We asked our readers how they save money on their grocery bill, and here are the grocery budgeting tips they shared!
Pat said: At this time of year one can still buy a fresh herb plant for the same price as the package of herbs in the grocery store. If you have a sunny window you can make a container garden of some of your favorite herbs to use fresh over the late fall and winter months.Parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme and chives will even do better if placed in an enclosed southern facing porch.In fact, on warmer winter days (temps around 45 and above and sunny) they will do better for you if placed outside for a few hours.
Tara said: Buy whole milk from your local farmer. Sometimes they’ll let you bring your own bottles, and whole milk can be diluted to save money.
- Buy meat when it’s on sale and freeze it.
- Buy items you can store when they are on sale.
- Cut coupons. But only cut coupons for things that you already use.Don’t cut coupons for new things, or expensive processed foods.Saving 30 cents on something you don’t need isn’t saving money.
- Buy Local. Local produce is not only healthier, but you don’t have to pay the fees built into grocery store prices. You will be able to get what is in season and therefore cheaper. Buy green beans and freeze them yourself so you will have healthy beans all winter long instead of buying the more expensive grocery store frozen ones.
- Buy Seconds. These are slightly bruised or day old produce.Cheaper, but still usable and healthy!If you get to know your local produce stands they may start selling you the seconds! Discount grocery stores do carry things that are not expired, but the box is just dented or the wrapper is upside down or something. It does take time, but sometimes the payoff is great!
- Recycle. Not just for the environment.We still get those plastic grocery bags from stores and use them to line all our trash cans. It reuses the bag and saves me having to buy garbage bags. Old milk jugs and OJ bottles make great used oil containers. Yogurt containers work well as lightening bug catchers. Glass bottles, stripped of their labels turn into beautiful vases, especially in groups of three. Be creative. (Editor’s note: sometimes you can even re-use jars for canning! Some brands even come in mason jars.
- Buy groceries in larger quantities. Things are usually cheaper per unit in larger quantities.Certain fresh things can be frozen (like meat) or kept cool. Paper supplies just need space, and it saves month to month.