Tips on Saving $$$


#1

Hi all!

I am trying to find ways to save some money each week. DH & I have allocated x amount each week, which goes mostly towards food/groceries and whatever the kids might need.

I find that we spend an awful lot on food/groceries. Maybe tips in that area, especially, might help me. All money saving tips would be appreciated, though!

So … what do you do that saves you money?


#2

I buy what’s on sale, and stock up if it’s a really good price. For instance, they had apple juice on sale for $1 so I bought 3 of them and have 2 others stored in the pantry.

I buy meat when it’s discounted (it has a “sell-by” date that is close or the day of) and stock up as well.

I do cut coupons, but I buy a lot of fresh food, not canned and boxed stuff so I don’t save too much with coupons, but every bit helps I guess :smiley:


#3

Here’s one tip that has saved us quite a bit. We buy our beef as a 1/4 cow right from the rancher. It comes packaged in the sizes and cuts we select all wrapped and ready for our freezer.

We had to buy a freezer to accommodate this, which cost $250. The quarter cow costs about $350. With this purchase we get enough beef to last us nearly the entire year. Typically we run out of beef about a week or two before the next 1/4 cow is delivered. The same farmer also sold us half of a pig (bacon, sausage, pork roasts, ribs, etc.) but I cannot remember the price.


#4

The more prep work they do for you, the more it costs. If you buy pasta and add your own veggies/meat and make your own sauce, it costs about the third of a skillet meal that is boxed or frozen.

Little things, you can pop old fashioned pop corn on the stove with a bit of oil for a fraction of microwave popcorn.

Less expensive cuts of meat - crock pot is your friend!!


#5

Yes, I agree! :thumbsup: Do you have any recipes to share? Or websites I can go to for crock pot recipes? So far, I have only been able to do beef stew and bbq ribs in the crock pot. I would love to cook more in the crock pot!


#6

Drive only one car (unless that is not possible in your family)

Get rid of all cell phones

Get rid of extended cable

And most importantly? Track exactly where your money goes for a month and you will be able to figure out what you should reduce your spending on - unless you really do have a tight budget and there isn’t much to skim back on.

Hope you find a great way to save!


#7

Thanks, Sina :slight_smile: Right now, we only own one car. So that’s all we drive. We got rid of our 2nd car a few months after we were married. We have cell phones, though. I’m not sure that’s something I’m ready to get rid of! DH’s cell phone is also his business phone when he is on call at night, so he can’t get rid of his. We are working on getting rid of extended cable! :thumbsup: And I love your last idea about tracking where our money goes each month … I will try that! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! :thumbsup: God Bless!


#8

One year I took my birthday money from my extended family and went out and got myself the most updated version of Quicken I could find. I think it cost arould $50 at the time. It has saved us such headaches trying to figure out where our money goes, and it would have saved us tons of money if I had been using it regularly the last year and a bit. We’re having a tough time financially, too, so I just reinstalled it and got it all set up again- already I am seeing a big change in our spending habits and such because it’s so obvious where our money is going (and how all those “little purchases” add up very quickly). If you have the money, invest in a copy of Quicken or a similar program. It only takes a minute or two every day or two to keep up with after the initial set-up.

Try to make sure that you aren’t making frequent trips into town for just a few things. Pick one day a week to do all your errands, if you can. Try to schedule your appointments the same day. It saves tons on gas, espeically if you live half an hour outside of town like we do.

Make sure you’re using those energy saving lightbulbs and conserving electricity. I was surprised how much our electric bill went down just by being aware of extra lights, computers, etc that were running. If you can, hang dry your laundry. Make sure you’re only washing full loads.

Make a list of the “staples” of food in your house. For us, it’s fruit, milk, bread, eggs, yogurt, and a few others. I know approximately how much of each we use in a week and a month, the approximate cost, etc. That is my base amount for the grocery budget. I add on an additional amount for those thigns that might vary from month to month. I also shop the fliers- if I see there is a great sale on spaghetti sauce that week, guess what we’ll be eating? I also stock up on sale items. I have only bought cheese twice in the 8 months because I have caught it on such good sales and I bought so much at one time.

Learn how to make things from scratch. As a previous poster pointed out, making stuff from scratch is sooo much cheaper. You can keep lots of inexpensive pasta, rice, potatoes, canned tomatoes, etc in the house. Invest in a deep freezer and you can get lots of sale meat and frozen veggies. THen just supplement with your fresh produce and you’ll save tons.

Stay organized and make lists. Plan meals and shopping lists ahead of time and stick to them as much as you can. You need to know how your house is running, what things you use, how much they cost, what your bills are, etc.

Good luck and I will be reading this thread for new tips, too! :slight_smile:


#9

Here’s a whole thread of recipes:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=179128


#10

I love this thread!
One thing that we have done that has saved us an average of 50.00 per week on groceries is as a family we sit down every Monday night with the grocery store ad. We look at what is on sale and we plan our weekly meals around it. The biggest added bonus is that the kids are contributing so I get a lot less of the “I don’t like this” when it comes to meal time.

We also changed a bunch of our light bulbs to the more efficient ones. Although they cost a little more in the begining the long term savings in $ and in environment makes it so worth it.


#11

I’m an avid fan of Dave Ramsey. He has a daily radio talk show. I would go to the library and borrow a copy of his book “The Total Money Makeover” In a nutshell he does everything on an envelope system. Basically everything that you would pay for outside of writing checks for your living expenses is paid for in cash out of that specific envelope. (He explains in fantastically) For example my envelopes are: Food/toiletries, pets (for things such as grooming, food, cat litter…), blow (for when I want to go to the movies, out to eat, et cetera), I have a missions envelope for the times when I’m at church and they’re having a bake sale or something like that.

He says that by paying cash you’re less likely to spend money on impulse buys – especially at the grocery store.

There’s a lot more to it, but he comes at it from a Christian background. In fact, he ends his show by saying “There’s only one way to financial peace and that’s to walk daily with the Prince of Peace.” Try reading the book and see what you think about his suggestions. It works great for me.

As far as crockpot recipes, I loved smothered porkchops:

four pork chops cut into pieces
a can of stewed tomatoes with italian seasonings
a 9-ounce package of frozen okra

In the crockpot place the pork chops and the can of tomatoes. Cook on low for three to four hours or high for six to eight. 30 minutes before serving add frozen okra. YUMMY


#12

My wife and I use grocerygame.com. Very useful and only costs $1/week to join. In a nutshell they take the grocery store ad for the week, break it down to %off and then match these sales to coupons in previous sundays papers. We normally save 25-50% off regular price. We hardly ever buy anything at full price except for milk, yogurt and some produce

Someone mentioned having a freezer - yes very good idea. Stock up on anything that will freeze when its on sale, mostly meats, but some frozen veges, bread freezes etc etc

As far as planning/budgeting, we use Quicken on the computer. It organnizes/categorizes all expenses etc. We have something like 5 years of history now and its useful to compare how things change

Saving - always pay yourself first. Make saving automatic via a 401k, Roth account, whatever. Or just write a check to yourself the same day every month and put it in a separate savings account!


#13

have you tried “the grocery game”? Basically they match up current grocery store sales with the current coupons so that you can maximize your savings. It really works. www.grocerygame.com It costs minimal each month (like 5 a month) but you save big time because they have all these programs that calculate when an item went on sale and when it is likely to go on sale again for it’s rock bottom price. So then you’re only buying basics when they’re on sale. Papertowels for example, today I got 30 rolls of paper towels for 20cents a roll. BOUNTY paper towels. :slight_smile:


#14

Join a food co-op or food buying club. The food might not always be to your liking, as you might not always buy your food there. But I find myself saving between $100-$250 a month by adapting around the offerings. This month, I had real pineapples, kiwi, a lot of stew beef, a lot of chicken tenders (no batter, no pre-prep, just the tenders).


#15

(1) Shop at Wal-Mart; (2) Buy store brand/make everything homemade; (3) Don’t buy things that you don’t reasonably need to survive (i.e. cancel that Cable bill - maybe even the internet bill!).

Saving is easy if you can give up the luxuries spending affords you.:smiley:


#16

There was just an interesting article about Walmart. Apparently, Walmart isn’t all that competitive on pricing anymore. According to this article the 5000 top selling items were the same price or less expensive at regular grocery stores. I can’t remeber where I read the article but I will look so that I can site it.

I guess it is just important to check prices. Especially if you get ads from other grocery stores. Walmart doesn’t put things on sale so grocery stores are likely to be cheaper on some things…


#17

The stuff I buy at Walmart is way cheaper than the grocery store. Of course, I only buy seasonings, beans, and baking goods there. Beans are 50 cents a can, and at the grocery store they are near $1. I bought a can of chili powder there for 50 cents. At the grocery store it would have cost at least $2.


#18

I’ve found Wal-mart (at least our local store, that’s the only one I can speak for) to have great prices on some things, and terrible on others, so it definitely pays to shop around. In our case, the produce and meat are poorer quality and much more expensive than our other two grocery stores. Canned goods, pasta, and some dairy, are, or the most part, cheaper at Wal-mart.

My cheap tips:

If you like to use a lot of spices in your cooking, buy them from stores that sell in bulk. You can buy as much or as little as you like, but since you’re not paying for all that packaging, it’s so much cheaper. I get my spices from our health food store and have saved tons of money on them.

Buy beans, rice, and other grains in bulk, too. Buying dried beans in bulk and cooking them yourself is much less expensive than canned beans.

Also, every so often, go through your cabinets and see what’s been pushed to the back. I can’t be the only one who buys something and then “loses” it to the recesses of my cabinetry. I’ve got my cabinets organized so my teas and coffees are in one area, grains, flour, and beans, are another, canned goods in one, etc. It makes it easy to just glance and see what I’ve got and what I’ll need to buy.


#19

DH and I have also become quite thrifty in the past few months. We are trying to pay down MASSIVE credit card debt (to the tune of 80k). Many people have given me great tips too…two sites that I would suggest over all others are these:

www.hillbillyhousewife.com- this chic has it together! she can get you groceries on a penny budget. she has great low cost recipes, money saving tips,etc. VERY VERY VERY useful.

www.angelfoodministries.com- (maybe dot org??) anyway, this is a really cool program that runs through thousands of churches. for about 30 bucks a month, you get a CASE of food. and good stuff too…everybody qualifies. no minimal income required. you place your order through a local church that is involved, and once a month you take a box and go get your loot. cool program

good luck! twk


#20

In my experience, Walmart has better prices on household goods (toilet paper, dishwashing detergent, pet food, etc., but their groceries are not very competitive. We go to a locally owned grocery store for the food stuff.


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