Stretching Your Grocery Dollar

No recipe today, instead I thought I'd share with you some great tips.  There are several great ways of saving money and frustration when it comes to feeding your family and the more of them you use the more you can save.

  • Coupons-   
    • This is the most common and obvious way to save $ but there are two ways of doing it and one way will save you hundreds while the other saves you dollars.  The most common way of using coupons is to simply use which ever ones you feel like buying at the time, the other way is to make it a game and really use the coupons in conjunction with sales and double and triple coupon days to buy your items for pennies on the dollar and sometimes even free.  
      • A great resource to get you started is The Grocery Game where for only $10 for 8 weeks you can get a list of all the best deals for your store and which coupons to use from your mailed coupons and Sunday paper coupons.  With getting only the Sunday paper delivered or at the dollar store being $1 per week the cost to you is $2.25 per week.  I saved over $100 dollars my first week alone and only spent about  $100, so it's well worth the investment.
  • Meal Planning-   
    • Planning out your menu ahead of time saves you so much time and frustration as well as $.  Just think of all the time you spend staring in your fridge, freezer and pantry trying to figure out what you can make for dinner, and even breakfast and lunch. Well, if you simply make a list of all the meals you can think of that you generally make for those meals then in no time at all you can plan out your meals one, two, four weeks at a time.  No more wasted time wondering what to fix and no more wasted food because you forgot it was there or just never got around to using it.
      • If you need help coming up with great recipes for your meal planning Bust-a-Meal will email you a meal plan every week based on your diet preferences and you can even get the shopping list along with the recipes.
  • Mise En Plus-   
    • Mise en plus is a french term that means "everything in it's place" and in the culinary world it means having everything ready before you get started so that you can work quickly, that means pre-chopping, pre-measuring, and having every tool you'll need set out and ready when you start to cook.  How does this translate into saving you money?  Well, if you buy items, like peppers, unprepared and prepare them yourself then you can get them at a lower price and then use them as you need them.  For example, I love cooking with bell peppers, so I stock up when they are on a really good sale and clean, chop and freeze them so that I have lots of them ready for me to use exactly the amount I need at any time.  (Freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet first and then put them in freezer bags so they're easy to use and not frozen in a solid lump.)
      • Not all foods are cheaper to buy unprepared, for example sliced fresh mushrooms cost the exact same as whole, so if you are going to use them sliced you might as well buy them that way.
      • Prepping your food early in the week means that you save a lot of time and frustration when meal time comes around.
  • Recipe Redo-
    • If you plan on using a specific ingredient or dish that usually has leftovers when you are done then you can save $ by using what's left over in another meal.  Use that roast to make a stew, stroganoff or sandwiches, use left over baked potatoes to make potato salad or twice baked, use your stir fry to make eggrolls and the rice for rice pudding or cereal, use that chicken for a salad, use, well, you get the idea.
I hope that these tips help you to stretch your grocery dollar in ways that you haven't before, $ saved in one area means it can be used in another.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

Thanks for the ideas Andrea! I love the one about stocking up and then chopping and freezing when something's on sale. I should do that with mangoes right now while they're 2/$1. Have you heard of It sounds like that grocerygame site you were talking about, 'cept it's free. I use it all the time! Hope you had a great weekend!