10 Practical Tips for Cutting Your Grocery Budget

by June Fuentes on June 26, 2017 in Budget Friendly, Dinner Table, Food

Today we have a post from our sweet contributor Rebekah:

 

If there is one thing that all of us homemakers are likely looking to do, it is find ways to cut down on our grocery bills each month. Food costs continue to skyrocket, so we can use all the help we can get! What follows is a list of 10 easy little ways to decrease your food bill that I have personally found very helpful.

1. Make your own chicken broth.

This is a big money-saver in many ways! For one, you get more bang for your buck, in that you can make larger amounts of chicken broth for the same cost as what you would spend in the store on the small little cartons. In fact, if you use the method I’m sharing today, you will, in essence, be getting your chicken broth for free! So, here’s what you do (thanks goes to my own sweet mama for teaching me this little trick when I was still living at home!):

Buy a tray of split chicken breasts (the kind that you would cook and use as shredded chicken in casserole and soup recipes)
Place the chicken into a large pot, cover with water (and seasonings, if desired), and boil for 1-2 hours or until the chicken is done, adding more water as needed)
Voila! When you remove the cooked chicken from the pot (chicken that you bought to use in another recipe, anyway!), what you are left with is a tasty broth that you can now use in any recipe that calls for chicken broth!
Because you are using split chicken breasts which still have the skin on, your broth will contain a lot of the great chicken flavor that is found in the skin. If, however, you are concerned about fat content, all you have to do is refrigerate or freeze the broth, which will cause the fat in the broth to harden and rise it to the top, making it easy for you to skim it off!

2. Have Meatless Mondays.

A fun thing we’ve done before is experiment with meatless main dishes. Because meat (especially certain cuts of beef) can be so expensive, this can be a great and easy way to cut down on the amount of money you spend on food each month! And, as long as you are sure to pair things like beans or lentils with rice or quinoa in the same meal, you will still be getting a complete protein!

3. Stretch out your entrees to make them go further.

I stumbled upon a great little way to do this when a lentil stew recipe I made said to serve it over couscous. This definitely made the stew go a lot further (and, doubly saved us money, because it was also a meatless dish)! So, the next time you make a big pot of soup or stew, rather than fill your bowls with ladles full of that, instead cook up some rice, quinoa, or couscous, spoon the grain of your choice into bowls and top with a bit of the soup or stew. You may be surprised by how long you’ll have leftovers! Plus, foods like couscous and quinoa are very filling, high in protein, and pretty inexpensive themselves.

4. Make your own household cleaners.

This can save you a ton of money, as well as help you to create a more healthy home environment while you’re at it! I’ve made multi-purpose household cleaners before using just vinegar (which is an amazing disinfectant and excellent at killing both viruses and various forms of bacteria!) and orange peels (for scent)! Baking soda can be used as another inexpensive cleaner! It is excellent for cleaning toilets, scrubbing grout, cleaning and deodorizing carpets, and more! You can even replace chemical-laden tub and tile cleaner with a concoction of baking soda, egg shells, and essential oils! The sky is the limit, and just a quick search on Pinterest will provide you with a number of great recipes to get you started!

5. Cut down on waste.

It happens to all of us at one time or another – we inadvertently throw money down the drain by having what we all know as the “good intentions” drawer of our refrigerator. You know, the drawer where we store all the great, healthy fresh produce we look forward to serving our families, only for life to happen, us to get busy, and to suddenly find ourselves wondering one day what the odd goo is that is dripping out of said produce drawer. Instead of always buying a ton of fresh produce and not getting around to using it all, consider replacing at least a portion of the produce you would typically buy fresh with frozen instead. Many times, it’s just as healthy, if not healthier, than the fresh version – after all, when you buy produce fresh, it has been removed from the plant for a while now, through going from the farm to the factory to the grocery store to your refrigerator, all the while loosing more and more nutrients each day. Frozen fruits and veggies, however, are picked and then immediately frozen shortly thereafter, thereby preserving more of the nutrients found in those foods. So, you’ll be saving money and increasing your nutrient intake all at once!

6. Coupon

You can save a good deal of money by couponing, particularly if your local grocery store has days where they will double the price off that is quoted on the coupon! Do keep in mind here, though, that if you are using coupons for food items and other products that you would not typically buy, you aren’t saving money – you’re actually spending more than you otherwise would have. So, if you do not eat a lot of processed foods ordinarily, but find a ton of coupons in your newspaper for various processed foods, think twice before you cut them out and use them. Also, it never hurts to look up coupons on the internet.

7. Follow Sales Ads

Stocking up on the items you use most when they appear in a store’s weekly sales ad can save you a lot of money, particularly if they are items that you also have coupons for!

8. Shop your pantry and refrigerator.

This idea ties back into tip #5 of cutting down on waste, as well as to our next tip, so it’s an all around great idea! It can be so easy to buy a bunch of grocery items, only to forget they’re there and then buy more, only for the original goods to never be used. So, when deciding what to have on your menu for the next several days, don’t merely rely on what you may be craving or on what Pinterest shows you is out there (how hard is that sometimes!), but instead allow what is already in your pantry or refrigerator to guide you in your meal planning. Take advantage of the All Recipes site, where you can type in the ingredients you have on hand, and up will pop a list of the recipes you can make with those items!

9. Meal Plan.

If you implement just one of the ideas in this list, I would definitely encourage you to consider having it be this one! Meal planning is so, so invaluable. It saves you a ton of money by preventing you from ordering out as much, wasting a bunch of food, or spending money on a lot of pre-made dinner items. If you are not already accustomed to meal planning, it can feel like a daunting feat at first. Come back next month, when I will share with you my meal planning 101 tips and tricks with you!

10. Clean out and organize your refrigerator, pantry, and freezer.

This tip ties in well with tips #5 and #8. I can’t tell you the amount of food (and, therefore, money) I have inadvertently wasted over the years because the disorganization of my refrigerator, pantry, or freezer has gotten out of hand. Now that I try to keep things better organized in each of these areas, I am better able to shop from my own stockpile, cut down on waste, and save a lot of money in the process!

Bonus Tip: Shop at Aldi!

So, I promised you 10 tips, but I have to give you this bonus one, because I do 95% of my grocery shopping all at Aldi! If you have an Aldi anywhere near you, run to that store as fast as you can (and, if you don’t have one, take heart – Aldi will be adding over 400 new stores in the US by the end of 2018)! You can easily cut your grocery bill in half simply by shopping at Aldi instead of at places like Wal-Mart, Publix, or your other local grocery stores. Not only are their prices way better (and even better, usually, than the prices you will find in the sales ads from the other stores!), but the quality of their produce also far exceeds that of places such as Wal-Mart. In addition, Aldi carries an ever-growing line of gluten-free and organic options, all of which are way cheaper than what you could find at health food stores like Earth Fare, Whole Foods, and others. I can’t recommend Aldi enough!

I hope you found this little list helpful! And now, I would love to hear from you! Are there any particular ways you have found to be helpful in cutting down on the amount of money you spend on groceries each month? Share them with me in the comments! I would love to learn from y’all!

 

 

REBEKAH HARGRAVES IS A WIFE, MAMA OF TWO LITTLES, HOME BUSINESS OWNER, PODCASTER, AND BLOGGER RESIDING IN TN. HER PASSION IS TO BLESS FELLOW CHRISTIAN WOMEN THROUGH HER WRITINGS ON HER WEBSITE, HARGRAVES HOME AND HEARTH, WHICH EXISTS TO EDIFY, EQUIP, AND ENCOURAGE WOMEN IN THEIR JOURNEY OF BIBLICAL WOMANHOOD.

Website – Hargraves Home and Hearth

Facebook – Hargraves Home and Hearth

Instagram – @rebekahhargraves

Twitter – @hhomeandhearth 

June Fuentes

June Fuentes is the happy wife to Steve and blessed homeschooling mother to eight beautiful children that they are raising for the Lord. She has a heart to see mothers all around the world grasp the vision of biblical motherhood and to see this noble role restored in the 21st century to the glory of God. June strongly believes that weak homes equate a weak nation and therefore blogs at A Wise Woman Builds Her Home to minister to Christian women on how to build up strong Christian homes. She is also the owner of Raising Homemakers, and is the author of the encouraging eBooks, True Christian Motherhood and How to Build a Strong Christian Home. She is the founder of Wise Woman Consulting, her service to teach women how to successfully make money blogging at home and a consultant for Lilla Rose, where you can find unique and beautiful hair products. She would love for you to join her on the journey to biblical womanhood on Facebook and Twitter at @wisewomanbuilds.

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{ 2 comments }

Luba @ Healthy with Luba June 27, 2017

What a great list! Eating real food helps as well. If you figure the price per pound on a package of Doritos or Oreos is, produce and meat all of a sudden seem very reasonably priced.

Rebekah Hargraves July 14, 2017

I’m so glad you enjoyed the article; thank you! 🙂

That’s a really good point! I’m glad you shared that.

Blessings!
Rebekah

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