Monday, September 01, 2008

Lowering Your Grocery Bill

Here is some tips on lowering your grocery bill that the BMCC shared in some emails in 2005. I thought it should be on the blog. I hope you are able to get some ideas.

• knowing what your family eats and what they won't.

• Certain things are cheaper at Costco, like meat, bread, eggs and milk

• Keep a food journal that tracks prices of foods you regularly eat

• One thing I practice, that I enjoy is getting the grocery store ads and going over what menu I could do with all the sale items.

• I also look at the ads to stock up on what is a good deal, like cereal or juice. (this is where  the journal comes in handy)

• I almost never buy cleaning products, paper products, or baggies or foil at the grocery store. Once a month I will go to Walmart or Target to get those. The price differences are huge

• for my weekly menu I try to have at least one dinner that leads to the next, like pork cutlets one night and fried rice the next (I use the left over pork from the day before) or BBQ chicken one night and BBQ chicken pizza the next. There are lots of meals that use small amounts of meat, like stir-fries, casseroles, pasta dishes, and soups

• A great book and website is "Miserly Moms" by Jonni McCoy. She has some great tips. (there is also a website. The link is in our favorites list to the right.)

• Another tip, I got from my single mom, is I always use cloth napkins, real plates and flatware. No paper or plastic. It's a waste of money. I can wash cloth napkins and dishes and stainless flatware. People think it's fancy, but I'm really being cheap. It's amazing what just getting rid of paper napkins will do

• Find a friend, relative or neighbor who has fruit trees. Offer to pick the fruit and take some home with you. They usually have more than they can eat. My girls LOVE doing that and then I get a bunch of free food. My mother-in-law has 2 apple trees (among other things). I make tons of apple sauce. It's so good. Better than store bought and MUCH cheaper.

• Plant a garden. You don’t need a lot of space. One or two nice size planter boxes work great. Things like tomatoes and lettuce are easy to grow and so good from the garden. Make sure you plant things your kids will want to eat. Some type of window screen on top if you have birds or critters that you need to keep out. If you have an onion or garlic that has sprouted in your kitchen, put the entire thing in the ground or in a pot. The greens will grow and you can use them to flavor all your dishes when you don't have the onion or the garlic. Also good in salad.

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