thing if you do buy a spice you don’t use so much try finding new recipes to use them in or ways to use them or make some old favorites more often.
I keep the basic supplies in my pantry. Please, I read that people can’t cook from scratch! I’m not much of a cook myself, but I can read! I have cookbooks. I have cookbooks that are easy to use. My crockpots are a major part of my cooking. They only use about 200 watts an hr. and can be left alone to free me up for other tasks. I live 60 miles from a larger town to shop. But there is a store that is mom & pop business. They sell meat $3 or less on most meats. I get roasts when on sale $2 a lb. I then cut up the roast in slices to feed the meat grinder on my mixer. After I cut out fat, etc. I control the fat content, lessen the exposure of ecoli etc. I process about 35lbs at a time and form into 8oz patties. I love leftovers. I can make a new meal out of leftovers. I work 12.5 hr rotating shifts in a copper mine. So crockpots are savers for me. My husband is older and retired. He will heat up leftovers when I get up to get ready for work. And make a dinner for my Mom too. I will cut meat in tiny pieces to make it go farther or shred it. I buy cases of food when on sale. I use my pantry. Cooking from scratch saves money. Basics like flour, beans, rice, dehydrated potatoes in different forms. Buy in bulk. I don’t eat out very often. I do order large. Only eat a 3rd and doggie bag the rest. I can then make 3 more meals or more. I worked with a Chinese man. He said that lots of finely chopped veggies, with a small amount of a meat, makes a good meal-the prize here is that they use lots of sauces. The flavor of the sauce. It works. Filler is rice. Chinese people are a lean people. I don’t have time to clip coupons. But it works. I substitute ingredients. Get a good book for ingredient swapping. Keep a good selection of spices. And easy cookbooks. One of my grandsons was cooking complete meals for his family of 7. And he is good now at 13. People should start supplying their homes for a year’s supply of food and paper goods, personal and house cleaning supplies. You never know when you can lose a job, disaster etc. my Grama lived in the Great Depression. She taught me to be confident in a time like that. I can even make a pattern from newspaper to make clothing. This old miner will survive.
God bless and keep you!
Back to all those coffee grounds-they’re a wonderful addition to the compost heap and, allegedly ,slugs hate them.
I never could find a link on how to save money on groceries.
It seems your website is directed at young families. I am 72, live alone and struggle to get by each month. It would be good if your suggestions on how to save money would include people like me.
Here is an article of ours for singles Savings for Singles. We have many singles say the same thing as you, I too am single, but the thing is almost all of our advice on saving money and our recipes can be used whether there is one or 15 in a family. All the basic principles are the same. You might browse the site a little more and I think you may find some good ideas. For example your can save by not using your dryer whether you have a family or are single. The same goes for drinking more water and less things like pop, coffee or tea or try buying as many things as you can at garage sales. Don’t take vacations, buy new cars, turn down your heat. As you can see these are all things anyone can do. Be really careful. I have done this and it is easy to fall into the trap of making up excuses of how not to save or get out of debt. I’m not saying it isn’t hard – know it is because I live on less then most people on SS get but sometimes it is easy to throw up our hands and say it can’t be done because my situation isn’t the same. Try to take what you can and adapt it for your life. I just don’t want you to give up and not try because you think there aren’t any answers for your particular situation.
Several years ago, I gave up drinking soda because I couldn’t afford it in my budget. I have found something that makes a good substitute. Flavored Water. It is much cheaper at the grocery store, fizzy like pop, so even the kids like it. AND you can water it down by 1/3 to 1/2 and it still tastes great. Try it.
drinking ONLY water is a great way to lose pounds. You would be amazed at how many calories you drink.
Try a few FRESH strawberries in your fridge water – YUMMY !!
Can I just add that for those people that buy juices simply for cooking and worry about it gong bad…here is a tip that I use all the time.
I buy pineapple juice once in a great while for recipes but they usually only call for 1 cup or 1/2 cup. My tip is that after I use the amount that I need for that recipe. I measure out 1/4 cup measurements and freeze in paper cups in the freezer. Once it is frozen, I rip the cup away and put the 1/4 cup BLOCKS in a freezer bag for future use. The reason I do 1/4 measurements is because that is what I have found useful for my recipes. All mine call for either 1/4 cup, 1/2 cup or a full cup so I thaw out only what I need for the recipe and the rest stays in the freezer. It’s a great way to not let them go to waste.
lol…I remember using paper towels a few times because I ran out of filters. That’s funny. I didn’t think I would every see it suggested anywhere. I eventually bought a reusable filter. I would say it is one of the most economic purchases I have ever made.
I have tried reusing the coffee filter and have found allergies flare up especially in the winter.
My coffee maker is a small 4 cup (I am the only one drinking coffee), so I save on coffee filters by buying larger size # 4 natural ones (unbleached) on sale and just trimming the tops down to size.Many other uses for these cut off pieces…
I also have have been reusing the TOPS of pint size containers (plastic or cardboard) as the “saucers” to water my growing basil plants in, I recently learned from a friend that basil plants should be watered from the bottom up htough the roots. They are doing much better….
Save the filters/coffee grounds if you have a garden. My husband uses this for fertilizer and places them around the plants. The coffee filters helps to keep moisture in the ground (especially with hot weather and no rain).
Milk at our Kroger is always $2.39 a gallon, which is very reasonable. My daughter grew up with the choice of “milk or water” at every meal. Juice has the same calories as pop and should be a treat, just like pop. We don’t have juice in the house, and pop only when we have pizza which isn’t often. So nice to find this site and all the like-minded people.
Michelle, that is an awesome price on a gallon of milk! I live in Florida, and the milk in my area is around $3.69 a gallon. Sometimes CVS and Walgreens will run it for $2.99, that is about the best deal around. I had a very long day this past Friday, so when I went to get groceries at winn Dixie late that afternoon, I bought the milk there, even though Walgreens just down the street had it for $2.99. Just couldn’t bear another stop!
I freeze milk when it’s on sale. I also take left over coffee and freeze it into cubes for iced coffee.
I also can vegetables over the summer and always plant a garden. If you have no yard plant in planters. There are tons of how to do it on the net. You can save quite a bit of money even after deducting the pressure canners. I also cook in my pressure canner. I can take very cheap cuts of meat that are very tender after cooking in the pressure cooker.
You can also use a piece of clean cloth as a coffee filter in a pinch. I once used a pair of nylons. If you use coffee filters compost them.
As for weight loss, I’ve lost over 100 lbs and my weight has stayed steady for years when I stopped dieting and counting calories. I now eat only when I’m hungry not when a meal is supposed to be served. The hard part is learning to listen to your body.
For those of you who want more info on how to freeze milk here is one of our posts on it How to Save on Milk
I like buying some items generic. I save money on staples like baking products, etc. I clip coupons for other things. I also look at the bins in the front of the store because some of the have discounted products. Buy cards and favors at discount stores as well.
Over the past three years, I looked for ways to save money on food (not to mention utilities etc), I’ve done a good job I think. One of the biggest ways I have found that cut my own food bill is to not eat processed food maybe 10% of our food ends up being processed (pasta, bread). I go to the store with a list, buy fresh vegetables (or frozen), fruit, a few meats, lots of beans, lots of different whole grains, make my own Cashew Nut Milk, 1/2 gallon of milk for cooking, no juices at all, no sodas at all and I collect recipes to cook this way. It took the three years to get used to this, it was not easy but I can’t tell you how it simplified my life, and we all feel better. I have not had a problem maintaining weight since starting it, allergies have gone away, skin has cleared up. The other step I took was growing my own food, lettuces, tomatoes, okra, cucumbers and a ton of herbs, this year I will be adding beans and peas, I started out with just a few containers and now I do square foot gardens. Much of our country has lost the skill of growing our own food…..my parents were SOOOOO good at it, they grew up during WWII and all had victory gardens. My whole childhood I was surrounded by fresh food, they made it look so effortless!! I wish I had paid more attention to how they did it!! They also canned or froze everything, I remember my mothers grocery bill was very low (compared to friends parents). Finally, learn to cook, make things from scratch. Bread, biscuits, pancakes, waffles (make lots, freeze them), this goes for everything! Another good tip, get some of the silicone ice cube trays and when lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits are at peak and on sale, buy extra and squeeze the juice and freeze and place in baggies in the freezer. This is AWESOME, I have now added coffee cubes for iced coffee, chicken broth to use at a later date and chop herbs that I grow in summer, add water or olive oil, freeze and place in baggies. I think I ended up saving $250 or more a month on family of 4! Good luck!! Love your blog, I learn new things every time I read it!!!
This article really helped me think about how much we spend on K- cups ( even though we buy at a wholesale club) and bottled water. I am sensitive to the smell and taste of chlorine and our tap water taste rough.
My husband loves to drink coffee all day and loves fresh brewed coffee.
Any ideas about how to save money on wart and have it taste good?
We can buy regular coffee and use the K cup holder and not buy K cups but clean up is difficult.
I have never bought a bottle of water in my whole life. I hate the taste of tap water but I drink almost nothing but tap water all day. I am very fussy about how my water tastes too. How do I manage to drink tap water then? I keep a large pitcher of water in my fridge and it always taste crisp fresh and good. The secret is to let it set at least over night. I have a thin narrow jug with a spikkit (sp) on it. What people don’t realize is why bottled water tastes so good to them is because it has sat on the shelf for a bit waiting for you to buy it and that is why it tastes better to them. You can do the same thing at home in most cases. Now there are 1-2 places that the water can be really really awful but I would try leaving a jug of water sitting in your fridge for a couple of days and see what it is like.
What happens by leaving it sitting like this (and this is what happens to bottled water too) is the chlorine evaporates out and disappears.I am not sensitive to chlorine but I don’t like the smell or taste either.
Now a couple of things to remember.
The water that you get from a fridge that has a dispenser isn’t the same as having it sit in the fridge.
If you leave your food in the fridge uncovered you will want a lid on the jug otherwise it will pick up the taste of the food.
I prefer a glass pitcher but I usually use plastic because they don’t make them big enough in glass and they would be extra heavy filling them.
This really isn’t as complicated as it seems. Take a glass cup of water and set it in the fridge for 2 days and at the end of 2 days see what it tastes like.
My problem isn’t so much the taste as it is the color. It turns brown every now and then (supposedly when the city is flushing the pipes or testing hydrants). I don’t trust it. I used to drink nothing but Pepsi—about 5 cans a day! I was diagnosed pre-diabetic about 2 years ago and my Pepsi was the first to go—I do not tolerate artificial sweeteners and hate the taste of Stevia/Truvia. So…bottled water it is.I am not having much luck with unsweetened tea (I am a Southerner and it hurt me to even type those words! LOL) and don’t like coffee. I drink 4-5 bottles a day. I spend $2.50 for 24 16-ounce bottles at Winn Dixie. I usually buy 2 at a time. I was spending at least $2.50 for a 12-pack of 12-ounce cans of Pepsi (I tried to stock up when Target had them 4/$10, but never paid more than $3.00 anywhere), so I am saving money there.
Dannie there are exceptions to the rule and yours is one of them. If you don’t have access to good water then of course you need to buy it but most people do have perfectly good water and they still buy it and that is who I am talking about. It is funny because I love Pepsi myself (my dad is a Pepsiholic) and I can’t stand artificial sweeteners either. Unsweetened tea – I am right there with you on that. :) I didn’t realize for most of my life that there are some people who actually drink tea unsweetened. :) :) Then when McDonalds and other places started selling this new stuff called “sweetened tea” and everyone was buying it and flipping out, I thought everyone knew tea should be drank sweetened. :):)
I am new, so this may have been mentioned previously.
I shop for groceries 1-2x/month. Period.
I also do a monthly menu. Now, every item may not be on a precise day, but during that month, that meal is served.
Know what is best about that? The menu is YOUR GROCERY LIST!
I also am always on the look out for a good sale and can do a swap of a meal idea at the drop of an idea. Extras, since I am now living alone, go into the freezer as another meal. Left over veggies, sm. pieces of meat/bone go into a bag for homemade soup.
I too, freeze milk for future use. We shop every two weeks and buy a gallon or two of milk. Powdered milk is only slightly cheaper here, and I keep that on hand, too. There is just my husband and I, and a gallon of milk is much cheaper than smaller containers of milk, so I purchased some inexpensive 2 quart sized plastic covered jugs from the local bargain shop. When I get the milk home, I open the gallon jug, pour half of it (2 quarts) into a plastic covered jug from the bargain store. I make sure the original gallon and the plastic jug are both covered and sealed, then put them in the freezer. I take out 2 quarts at a time, and like Jill, I thaw it over night on the kitchen counter, with the jug sitting on a tea towel. Often, there are still a few ice crystals in it by morning. I just give the jug a shake and put it in the fridge. The purchased plastic covered 2 quart jugs are re-usable, and I guess you could wash out and re-use ordinary jugs that the milk comes in, and separate the milk into those jugs, for free. Where I live, milk was over $6.00 a gallon. People refused to buy it here, and drove an extra 60 miles away to go to a WalMart, where they could get the milk for just over $4.00 a gallon. After months of that, our local grocery stores lowered their price of milk to just under $5.00 a gallon. That trip to WalMart may seem unnecessary or extravagant, but in northern Canada, the community with the WalMart had cheaper gas, more shopping choices with better prices, and more services. Local shop keepers were making it easier to shop out of town, and save money on everything, for people who were willing to make a day trip.
Why people still use to read news papers when in this technological world all is
available on net?
First not everyone has the net or can afford it. Second you can read books on the net too but I prefer the good old fashioned way of curling up and holding a book. The internet has it’s place and is great but it isn’t the be all end all.
Wait a minute….I thought this was about saving money on GROCERIES….this is all about juice, soda and milk. Doesn’t anyone actually EAT FOOD anymore?? Where are those money saving tips?
The thing is people now spend almost as much on those things as they do food. More than 1//3 of the average persons grocery bill are those things. By saving 35% not buying those types of things you save 1/3 on your grocery bill. I would thing saving 1/3 of your money in just one area is a pretty big tip especially for just one post.
Great ideas. I will put some of these into practice!