In this crap of an economy some families are thriving, some are striving, and others are literally barely surviving. I have to say that I am a family that teeters on some days. My DH works in the building materials industry (doors, lumber, windows, stuff to build houses) and lets say that his industry is barely alive. With that I have figured new ways for saving money, cut home costs, cut major spending costs, and cut corners without sacrificing the way we have become accustomed to living. Some moms may know these little tricks and tips and others may not, some may be totally ecstatic about the idea and others may think the whole idea is hokey. Whatever your stance may be, these are my ideas, tips, and tricks and they do not reflect your particular lifestyle etc. So now that I am done with my basic disclaimer here are the goods for some money saving ideas:
1. Buy as much and as many canned, dry goods, condiments, cleaners, tiddly items you can at the DOLLAR store. I mean Dollar General, Dollar Tree (who also offers larger wholesale type quantities if you need, AND they accept Food Stamps), Family Dollar.
Buying from these stores does not mean that your food will taste any different, be any different, look any different or that you are less of a human being because you shopped at a discount store. I bought Velveeta Shells and Cheese there, name brand Spaghetti O’s, Duncan Hines brownie mix, you name it I got it there for more than HALF of what I would have paid for the generic at my local grocers, and guess what….ALL THE SAME!
2. CLIP THOSE COUPONS!!! That’s right, clip the coupons when you get them and then HOLD ONTO them. What? Why? Well because manufacturers know that you will clip those coupons and then go right out and spend full pop on the item with that coupon.
Rather, you wait for the following week, or maybe the week after to see if your item goes on sale. This is the coupon game. Watch for the weekly circular to see if your item goes on sale AND then use the coupon. Also use grocers that apply double coupons. Here in AZ, we have double coupon grocers everyday. Only special occasions do they triple your coupons.
3. Buy canned or frozen produce. Yes we all LOVE LOVE LOVE our fresh produce. I am a victim of loving my fresh produce. But when I saw how much of my beloved I would throw out each week because the items would spoil so quickly (even with my Debbie Meyers Green Bags) I decided the time had come to buy frozen or buy canned. In the frozen I buy my broccoli, corn, cauliflower, spinach, the foods I love to steam for dinners. You can buy a package of frozen spinach for almost more than half you could for the fresh, and its the same, at least the end product.
4. Buy as much generic and or bulk as possible. If you have an item you are CONSTANTLY running to the store to replenish….buy bulk. By doing so and being a member of a warehouse store like Costco (who I love) and or Sams Club, you can save yourself bundles in dollars and bundles in gas dollars for running back and forth to the store. I compared cereals and milk as those are our family’s biggest inventory turners and we save at least $20 (per store trip) buying bulk than buying at the local supermarket.
5. Invest in those awesome reusable bags. I know, the lover of Mother Earth came out in me with all my green adventures this year. But in all honesty you save money each grocery trip! Bet you didn’t know you get FIVE CENTS off for each bag you use, EACH time you use them at your local supermarket. I shop at Fry’s here in AZ and with having 5-10 bags each time, well that’s an additional 25-50 cents off my bill. Not much, but HEY, every little bit counts.
6. THE BIGGIE….make a list. I think too many times we as Mom’s are so DAMN busy that we forget to make a simple list. We are the Queen’s of multi-tasking so we run our list in our head like a drill sergeant attacking his troops in line. We beeline to the grocery store and end up buying those damned Krispy Kreme’s at the front display, the Ho Ho’s which are near the coffee, and a bag of Doritos’s since they looked so yummy on our way to the check out. All the while forgetting that we needed tampons, mustard, and eggs. So remember to take a few minutes to make a list. Or build your own online @ My Grocery Checklist. I have laminated mine so that I can use it OVER and OVER again with a dry erase marker, or I stuffed mine in a Ziploc Freezer bag until I got it laminated, plastic is about the same. I just check what I need at the time we realize we are out and then done. I don’t have to try to remember later. I mean seriously, three kids screaming and the last thing you can do is remember what the hell to get at the store when you don’t have a list.
Take ’em or leave ’em, just some of my ideas, tips and tricks. I hope these are some great ideas you can use. I also use the Coupon Mom as my reference for what is on sale and what is a coupon based on circulars. The grocery shopping trek is time consuming but so worth the effort when you can add up the HUNDREDS of dollars in savings.
Let me know what you do to save money with groceries, around the house, and things to help your family in these tight times. I would love to hear how other Moms have other neat ideas, please post comments and subscribe so I can see what else you have musing in your home.