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Cutting The Grocery Budget.


mimi

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So over the years I feel like I have read every single thing ever written on the subject of cutting the grocery bill. I was trying to think of all the tips today and thought I would write them all down to help myself (and anyone else who is curious) remember them all.

 

*Once a month shopping

*Buy in bulk

*Shop sales flyers

*Coupon on items you will use

*Grow you own fruit/veg

*Can/freeze your home grown produce

*Menu plan

*Join a CSA

 

I am already planning our garden for this spring and researching local CSA's :)

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I'm curious: do you really think it would save money to join a CSA? We thought about it but realized that we would get produce at inconvenient times and in inconvenient amounts, so we just knew things would spoil before we used them up. We were sad to realize that because we were into the idea. I suppose it's really a question of organizing and having the time to manage the produce when it comes in...

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The CSA we decided on is a little unconventional compared to the ones I have seen. For this one you pay your money in then you choose what you want and when you get it. Say I pay in $100 when I join that season I then get $1.50 per pound, you get 100% organic and you choose how much and of what. You can either order it online and then go get it at the farm or go to his farmers market and then pick it out there. What ever you choose is then taken out of the $100 you paid in at the beginning. At the end of the season if you didn't spend all of the money you paid out they give the remainder back to you :) No more mystery boxes of random produce or forgetting to get your boxes and then being out all the money you paid in to it.

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The CSA we decided on is also Faith based, gives food to homeless shelters, and gives a extra discount to those who are on WIC or for seniors who are on assistance.

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Cutting back on paper products and consumption of cleaning products/dish soap/laundry detergent. I pretty much don't use wipes and paper towels anymore. I keep them on hand because of DH but I grab a washcloth if I can ever help it. Also started halving all of our soaps, etc and never noticed a difference. I think it started saving us about $10/month by really watching those categories.

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Good one!! I cut out all paper products (other than TP!) and commercial cleaners years ago so I don't think of that one very often.

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Grow your own herbs too! Those are some expensive items that can be grown/dried easily. And throughout the winter on the kitchen counter.

 

Use smaller plates (especially for little ones, but also for the adults)... there was a study once that the same number of folks eating the same food and unlimited on the amount of food they each ate.... Ate less overall and left less on their plates when the plates were smaller. Apparently the plates "looked" fuller, and they ate less because of it. I'm sure the study wasn't scientific or anything.... more like an experiment on a television program... but interesting nonetheless.

Drink a glass of water before eating. Many folks mistake thirst for hunger and then eat more.

Remember that little kiddos have small tummies. They don't *usually* eat adult sized meals. (There are ALWAYS exceptions! *L*)

Planned use of leftovers. They just look better when they are "chicken enchiladas" instead of chicken breast AGAIN!?! Or when put in individual sized meal containers to grab for lunch. Along these same lines, cooking two meals at the same time and freezing one for later.

Pick your own farms when items are in season. A fun afternoon for the kiddos, and lots of fresh fruit/veg for canning cheaply. If this is not available in your area, get to know your produce person at the grocery.... they can sometimes let you know when a good sale is coming and will allow you to order extra at the sale price.

Look for the unusual places to shop. "Health food" may not be your thing, but their bulk bins are a great buy. The dollar store has lots of cheap things, and a few spices very cheaply.

Reusable water bottles, and a filter for your tap, may be cheaper than a bazillion water bottles.

Cutting waste is a big one for me. Buying a large beautiful bag of apples in the store is great, but if your kiddos only will eat half of that, then how much are you saving? Smaller apples may actually save money.

Buying larger cuts of meat and having the butcher then cut it into smaller pieces.... or is that bulk buying? Also cutting the amount of meat in some recipes can save money without affecting the taste. Also preparing meat in appropriate sizes (4oz) can help with the grocery budget. Since many slabs of meat are cut with excess in mind.... even a simple chicken breast is often 2-3 servings nowadays.

Buying less processed items. The less steps you have to make to make it edible, the more it costs.

The "soup bucket" in the freezer for that last little bit of whatever that no one ate.... the last spoonful of corn, or peas the last pork chop that is too small for lunch... etc...

Offering more of the lower priced items, veg, breads, rice, etc.. allows you to use less meat.

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