If you’re spending too much on your food bill, here are some easy ways to save money on groceries! Most people spend too much because they don’t know these simple tips!
Save Money in the Kitchen
For many people, cutting back on their grocery budgets can be an overwhelming experience. They know they’re spending too much, but don’t know where to begin to cut. Often, they fear that they will deprive themselves and their children if they become frugal.
The good news is that there are ways to have your cake, eat it and save money in the kitchen at the same time. The whole secret is to start slowly.
There are countless ways you can cut your food bill, but if you need to, target just one thing at a time. You won’t get overwhelmed, but you will still be saving money if you do only one thing.
If you are a frugal beginner, try these simple suggestions for saving on your food bill:
- Cooking frugally is like changing your diet. You need to learn gradually how to save money and cook frugally. Don’t expect that you will get your food bill down to $300 for four people in the first month if you are spending $600 a month right now.
- Try cutting just $25.00 or $50.00 a month. Even if you cut back only $50.00 a month, you will save $600.00 a year. If you save just $1.00 a day that is $365.00 a year. You can then apply that $365.00 a year to paying off your credit cards. At 21 percent interest, you will save over $70 a year. This will eventually cause a snowball effect since the more you pay off, the less you pay to interest. When you pay less to interest, you have more each month to apply to paying off your overall debt. This means that as you pay off the debt, the rate that you can pay it off increases.
- Before you shop, take a tour through your pantry and your refrigerator. Be organized! Don’t buy what’s already hiding in your kitchen.
- If you’re a fan of coupons, remember this: It’s not what you save, it’s what you spend. If you save 30 cents on something you wouldn’t ordinarily buy anyway, you haven’t really saved anything.
- A typical fruit item is significantly larger than one serving. Most people would be just as happy eating a small apple as eating a large one — so buy smaller fruits! You will save money by the pound.
- This month, try two meatless meals a week (or one, if you’re a die hard meat fan).
- Make simple meals. One-dish meals can contain your meat, your vegetable and your bread.
- Drink water for your meals.
- If your family is used to drinking milk, juice or pop for every meal then start by cutting juice from one meal or snack a day and drinking only water. After you get used to this, cut from another meal until you drink only water for meals and a glass of juice or milk at snack time.
- You can also try allowing one glass of juice at meal times. Then serve water after the juice is gone.
- You save over $500.00 a year by cutting just one glass of juice per person per day for a family of four.
- Don’t assume that homemade is cheaper. If you get a VERY GOOD deal on chocolate chips and ingredients for candies, it is cheaper to make them than buying them pre-made. Make sure you do the calculations, though! If you don’t purchase them on sale, homemade candies can be more expensive than candies purchased at the store.
- Stop wasting food. Give young children small portions. They can always have more if they are still hungry. Give them a half glass of juice and a half sandwich so you don’t waste uneaten food. Put food in the refrigerator right after the meal so it doesn’t spoil. Use leftovers for lunches, in other dishes or frozen in one portion sizes for a quick meal.
- Don’t buy everything at one store. Prices vary greatly from one store to the next. Go to different stores to buy only their sale items. You will save more than the cost of your gas. It usually only takes half an hour to 45 minutes per store to get the items that are on sale including driving time. If you save a minimum of $20-$30 per trip, it is like “earning” $40-$60 an hour. If you save $60 spending one hour going to two different stores, it is four extra hours you might not have to work to pay for that same food purchased at the regular price.
- Remember, cooking frugally is a mindset. You have to change your cooking and eating habits. Don’t get discouraged if one idea fails. Try another one.
- Stop buying things like toaster pastries and breakfast bars for breakfast. Eat oatmeal, pancakes, granola and fruit instead.
- Don’t assume that bulk is cheaper. Compare cost by the ounce or pound.
Most people don’t think they can live the frugal life and still be comfortable. I feed my family of seven on $600 per month. Over five years, when my husband earned an average of $22,000 per year, we paid off $20,000 debt. One of the ways we did it was by keeping our grocery budget low. When cutting your grocery bill, it’s the little things that add up.
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I am a greatgrandma 73yrs old, So I’ve gone thru more than one depression(People are suffering loss of jobs and loosing their homes and possesions, having to depend on government programs) the same as during the Roosevelt administration, when i was a child, at that time I was living with my grandparents in a rural area of illinois(it’s now a small town) while my mother worked as a live-in maid in the nearby state of Missouri(in or around St. Louis) so the family could have money for things like coal for the Potbelly stove in the living room and the big black cook stove in the kitchen, There was also coal oil for the small kerosene stove which granny used mostly in the summer.
my grandma made light bread for the family and half the neighbors. I grew up in New York with my mother, stepfather and four younger brothers(i don’t do halves and steps , we had the same mother, we are bros and sis)My mom followed in her mothers footsteps, she made homemade everything in the kitchen, laundry, clothes for me and my brothers. She made the old brown bar soap(which i later did the same when I married and had children) commonly called lye soap(basidally it was Octagon or fels naptha in appearance amd ingrediants. She would great that soap and use it in the old secondhand washer she used to do the family wash in, The thing washed but one or two of the boys would have to sit on top of it so the lid would stay closed and keep it from dancing into anything across the floor. She saved cooked grease to make the soap with. and oh boy was she and I mending fools( folks don’t mend sox,clothes and sew buttons back on anymore. old bread became bread pudding, left over rice became eather rice pudding or cerael. White vingar cleaned everything,clothes, appliances, spots food etc. so I have always tried to live within my means and now i have a small fixed income of around 764.00 a month and i just remeber what it was like in the days of 5 cent sodas and DIY as much as possible. Theres more but I’m trying to keep this short. All i’m trying to say is history repeats itself so Remember—travel back in time, grab it and bring up to date. thanks for listening. ” THERE IS NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN” Bible, King Solomon
Lola R. Josey
Hello Bev, we are same age. Today I darned my husbands socks (a first!) adding fancy lace to one top. So far he has said nothing. I’ll be sure he wears it to the wound clinic next week!
Enjoyed your posts and must go find your quote from the bible…is certainly true in the art world.
how do you make lye soap? do you have a recipe?
I do but it’s kind of complicated. you can just do a google search for lye soap recipe.
I’m a little concerned about the lack of milk in your children’s diet only because Ca++ lactate is such an absorbable source of calcium for the bones, and little girls are going to be needing those strong bones one of these days for both childbirth and old age.
Donna you don’t need to be concerned. We live in a world where if a little is good a huge amount of anything is better. That is part of the reason there are so many over weight kids. People don’t always take into account that kids can get a serving of milk in their cereal, poured over oatmeal, in baked goods, yogurt, cheese sandwiches and like my grandkids do for a snack they will have a glass of chocolate milk. What happens is the kids get all those servings of dairy and then the parents have them drink a glass of milk at each meal on top of that because we are worried they aren’t getting their vitamins we pour tons of milk and juice down them forgetting the really need water even more. Most doctors will tell you people aren’t getting enough water.
Also I liked the idea Tiff said earlier that she only let her kids have a couple of sips of something to drink at a meal because whether it is water, milk or anything, if they drink too much they get filled up and then don’t eat their food. Often picky eaters are just kids who have filled up on liquid right before a meal. This is also why some kids get up from the dinner table and are hungry 10 mins. later.
Did you know that red bell peppers (capscium) contain more calcium than milk – so do sesame seeds – so that little or now milk in your diet isn’t a worry if you eat plenty of these. :)
Great tips on how to save money on groceries!!! I am currently spending about $600 a month for a family of 4 (kids are 19 and 17) so they eat A LOT! I’ve never been a fan of coupons because I always felt I was spending more using them, rather than saving money. I tend to throw out a lot of uneaten or spoiled food, so that’s where I’m going to start my savings–I have a feeling within a couple trips to the store I’ll be spending less money. And I always assumed I’d spend more gas money going from store to store for the sale items; thanks for doing the math for me so I can see it’s more of savings on the groceries than cost for the gas. So I am gong to start studying the grocery sale papers before shopping for the week, plan my meals and buy sale items from a couple different stores. THANK YOU!!!! You are going to save my (financial) life! :-)
Way to go Marilyn. You are doing it just right. I always tell everyone to start out slow because if you try to do everything at once you can get overwhelmed and quit. Plus if you even start with one or two things you are still saving more then you were before.
I really hate pushing our products but for those of you who need much more info you might check out our Grocery Savings E Course. It is really pack full with a bunch of stuff on how to save on groceries other then using coupons but for those of you who do love coupons I even have a section on those. I know I don’t use many coupons now but there was a time when I really was considered a coupon queen so I don’t hate them as much as some people think I do.
Also don’t let the name of the E course throw you. It really is just a book I wrote with much more info on saving then is in Dining and the web site.
Do you include household items such as laundry/dishwashing detergent and other cleaning products, plastic wrap, foil, and personal care products such as toilet paper, shampoo, etc. in your grocery budget or do you have a separate fund for those kinds of things? I lump everything together under the category of “grocery” but often find that I spend a large portion of the money on non-edibles, even though I usually get them at the dollar store.
You don’t need plastic wrap or foil thats a waste of money.Use glass or ceramic bowls that you can put in the fridge or freezer and in oven to reheat saves you much more money and is greener and has no toxens in them like plastic or foil.
I have several different menus. Each menu has 14 meals on the left side and the grocery list for these menus on the right side . I have a few saturday dishes and 2 Sunday dinner menus. I post this on the refrigerator and if I am busy , other family members can look at it and cook dinner. I cover these with clear packing tape and it helps them to last for a long time. They are my old favorite recipes and some new ones to see how the family likes them. Saturday meals for lunch are called manager’s special. All the leftovers are put on the stove and each family member microwaves what they want. Anything left over is fed to our outdoor cats. I also have grilled cheese ingredients or coldcuts or soup for saturday supper.This keeps the refrigerator cleaned out It makes it easy to just grab a menu on grocery day. Sunday dinners are special- Roast beef , with veggies and a dessert or Lasagna with garlic bread and salad with a dessert. If we have unexpected company I can use the sunday meals for the extra servings because these are larger meals. Also if I have extra spagetti sauce, I freeze it to use in a goulash I also save dried bread in a bag in the freezer for bread crumbs or dressing. If I have extra servings , we take them for our lunch so we do not eat out. If I go to the store and something not on the menu in on sale, I use that item and leave off one of my meals on the list. Somedays , my family is craving a certain meal and the ingredients are already in the house. Less trips to the store is more $$ in our pockets.
I would love to see a copy of your menu sheets! It sounds like something I could do with very little time….sure appreciate your post! And I LOVE the info Jill gives! Their books are wonderful too!
I’d also like to see your budget sheets, sounds interesting.
Would you consider sharing?
i’ll just make this short as possible , but for the people that don’t use coupons and have ideas that they spend more using them , i can’t see the logic in it , i am a very frugal coupon shopper , and there are many times that the doulbe coupon stores i shop , owe me money , so i get paid to take my groceries home , so my budget is very very small , sometimes i stockpile things many different items i get free (with my coupons ) , so weeks i only need milk, bread , eggs , and fresh fruits for juicing , believe it or not i smile all the way to my bank every week with my husbands pay check .
Cissy, if you have read my Grocery Savings e book or some other articles I explain first of all I was just like you. I used coupons all the time and was even considered a “coupon queen” but something happened which many couponers haven’t ever had to deal with and that is I lived where there was no double couponing and had no access to coupons. I was in a pickle because I had been so obsessed with couponing and how much I made I didn’t know how to save as well without them so I now try to teach that couponing is not the only route to go and found I saved just as much with my other ways as with coupons.
As far as not always saving using coupons, you may have your shopping under control but just as many if not more people don’t and those people hear couponers say always use coupons and that is all they hear so they take a $.50 coupon which can’t be double and buy a bag of $3.00 cookies which they don’t really need just because they have a coupon and think they are saving. They then take the bag home the kids leave the bag open, the humidity hits and they have to throw a half a bag of cookies away.
That’s why I teach if you can get a $1.00 bag without a coupon and make sure you are careful and don’t waste your food you can sometimes come out ahead in that case. I use coupons myself and I know just what you are talking about for savings but like I said everyone doesn’t have the same situation as yours and it is to those I am talking too.
LOVE what you said. Water is the best thing anyone cand drink. You can go weeks without food, but you can only live a week (if that) without water.
Our year old gets one cup of milk and one cup of juice a day, and the rest of the day he gets water; some days we break that “rule.” Of course, cheese is a main food group in our house. :) He loves his food and eats as if he’s starving. We put food on a small plate for him, and that is all he gets. However, we give him a few bites at a time and make him take drinks when he is done with bites and is ready for more.
I grew up drinking lots of milk and 30% O.J. When I started college and was “unleashed,” I started drinking lots of pop (a rare thing at my parent’s house). I started gaining weight, and I forced myself to start drinking water. Now, I LOVE water (used to hate it). I drink it more than anything else.
I stock up on items for a couple of reasons 1) it’s on sale or 2) it’s winter time and we might get snowed in for a week. I make monthly plan for what to have for supper each weeknight of the month, and try to plan at least one meal with rice. We usually aren’t around much on the weekends so I leave them open, and if we do end up being around we make whatever we have on hand already; sometimes that may be a frozen pizza. The results are amazing! I used to spend $150 every two weeks at the store, but since planning meals, I spend $200-220 a month on groceries. I only go to the store once (unless something comes up later), which means I only have to cart a toddler into a grocery store once a month (thereby saving myself some sanity).
I have two different store options. Before I pick a store, I look to see what awesome deals each store has. One store has better meat, but the other store has more options and more generic products. If, say, one of the stores has hamburger on sale then I will go to that one; we are always buying hamurger on sale and putting it in the deep freezer.
Where I live, double couponing has been discontinued because of people who do it to the extreme. Some retailers won’t even accept anything but store-produced coupons anymore, mostly due to abuse. Even so, the majority of coupons are for processed food and/or consumable products.
I find there are very little coupons for the foods we should be eating (hello, 50 lbs bag of oats, 5 lbs of dried beans and 10 lb bags of apples!), and most consumable products can be filled in with inexpensive, long-term alternatives (rags for paper towels, cloth diapers, vinegar for cleaners, etc). Couponing simply doesn’t pay for many conscious consumers!
A busy mom has little time to cut and sort coupons, and I’ve always been able to save more by going to discount grocery stores and/or shopping high or low on the shelves, since the most popular and most expensive brands are usually between waist and eye level. Off-brands and store brands are often every bit as tasty and nutritious as the more advertised brands: sometimes they are even made by the same manufacturers. Some discount grocery stores don’t offer coupons but have consistently low prices on almost everything I need. Sometimes the Asian or other ethnic markets have really good deals on fresh foods like produce, meat and fish. They have 20 and 50 lb bags of rice, beans, and other staples, and often a good choice of varieties. You have to store these in a dry place in tight-lidded bins, like galvanized trash-cans, so they will keep without getting contaminated; but it’s a way of getting a high quality product at a very low price. I grow my own herbs in a barrel outside the kitchen door. This is an inexpensive way of giving a unique fresh touch to your meals. Instead of soda, I use iced tea or coffee, or home made fruit syrup dissolved in lots of water. Lemon wedges add a luxurious touch for very little if you cut them small and store them in plastic wrap or bags, taking out only what is needed for each meal. Cloth napkins save on paper products. Woven or knitted dishcloths and recycled rags save on tissues and paper towels. Vinegar, ammonia, rubbing alcohol, and bleach as well as plain dollar store detergents, are really all the cleaning products needed, and are less toxic than some of the many specialty products available.
Jill like you I rarely if ever use coupons.
No double days or access to coupons. Often more trouble than they are worth.
I found that no name and store brands were cheaper even with the coupons. Since no name brands are usually made at the name brand plants you get the same quality.
I have 2 grocery stores that I can shop at. That is all that are in town and the next store is an hour away down terrible roads in the winter.
I don’t make a list just sort of keep in mind what I want and then go to the store and hope that their specials are there. They are not always since the truck is late and no rain checks, the special is so disgusting looking I wouldn’t serve it to my cats.
Now with the major employer out of business the stores are cutting back on what they bring in.
I have just told my husband that I want to make a trip to the city before the weather gets bad so I can stock up on things for the winter.
Tea neither store carries the licorice or mint tea he takes to work with him.
Meat and chicken which is much cheaper and lots more varieties there.
I like to shop local since the money stays in town but when your stores don’t have what you need it makes sense to shop elsewhere.
Saving gas is good but saving more money is better.
To me coupons in a small isolated community are just a pain.
Grandma, I have never heard of licorice tea but it sure sounds good. I love licorice so I might just like it. Yum.
Stash Licorice spice caffeine free herbal tea.
my husband loves it but mixes it with Moroccan style mint tea and a cinnamon stick.
He hates coffee so for work in the winter he takes tea since underground is cold in some parts.
the company is in oregon here is the website if you want to see if it is available in your area. www.stashtea.com
you can also buy fennel tea which is licorice but Don says it is not as flavourful. since I don’t care for licorice what do I know.
Thanks for the info Grandma.
I find it really interesting to read Grandma’s posts on this section about having to plan food shopping trips because of the isolation in which she lives…I live in England and am fortunate that if I forget something I can either walk to the corner shop, which is about 10 mins’s walk away, or simply drive to the nearest supermarket, which is about 5 mins’ drive away. If I don’t like what they have on offer, another is never too far away. I don’t live in the city or anything, I live in a suburb of Preston, in North West England, and the countryside is more or less on my doorstep. It’s hard to imagine (well for me anyway!!) living in so vast a place that you can’t just nip out if you forget to buy your toilet rolls! LOL I got a good deal in one of my local supermarkets the other day – a very large jar of cook-in sauce for slow cookers, £1.42 each – buy one, get TWO free!! Maximum 9 per customer (guess how many I bought, but I WILL use them!) All different varieties as well. I Love the site by the way, and I’m really looking forward to receiving my Dining on a Dime book!!!!
When we lived in Idaho and in the mountains in Colorado we had to drive 60 miles each way to go to the store. We went about 2 times a month.
Mari, we do have 2 grocery stores in town they just don’t have the variety of things I like to cook with.
The town is not large enough to support specialty items like the teas and the large size roasts that I cut down to steaks and roasts and other things. It is also a lot more expensive than in the city.
Also we spend a lot of time out in the bush taking pictures, hunting and fishing and just enjoying the beauty and peace we find out there. So shopping takes 2nd place.
So the trips to the city are for fun and stocking up so that next Sat. or Sunday are for going out to nature instead of taking time to go shopping.
In the spring and summer we go about once every 2 months or so but in the winter we go in late Oct. and then probably not again until April or May. Weather is a deterrent snow and high winds makes the trip interesting if not down right dangerous. Cliffs down the the Lake and rock cuts, ice, wind gusts and moose.
There are many areas in Canada that are as built up as in England but there is a lot more area that is sparsely populated and that is where I live.
We can get all the necessities of life it is the fun stuff that you would like to try or experiment with that you have to special or take a trip to get.
I wouldn’t change it for anything, really and I am glad the mines will be here until 2019 according to the company.
I’m glad to see we have some similar advice! http://budgetingwiththebushmans.blogspot.com/2011/10/how-to-eat-like-youre-poor-even-if.html
I am not a young women and I already subscribe to many of your ideas. I ALWAYS hung my laundry out-doors but it just isn’t quite worth it anymore.I am a “iron everything” person and the dryer does help.I am a craft person and I have many, many instruction books and papers. To organize my collections I have 3 ring notebooks and fill them with cheap plastic covers into which I keep my papers. But one thing I learned the hard way was “always make a copy of your project directions and NEVER use the original. If you have many UFOs like me , directions can be lost. Even if you must pay to have a copy made it is worth every penny.
I found taking a picture of my knit/crochet pattern on my phone is handy. No fumbling with paper & always with me. I have bad eyes & I can enlarge the pic of the part I’m working on. Ie Ragland sleeve/collar. I can even highlight where I’m at in the pattern so if I loose my place I can find it & pick up where I left off. Try it you might like it too. Plus side if I want to make another the patterns with me to pick out yarn for the next one
Please don’t use my complete name, just Elly Thank you.
I appreciate all these ideas. Growing up, we were a family of 7 and were low income. However, we never went hungry. Both of my parents liked to cook and fed us nutritous meals, although inexpensive, and we never were hungry.
For example, towards the end of the week my mother would make a meal with lots of mashed potatoes and corn (along with meat). Then for Sunday supper the leftovers became potato/corn fritters; for a couple of days she would make “too much” of vegetable(s)and chunk boiled potatoes. Then they would become part of stew; 1 chicken would get cooked on Saturday – on Sunday it became a chicken and dumplings meal. Ham got cut up and added to scalloped potatoes; 2 hot dogs got cut up into macaroni and cheese.
Just wanted to share these ideas.
I also love Grandma’s posts and have to say I’m just a bit “green with envy” of your life style :) Health issues for both of us made living in a less populated, on a small acreage area to much for us…. but can sure relate to the small town grocery stores where a can of anything doubles in price :( (Our area) wasn’t nearly as remote sounding as yours but after a fall on the ice last winter caused permanent shoulder damage for my husband, if there’s ice on the roads we stay home… thus the need to buy ahead and stock up. Fortunately, we are retired, like being home and enjoy cooking from scratch. One thing we’ve learned about life; It is what it is…. so? Lol
Also store brand items more often than not even taste better! I made Jill’s Pumpkin Crunch Cake the first time with a store brand mix and could have eaten the entire dish at one setting; second time with a “brand name” and it was terrible :) Way to salty which is a big reason I cook so much from scratch.
Juanita, it’s now just the two of us but that is how I cook now and have to say, it’s true comfort food! Lol
Love this site and all you guys posts and comments:) Thanks to all of you, I just must figure out a way to put a clothes line on my back porch! Happy New Year to all!
i told hubby i am cutting down my food shopping budget and will shop twice/week instead of once a week .. we will just eat less meat but more vegi’s . and well, the only place i really cant scrimp on is the dairy items i buy .. we all love eggs and butter and milk .. but if i cut down on the usage of these items i think it will be good ..
he isnt too thrilled but does like the idea of more vegi’s per meal ..
we are also thinking of moving into an apt .. i did find one i really liked . it is where my daughter lives .. the only thing that isnt very good is that there isnt enuff room for him to use the wheelchair from the bedrooms to the bathrooms .. on the walker he would do fine .. and we are required to pay for cable and water (even if we do not have a washer/dryer) ..
the other apt i really like is that u r not required to pay for cable if u cant afford it and u only pay for the water if u have a washer/dryer .. the rooms seem a bit bigger too ..
the two apts around about the same price and the only diff is of the two is that the one where my daughter lives we can have up to 2 pets .. but the other one is a strict no pet policy .. and the best part of the other apt (not where my daughter lives) .. they offer valet trash pick up service for $1/day (it’s $30/month).. they come 3 times/week to pick up the trash ..
now, i know thats a bit high but the trash bins/recepticles are on the other side of the apts.. all the way on the other end of the apt complex .. hubby said we should just drive over there then .. and i told him “ok! but what about wear and tear on the vehicle? the gas? the etc? and what happens if my car finally goes kablooey?.. u dont take the trash out (well he cant he’s on a walker or in a wheelchair) .. so i told him for $30/month i can do without the cable (that is $77/month but that is for like over 200 channels) .. and this apt complex is right near everything.. literally! .. its next to the hospital, one way down the street is walmart, the other way is the reg supermarket i go to and hte bank is right there .. i really like this place but i cant give up my pets .. they are super old .. adn well .. i know eventually they will be gone .
i have an apt this friday to speak to the apt manager of the ones i really like again .. i did speak to them several months ago .. but didnt see the inside of one of them ..
the apts are much cheaper than the house i live in . the apts where my duaghter lives at, with all the utilities, phone, elec and internet, cable and water .. its $1025/month (avg bc of electric) . and with other one its even cheaper .. even with the valet trash service .. and i wont have to worry about lawn care, gutters, pressure cleaning the house .. both apts do all of this .. so it is a step in the right direction of saving money ..
again, the only dilemma i have is my pets ..
Glad you published that you are feeding your family of 6 for $400. We are really tight on $$, and qualify for gov’t help. My daughter got a job, so they cut the help back to $440 a month for 6 people. I have been kinda in a panic as it has been running out early. It encourages me to know that you are already doing it. Thanks for sharing and God Bless!
grizzly bear mom
Dear Rose, I would choose the apartment where I can keep my pets. They are a blessing to me, bring me joy, are my only immediate family members, my fur kids and I promised to care for them until they died.
yes .. i feel the same way grizzly bear mom .. and well i can bring my cat .. but the two dogs i cant bring .. i can have 2 pets .. but there are 2 dogs and 1 cat .. and bc there is no yard to let the dogs out, they would be stuck in the apt all the time ..
i did find a no kill shelter for the one dog .. she’s adoptable and they hold all kinds of showing to get the pets shown and they have a long list of foster parents ..
the dogs are super old too .. leah will be 12 in feb and micky just turned 13 .. of the 2 dogs, leah is more adoptable .. mickey is a pet rescue dog .. we have had him for 11 yrs .. but he is totally blind in one eye and over 50% blind in the other eye .. and deaf in one ear .. not sure how well his hearing is in the other ear tho .. and has lots of health issues too .. of the 2, leah is the healthier one ..
and then there is my cat .. and well he is coming with us if we take this apt ..
i dont want to split the dogs up but i do need to move .. and i dont want to put them down for any ‘ol reason either .. if its bc of their quality of life and if they are suffering then yes we will but this is where i am at .. i have been praying and praying that GOD helps me with this decision bc i know i cant make it on my own ..
we love our pets and they have been so spoiled too ..
the pet rescue by judy has been recommended by all the area vets and so many people too .. i did talk to one of the workers there and she told me they would help me with this decision and help me find a good home for leah ..
like i had mentioned if i take this one apt, i can take 2 but not 3 pets ..
and my family cant take them either .. they all already have all they want ..
so i am leaving it up to GOD.. HE knows what i need and i know HE will help us …
hubby isnt too thrilled with moving to an apt but after seeing over 100 homes that are in the same shape or worse shape as ours, i might as well stay here .. except i dont think our roof will make it another summer .. and of course i do have the mice problems (we have them every winter bc of where we live, the whole neighborhood does) .. and frankly i am tired of it .. and alot of those houses i have seen, bc they are near the area where i live, do have the mice issues ..
its so bad that i am afraid to go out into the garage for anything .. i have to send my son to put the poison out .. but thats all i can do for the moment ..
so.. that is where i am .. just hoping and praying GOD helps me wit this situation
Rose I hate to tell you this but the older dog who is blind and has health problems I would put him to sleep.
He would pine away any way with you not in his life.
Let him go while you are there to love him.
We have old cats one who died 3 years ago was 23 and the ones remaining are now 20 and 18 and the new kitten they figure she was born in Aug so 5 months old.
If we had to move to a no cat place (which is illegal) in Ontario we would have the oldest put to sleep and probably the other old one.
They would be too traumatized to make the transition to another family.
It is so hard to make a decision but from one who has pets where the decision is closer than I like to think I say let them go.
Also an apt. is much easier on all members of an older family. No yard work small container gardens on the balcony. I know you are in Florida but here today we have had 3″ of snow which my poor sore back husband will have to go out and snow blow. But he was the one who wanted a house but our next move will be to an apartment unless houses are the only option where will be next.
Just my 2 cents worth. With a lot of luv tossed in.
thank u grandma for the wonderful and kind advice .. we are exploring all options .. but i know if i get rid of the one dog, the other dog that is practically blind will stay with us but if something does happen where we cant take him, then yes we will put him down ..
we have spoiled and protected him since he came to live with us 11 yrs ago .. he was a pet rescue dog and was so badly abused that even today he sometimes acts like a basket case … the vet said bc of the severity of the abuse he sustained he was given only to live 5 yrs old and he has made it 8 1/2 yrs longer by the grace of GOD ..
i did look at 2 more apts and well there are another 2 i want to look at this week ..
and then we will make our decision ..
again, thank u so much grandma for the kind advice .. i greatly appreciate it .. :D
We are a family of 9. My monthly grocery allotment is $250. Some months I don’t use it all, so it rolls over to the next month. I buy my fish at the docks, chicken in bulk, and beef in bulk. I make everything from scratch due to severe corn allergies. I invested in a Vitamix over a year ago, and it paid for itself in 9 months by using it to make rice milk and almond milk.
I can my own meats, beans, fruits and some veggies. I dehydrate fruits, veggies, and herbs from the garden. I make my own fruit leathers.
My largest expense in my budget is animal feeds for dogs, cats, chickens and rabbits. We will be harvesting our own meat from the chickens and rabbits in the spring. And we get eggs year around.
We have leftover nights on canning days (Thursdays) and sometimes Saturdays. Sundays are usually a soup. We use the crockpots often. I use beans to thicken chili, rice to thicken soups and I use rice and beans to stretch some meals. Leftover rice is used for pudding and rice milk. Dried out bread is used to make bread pudding or crumbled in a bowl with a little water added for moisture, egg, herbs, shredded veggies and a little more water to make a batter consistency. Then pour this into pancakes on a hot greased griddle. Flip like pancakes. We serve this with spaghetti sauce or gravy. Kids love it.
We use meat as a flavoring, not a main dish. We use frozen vegetables when the garden isn’t producing. Some are from the garden, some are from the store.
We use a lot of herbs and garlic for flavoring, not salt.
We use cottage cheese, yogurt, hard and soft cheeses as both fat and protein sources.
Coupons don’t work for us, first off they don’t have coupons for produce, and we can’t double them or get money back when the coupon is more than th esteem purchased. We don’t use or eat very many processed foods, just dry pasta…rare to find coupons for those here.
On thing is you may have a low grocery bill but you aren’t taking into account animal feed, vet bills, water and heat bills, etc. for raising the animals. This does raise the true price of the grocery bill much higher when you grown your meat.
We raised the animals we ate for over 20 years and needed the vet one time. Chickens lived the longest however they were rotated out fairly fast as well. I for one am not going to eat a sickly animal we would be getting rid of it anyway.
I do most of my grocery shopping at that big discount store that starts with a “W” and ends with a “T”. They do price matching, so if I find something in another stores’ add thats cheaper than theirs, they will match that price. It takes a little longer in the check out and some customers behind me get a little befuddled, but it sure works at saving money. My problem is, everything is sold in such large quantities for bigger families, I only have to buy for myself cause I live alone and it is difficult to buy appropriately for one person. And if they have smaller sizes, the price is always more. I don’t mind leftovers but after a while, that leftover gets to be too much. I do freeze alot of leftovers but alot of times I don’t even cook because it’s such a hastle and just eat a salad or pick up a kids portion at a burger joint on the way home from work.
Another great article. Love the analogy of the diet. You have to lose 1 lb before you lose 20 (how I wish it wasn’t so). Same with saving grocery money, whittle those expensive items out little by little. One example–cut microwave popcorn. It doesn’t take much to pop it on the stove & it tastes better (better for you too). It will become very popular and preferred to other snacks. It can even help reduce the number of bags of chips you buy.
I have a list of “best prices” for the things I normally buy. I write down the item the brand the store that I got it from and the date. I buy it when they are on the good sale and close or better then my best price I got before. I don’t plan my menue based on the items I have on stock in my freezer and pantry. Fruits and veggies are mostly interchangeable. If I can’t find a good price on lettuce for example, my salad is going to include cucumbers or cabbage or spinach or a combination of other veggies instead.
It also helps to grow a garden. I buy very little veggies in the summer time. I grow bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, raddish, beets, carrots and other veggies. We also planted many fruit trees and were able to get fruits from some of them and hope to get more and more every year.
We don’ buy any chips or junk food any more. We buy some cookies and candy but eat very little of it, they are mostly for when we have a company for tea or coffee. I cut up apples, bananas and other fruits and make a party tray for my kids snack. They love it and it’s healthier and not more expensive than chips.
Instead of pricy cereal for breakfast I make oatmeal with some fresh banana and strawberries. A cup of oatmeal, some water and a cup of milk, 2 spoons of brown sugar, a banana and 3-4 strawberries cost me maybe $1 to feed breakfast to 5 people. I also stock up on eggs and bacon when I find a good sale. Eggs are good for a month after the expiration date and bacon is for about 7-10 days.
I also found that soups are the cheapest food. Potatoes, onions and carrots are almost the cheapes foods per lb. and they don’t go bad for 2-3 months. And the soup needs only a small piece of meat, like a drumstick to make it tasty. We eat soup any time of a day, sometimes for breakfast too. It takes less than 5 min to heat it up. I make it about 2x a week and it stays for 3-4 days in the fridge.
We buy frozen juice concentrate and delute it with water, more water then needed to make it not too sweet. We don’t buy soda and other junk drinks, only 100% juice. We also drink lots of water. Some tea and coffee for adults and milk for kids. I buy whole milk, it costs only a few cents more but keeps you full a lot longer.
As for the detergens and cleaners, I buy it when I find a good sale and stock up, so I am never out of those things. Sometimes stores have them on sale, and I have a coupon for it and they give the rewards for next time use, it makes it really cheap.
I wish I could grow a garden, however, I have more rocks in my yard that Stone Moutain has. My rocks likely are from the same rock plate.
Tammy you might try a container garden. Even 1 tomato or pepper plant would be fun and an easy way to start or a few herbs
Little correction. In my previous post I meant to say, I don’t plan my menue, I cook with the things I already have in my feezer and pantry.
In response to:
donna – July 13, 2010 at 7:57 pm I’m a little concerned about the lack of milk in your children’s diet only because Ca++ lactate is such an absorbable source of calcium for the bones, and little girls are going to be needing those strong bones one of these days for both childbirth and old age.
Donna, cows, humans, and all mammals ween their children off milk – cows and other animals no longer consume milk once weened. Only humans. Green leafy veggies, and other things have more than enough calcium. It’s all in the all mighty dollar that milk even exists. We are taught dairy is where the calcium is. Couldnt be more false.
To save on meat, find out when the butcher department marks down items. Our nearest store does this right before they close. They also mark down bagged salads to less than a dollar the day before the sell-by.
grizzly bear mom
Stores normally circulate their sales every 8 weeks or so. To track prices, I list the groceries I need on a graph on the left, and across the top I list their price per ounce at the stores I frequent. You should also consider purchasing per serving. For example, six little apples make 6 snacks at least. 3 large cheap apples might only make 3 snacks. Also, if peanut butter goes on a good sale I can put it on the list of buy this week. I can pick up the sales food at Aldi’s on my way home from work tonight, or Giant Grocery tomorrow. Further away stores require a weekend trip. I stop up 8 weeks worth of goodies so I only have to purchase it when its on sale again.
Following… Thanks for all of the tips from such a wonderful group of people. Living on a Dime and the people that comment here are such blessings and it is so refreshing to hear real, down to earth answers and advice. Now, I must think of at least one new tip. Hmmm… When you buy ground turkey (or other meat) in a 20 oz package, never use it all in a recipe that calls for a lb. of ground meat. Put about a 1/4 of the package in a freezer bag, freeze and add to it until you have another lb. Simple, but it’s surprising how many people will just use the whole thing because it is packaged that way.
I find Meal Planning to be essential to keeping myself on track financially and making my life run more smoothly. This month I tried a monthly plan and it wasn’t much harder than planning for a couple weeks, plus it has added benefits: http://lettersfromsunnybrook.com/meal-planning-in-action/
I do use a few of the ideas here but one of my biggest concerns is the meat. Most meat at the store comes from animals that have hormones etc in them and worry about what that does to me. I have Fibromyalgia and know that if I could afford organic I’d feel better. I do drink milk, some days a lot. I do get milk that doesn’t have the growth hormone in it. I do try to eat as healthy as I can. I spend around 500 on three adults and yea I know it’s a lot but I get the higher priced meats and eggs.
Is there a way to eat cheaper and not eat processed foods at all cause I know that a lot of them causes health problems.
I also have a few saving tips. Our local deli sells bananas and when they go dark they put them out for free, they make great banana bread at that point. also they sell the end pieces to the cheese at next to nothing, great for cooking with. Also I save the Butter wrappers in zip lock bag in the freezer and when I have to “butter” a cake pan, I take one out and just the heat of the hand rub it around the pan and get all that goodness off the wrapper. The other thing I save is the Wax paper inserts from the cereal boxes. these can be cut open and used like a sheet of wax paper or keep folded for pounding out meat or storing food. Its already paid for so why buy another roll? As far as groceries, after a meal or two there are enough left overs in fridge to feed the family again so we have “MUSTGO” night, thats everything in the fridge that must go. I don’t cook again til its gone. I HATE throwing away food. Just a few tips.
I have found in trying to cut back, dishes like spaghetti and chicken alfredo dont really require much meat,for my family of 4 a half pound of hamburger works and one good size chicken breast works.
A good place to start on saving money in the kitchen food budget, is to really think about what your family eats, and go to the cupboard and see if there is a mix or convenience food that you regularly buy for that dish. Example: if you regularly eat biscuits or pancakes, and buy a biscuit mix, or pancake mix, look up simple recipe for each, and then don’t buy the mix from the store. Replace one mix or convenience food at a time with a cheaper or more frugal substitute until you have whittled away the dollars spent, and probably increased the volume of what you can get for the same money. Go slowly, and give yourself and your family time to adjust to the new item, as well as give yourselves permission to reject a few, if you really don’t like the substitute.
My husband and I come from large families so it’s hard for us to cook for 2. We have started to go ahead and make the extra portions of a meal and then make the leftovers into soups and stews. Most soups and stews are fairly simple to make and by using the leftover meat, vegetables, rices or whatever, it’s also very quick. We use dry packaged gravy mix to add some flavor and thicken the base. This is especially good during these cold winter months.
Love your site. I’m all by myself now, lost my husband last Feb. Am retire so after things are taken out of my income i will have $500 left for the month. Gas, food, cat/dog food, etc. have to come out that. Don’t have a rent payment our house is payed for. Anything that is a BIG item like car ins,house taxes,/ins.,LP comes out a different acct. I don’t like to go into it cause once the $$$ is used up I’ll have to sell the house. I do live in the country so i also have to buy LP once or twice a year. Have a pellet stove so i use that during the day & just use the house heat @ nite when i go to bed. What i like to know is how to live on what i have left with out using the $$$ in the bank. Thanks.
Della without knowing more details it is a little hard to tell you exactly what to cut out but here are a couple of things. First keep roaming our website and reading the posts. I go into detail on how to save on almost every single area of life. I tell of many little things you can save on. I don’t know what area of the country you live in but if it is a more reasonable area you should be able to do ok and that amount if you are very careful. I have to watch things like I don’t hop in the car every time I need a little something from the store and am very careful on how I drive to save on gas. I have a hair style that doesn’t need me to go to the hair dresser. I do little things like I don’t allow my water to run while I am brushing my teeth, washing my face or before I get in the shower. I don’t take baths any more because I can’t afford the amount of water it takes to fill up the tub compared to a quick 5 min. shower. All these things help and add up and they aren’t hard because they have become such a habit with me I don’t even realize I am doing them.
Since you are retired you shouldn’t need to be buying too many clothes and you need to learn to be real careful with your food that you don’t waste it. Make sure you check things out like is it really cheaper to pay for pellets for your stove instead of using the house heat. Don’t assume anything on things like this but pen to paper and make sure the numbers show it. For example people assume buying in bulk always saves but this is so far from the truth but because that is what you hear all the time we assume it is true without checking it out.
Anyway hope this gives you a few ideas and like I said read out posts because I cover everything from how to save on laundry (and not necessarily making your own laundry detergent) to groceries, utilities and so many other things. Holler if you have another question.
Very good tips, for sure! What does not work for me personally is to go to different stores to buy stuff on sale. When I do this I inevitably end up with some things I had no planned on buying. I think this is due to becoming distracted in shops I do not know my way around well. I shop in two supermarkets where I know where every item is that I buy regularly. There I can get in, cross everything quickly from my list and be out in under 20 minutes.
My best tip for keeping costs down is to take only a specific amount of money with me and to keep a running tab on my list as not to overspend.
Frugal greetings from Germany!
One of the best tips for saving grocery money that I learned from your site is to shop at Aldi’s!
Red kidney beans are so versatile.
2.Partly drain beans. Saute onion til tender. Add brown sugar and beans. Heat through
3.Salad: Drain beans add chopped celery, onion, bell pepper (if desired) add Miracle Whip
4 Mash drained beans for use in tacos
5.Season and bake and/or add to other types of beans for baking
6.Drain and mash beans, add lettuce and other veggies as desired for quick sandwich
7.Three bean salad
Great tips! I love freezing foods to save money. It’s amazing how many foods can be frozen for a later time so you don’t have to throw them out.
Lovely post! I usually cook one meal, plus a salad, but salad is not necessary. I cook for two and we usually one meal is enough for 3 days, sometimes 4. I always check what I have in my kitchen and the fridge before going to the store. And I always try to find the golden mean – good product at good price. Plus, I’m obsessed with exp.dates – I never buy anything that is about to expire soon, even if it’s half the price.
Ant tips on how you can save money on a specific diet aka vegan? We eat a ton of veggies. I have a small garden in the summer and I do can a lot of them. I prefer fresh that is cooked very little. This can get expensive but I figure in the long run healthy eating is far cheaper than doctor bills!
If that is a diet you are choosing to have you will just have to shop sales etc. We get this question a lot but’s it’s just a give and take. If you choose to eat expensive foods then you will just have to do the best you can with sales etc unless you want to eat things like beans and rice. Also these diets do not save on doctor bills. Eating correct (small) portions and keeping your weight under control eating a balanced diet is what saves on doctors bills. These types of diets can be harmful for lack of nutrients.
I ordered your cookbook recently! How long does it usually take before it ships out? I can’t wait to try some of the recipes :)
We ship them media rate so that if you haven’t received it in 2 wks let us know although depending on where you live it should take less time.
Lots of good tips. Planning meals is Probably my best way to save money! I’ll bet my slow cooker has saved me a few hundred dollars a year and probably a few hundred hours of prepping meals in the kitchen. Definitely a great tool for budget conscious folks!
Several people talk about going to the different stores to catch the sales from the fliers. I have an app on my phone called “Flipp˝that sends all your local fliers to your phone. As you browse you can click on an item to select it. At the end of browsing it has created a shopping list by store. I always start at a store where they will match prices & I can just show the sales items right on my phone. If they dont have the item then I can go to those stores.
Many people drink soda and fancy drinks as their go to drinks everyday. It’s very expensive as well as unhealthy. These were special treats when I was a kid. I should definitely take a leaf out of my Mums book as she was fantastic at saving money and shopping frugally. Yet I never felt I was missing out.
You know Jill people worry that their kids will feel deprived if they don’t give them the sodas and fancy juices all the time what they don’t realize is happening is they are really depriving their kids by giving it all to them because then nothing is ever special or a treat so they have nothing to look forward to or get excited about. You are the perfect example of how it really doesn’t hurt kids at all to drink good old water most of the time.
I love your site, but since most of the articles are many years ago the prices aren’t relevant to today’s outrageous ones.
I would love to see a ‘current’ meal plan/budget geared to today’s prices. I have a family of five adults, BIG adults, and
can barely make ends meet. In fact, a lot of time I don’t. Will you think about updating these articles for us? It would
really help to read and get ideas. Thanks!
Patricia one of the things we try to get people to focus on is not the prices but the tips we give that can be used no matter what the prices are. For example no matter what prices are you should always buy things on sale, you need to learn to stretch your meat by making casseroles etc., instead of making expensive desserts feed your family popcorn for an evening snack – it is filling and cheap. You see how none of that has to do with prices.
We don’t use meal planning because if you make these perfect meal plans to stick to then if you go to the store and find something on clearance it would be foolish not to use what was on clearance because you insist upon sticking to a meal planning list. We don’t use budgets either because this week might have a lot of things on sale that we use all the time and nothing the next week at all.
This is why so many people have trouble with making ends meet – they are trying to do what “they” (the so called experts) say to do and it isn’t working for them at all. So updating the articles will not help you. We have used the same things that we talk about in the articles now for 40 yrs for me and 25 for Tawra and even when I couldn’t work at all we still made the tips work. I have never even been affected in times of inflation or rising prices because I just practice our tips and don’t worry about a budget or meal planning. I know that is hard for some to do but we now have had thousands of people who have used our ideas and it has changed their lives. It doesn’t sound like meal planning and budget is working for you so you might try not worrying about the prices so much as reading about the tips we suggest and see if that will help you.