1. I plan my menus on what I found on sale last week and not what I am planning on buying this week. I keep my freezer and pantry stocked with rock bottom prices to save money on food.
2. I try never to buy anything that is not on sale. Obviously, it’s not possible with everything but it is with most items. For example, last week one of my favorite stores had cottage cheese 1/2 off. I stocked up enough to last a while. Another store I know has pasta on sale about every 10 weeks. I buy enough to last 10 weeks and don’t buy it in the meantime.
3.I use coupons on things we use regularly or things that are free or almost free. I also use online coupons such as Ibotta.
4. I don’t use coupons on things I wouldn’t normally buy anyway just to try them or use a coupon.
5. Make most things from scratch. I think the only thing cheaper to buy in a mix is mac and cheese but it doesn’t have much cheese in it. In everything else it is both cheaper and more nutritious to make it yourself.
6. Shop more than 1 store. It is much cheaper to buy the sales and loss leaders at more than one store than everything at one store.
7. Use an Aldi’s is you have one. They rarely run sales but their prices are low all the time. Also look for specialty stores such as mexican, chinese; they have food there cheaper than in a regular grocery store.
8. Try to find a discount or salvage store in your area. We have a dented store that i get great buys at. I have bought yogurt for $2 a case, chocolate chips for 50 cents a bag, and many other great deals.
9. Do ahead for the week. I cut as many vegetables as we will eat all at once. I brown hamburger ahead of time and bag it. Make an extra casserole and freeze one and cook one. When you make soup or stews make extra.
10. Make over leftovers. We had beef stroganoff Saturday and I had noodles left so I added a little browned hamburger, beans and spices and made goulash today for dinner.
11. Have dessert infrequently. It isn’t that good for you and sweets are usually costly.
12. Grow your own fruits and vegetables. We always have a garden and we have fruit trees. It saves on our grocery bill and I know what is in our food.
13. Glean or let the word out you will take extras. My father-in-law has a friend who loves to garden but doesn’t use much himself so he gives a lot away. I have seen other do the same, they want someone who will take it and put it up.
14. Can, or freeze your food. We can a lot in the summer of fresh produce so we have it in the winter. Talk to your children about being ants in the summer and preparing for winter. It is a lot of work but so worth it.
15. Eat soup at least once a week. Soup is a cheap meal and you can make many different kinds from all sorts of leftovers. With a loaf of hot bread it makes a feast.
16. Make your own bread. I can’t believe how high bread has gotten but it can still be made more economically at home. I see bread machines all the time at Goodwill too.
17. Rotate a lot of the same meals. Our lunches and breakfasts from week to week don’t vary much. We have the same meal for lunch every Monday, the same on Tuesday. This way you don’t have to stock your pantry with as many different items.
18. Make dinner fun. No, it doesn’t really save you money but a frugal meal with lots of love is better than a gourmet feast with strife. Candles add a lot of atmostphere without a lot of cost.
19. Involve your children. Sometimes they can turn their nose up at food but if they help prepare it or better yet grow it they will be thrilled to taste and share it.
20.Buy in bulk, if you will use it. I bought 150 lbs of potatoes last week when they were on sale. Also, GFS sells gallon cans, meat they will slice and you can prepackage it at home. I buy meat on sale in bulk and package it in meal size freezer bags.
21. Once a month cooking saves both time and money. When I buy meat in bulk and prepackage it, a lot of times I dump different marinades in each. Then they are ready for the grill or crockpot.
22.Buy spices in bulk. Frontier herbs sell by the pound but if you only want a little a lot of health food stores sell small amounts. One near us will let you buy 50 cents of any spice. That way I can try a small amount of a new spice.
23.Spend as little time in the grocery store as possible. The longer you are there the more you will buy.
24. Try and make it at home. If you love Red Lobsters biscuits try and look on the web for a comparable recipe. You can find so many recipes that are makeovers of restaurant meals. It is definitely cheaper to stay home.
25.Look for markdowns. I stopped in yesterday at GFS and they had their holiday fresh turkeys marked down for 99 cents a lb. Different stores have them in different places so you have to check and find out where they are. Most stores mark down in the morning but we have one near us that does it at night. You can save a lot of money by asking the butcher what time they sell mark downs.
What tips do you have to save money on food?