Okay, let’s get this out-of-the-way now. There are other highly effective ways to save on groceries than extreme couponing.
Not everyone is an extreme coupon clipper. I confess, I only invest a moderate amount of time tracking down and clipping the paper gold. Why? Clipping coupons takes a lot of time and access to piles of coupon inserts, and for me, it just has not worked out that I have much of either. I do use coupons where I can and leverage every one that gives me an advantage, whether they are paper or electronic. Beyond that, however, I just have never gained many advantages. But that did not stop me from cutting my grocery bill and saving on groceries, and it won’t stop you either.
If coupons just aren’t in your wheelhouse, don’t despair; you can still cut your grocery bill down dramatically with some ingenious cost-cutting tips.
Shop the Pantry First.
Chances are good that you have enough in the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer to make a meal. Before you make that trip, use what you have down to the dredges until you need to go shopping. Once you are at the store, shop only to complement what you already have. Any trip you don’t make to the store saves you money in what you would have spent, in gas, and in time (which you can spend elsewhere making money!).
Grow Your Own
If you have a moderately green thumb, growing your fruit and vegetables could save you a bundle. Admittedly, I did not put much effort into this until I found a bit of inspiration and encouragement. Last spring my husband and kids used a small part of the backyard and planted a garden. It became a group project that seriously cut down our food bill.
Consider Co-op Buying
Buying in bulk can save big money. In a buying co-op members buy into certain amounts of particular items, and split the purchase among the members. Search for local co-ops in your area or start one of your own!
Think Like a Restaurateur and Control Waste
As the old saying goes, “waste not, want not.” Restaurants strictly control waste because much of the profits can get thrown away without careful attention. Buy only what you will use. If you find yourself with leftovers, re-purpose them into a new meal. Keep a log of all the food that you throw away and the price you paid to buy it. At the end of each week, tally the numbers and next to it how long you worked to earn that amount. The reality of waste will be enough to give you the inspiration you need to buy and use products wisely.
Buy and Cook Like it is 1930
Depression-era cooking was purposeful and economical. The majority of what is in the market today was not even dreamed about in 1930. Most of it is processed convenience foods lacking in real nutrition. One of the things that revolutionized my cooking and saved me more money than I ever could have imagined was using an old cookbook as my meal planner. The suggested portions are smaller, and the ingredients are cost-effective. The food is “real” and does not take that long to prepare. Even better, the money you save not buying those convenience foods is astronomical.
Do you have a non-traditional way to save on groceries? Let us know!