Making Cuts to the Grocery Cart :(

posted 7 years ago in Money
Post # 47
Member
9951 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Mr TTR and I truly LOVE food (lol and wine).  BUT Groceries and Eating Out, is a definite place where one can usually cut back if trying to budget for awhile (easier to do if you have a short term goal than a long one)…

You can still eat well… just be more aware overall.

Have a plan, shop the specials, buy seasonal, know your products and what is a GOOD PRICE, think of stockpiling some items when they are on sale… buy in larger quantities (or make dishes ahead) and freeze things.

Cut down on the junk food and processed items… as these are always the most expensive things as are the “convenience items”… like those smaller sized Popcorns.  My downfall is Potatoe Chips, I can buy a HUGE bag for around $ 3 whereas just a few bags in the 100 calorie format weigh a lot less, but COST A LOT MORE

Which is WHY it makes sense to buy things in bigger sizes sometimes.  If you want to limit your intake, then you either need to display self-control (put down the bag)… OR open the bag, and count out how many would equal a 100 calorie portion, and bag them up on your own into ziploc baggies etc.

Same is true for cuts of meat… either buy a roast and cut steaks yourself, or buy a bigger quantity (say 6 pork chops in a package… known as a Club or Value Pack) and the pricing comes out to be a lot less than purchasing 6 chops seperately.  Sure you have to take the time to repackage the chops into usuable portions when you get back home, but that isn’t a whole lot of effort, and the savings can be substantial.

Coupon clipping can also be done … BUT as you yourself has mentioned, it is more time consuming, including keeping all the coupons organized (not expired, and somehow catalogued).  Overall couponing requires more time & research etc. 

(I don’t do it much here in Canada because of the time needed to organize it… and besides we don’t get the BIG discounts for coupons like you do in the US… ala “Extreme Couponing”… so no 2x, 3x, 5x, 10x the face value here).

Far better IMO, is to join one of the Grocery Loyalty Programs.  Mr TTR and I belong for example to the Food Lion one in the Southern USA (and Air Miles and PC Points here in Canada).  You either have a “key tag” that gets swiped (or a membership card) whenever we shop there.  At Food Lion we see the savings immediately… by getting better prices than the ones often offered on the aisle markers to the general public.

Hope this info is helpful,

Post # 48
Member
813 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Commenting so I can refer back to this! We need to trim our budget too in the food area!

Post # 49
Member
1075 posts
Bumble bee

A lot of co-ops and places like winco have bulk dry goods that you can buy by weight that are much cheaper. Spices, dried fruit, and a lot of those costly sort of items are much cheaper if you’re just willing to bag them yourself! I know some co-ops that even do liquids like olive oil this way, you just have to bring your own container. 

Post # 51
Member
1274 posts
Bumble bee

Good for you! We are trying to trim down our grocery budget too. Here’s what we’ve been trying to do or at least trying to focus on:

  • Menu plan: look up make a list of the recipes and the meals for the week (breakie, lunch, dinner and snacks) don’t totally rid yourself of one junk food item or treat, but make it a good one and only buy one, not cookies and ice cream, etc. 😉

 

  • Make a grocery list based on these and what you have at home and in the cupboards take a look through flyers online or in print

 

  • I try to find where the better deals are that week on majority of my list and shop there

 

  • Go to the grocery store(s) one day a week only. If you are missing something, substitute something you have for it. Don’t go back out to the store! You will almost always end up with more items than you went in for. Plus when buying fruits/veggies if we grocery shop once every two weeks, half of it goes bad before we can eat it

 

  • Add up the items in your cart before you get to the check out and as you’re shopping and/or use cash and have a budget for each trip

 

  • I’ve also been trying to cook twice as much on a Sunday night so we have another meal to just pop in the microwave/oven later on in the week. If you can double up recipes and freeze or refrigerate, it helps! This week I did chicken fajitas and cut up twice as many veggies and chicken, etc then halved in and stored half of it for another night this week

I don’t use coupons very often because I only find them for products I don’t use much. Plus generic brands or no names brands are usually cheaper. 

Post # 52
Member
871 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I forgot to say how much I spend – $130. I cook 5 -6 days a week for my Fiance and I but he eats like a family of four. I get leftovers out of 2 -3 dishes a week. Monday’s were at my Mums and Thursdays we go across the road to his mothers (lots like Everyone Loves Raymond). I am on Weight Watchers and tend to eat manly low carb foods but manily natural produce. We eat take away Indian (from the supermarket) and I make my own Naan to go with it. Its cheap $17 for a whole meal and somethimes has leftovers.

I used to buy chips, poppers and muesli bars for My Fiance but now he mainly eats a big lunch and that will do him until dinner. A change of jobs where he is not doing so much labour but more supervisory role.

I focus on healthy and filling foods trying to get as much nutrition as I can though vegies and protein.

Post # 53
Member
2450 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

USUALLY we spend around $75, but a couple weeks ago there were some awesome coupons and sales. so i stocked up my freezer and cupboards and haven’t had to buy anything except treats and drinks (milk, juices, etc) since then.

Post # 54
Member
676 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@This Time Round:  I just wanted to add to this about the buying meat in larger quantities, it generally runs about $0.20/lb cheaper which does add up. If you have a good grocery store they will break the package into smaller sizes for you, you still get the same price since you are buying all of it but that way it is in more manageable portions and the wrapping machine at a store has a way better seal than a plastic bag. I work in the meat dept. of a grocery store and we do this for customers all the time.

We also will break packages into smaller sizes so that people waste less. A lot of people only want the exact amount of something for a recipe etc. Just ask what your local store can do, in every dept. not just meat you might be suprised how accomidating they are.

Post # 57
Member
1075 posts
Bumble bee

@caits615:  What kind of lettuce do you usually buy? Switching up the type of leafy greens you eat may help in extending their shelf life. I eat a lot of spinach because it’s tasty, stays good for a really long time, and when it does start to turn you can cook it and it’s still delicious! I know it isn’t a lettuce, but experimenting with your variety may help. 

Post # 58
Member
1573 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

wow! I cant believe people’s budgets for food, we  spend $25-$27 at Key food every week all our meats and bread chips $7-10 at Fairway for fresh fruit and veggies, $7-8 fruits and  vegetables from vendors during the week and this is NYC! we both cook-hubby eats sandwiches for lunch while I bring leftovers to work; we go out happy hour more than dinner when drinks are $3 and have a nice dinner out at a nice restaurant once to a few times/month ($30-$80/dinner for 2) if one of us has worked overtime (extra $$$- if we make an extra few more hundred bucks than usual) or a I fill out  a $75-$90 work survey–or it’s a special occasion; we buy from the dollar store (i.e. dish liquid, chips) (toiletries from target every 6 -12 months it’s cheap) we have a dollar store selling my hubby’s cereal $2/box compared to $5.49; I get my cereal on sale at $2/box and stock up

when you buy fresh meat and fruits and veggies and cook from scratch it brings the grocery bills down so much and is so much healthier; processed food are more artifical and expensive–so wondering what brands people buy

Post # 60
Member
2980 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Buy in bulk if you can. We joined a Costco years ago. The prices on their cereals, meats, and paper products are great and even tho it’s expensive at the time to make a costco-run, it saves money in the long run. Trader Joe’s is excellent, and I’m so jealous that you can shop there!

I shop at dollar stores for items like shampoos, deodorants, etc. Many dollar stores carry brand names. I can get garnier fructis or herbal essence shampoo and degree deodorant for a few bucks cheaper than if I bought them elsewhere.

Clip coupons. P&G Brandsaver, Redplum, sunday flyers, and websites are great places to get savings.

Stock up your pantry with canned goods. Canned corn can be just as delicious as frozen or fresh if you get a good name like Del Monte or Green Giant. Often times stores have 5 for $5.00 deals on canned items, so keep an eye out.

Freeze! Look for recipies that freeze well and take a sunday and cook your butt off and freeze it into single serving sized tupperware containers or freezer bags. Need a lunch? Thaw it overnight and it’s ready to go, no $$ required!

Those are my $ saving tips.

 

Post # 61
Member
1061 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

We don’t use salad mixes.  I buy the 7 stalks of romaine at Costco for $4 and a big bag of spinach for $3 and chop it myself.  If you stand the romaine up in the fridge, it will last for 2 weeks, easy.

Leave a comment


Find Amazing Vendors