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Twenty years ago, I went from spending $500 a month on groceries (for 2 adults) to $50 a month. So, how did I do it? The following is an overview of My System, and I will be writing a more detailed post soon on each of these strategies, so keep checking back! Happy Saving! 🙂
As I sat down today to determine the best Weekly Deals from the grocery store ads, I realized something. That although the weekly matchups and pairing them with coupons and rebates has been taking the bulk of my time lately, it is really a very small part in what I have done over the last 20 years in achieving a 90% food savings. You could never use a single coupon and still slash your grocery expenses by up to 90%.
I have so much information I want to share with you guys and help you save money on your groceries! Please check back often, as I will be elaborating on my strategies.
The Strategies That Saved Me 90% on My Grocery Expenses:
- Comparison Shop: By keeping track of prices on the items you buy, you can pay the lowest price for everything on your shopping list. This is achieved by recording prices in a Price Book or a Price List. It may seem daunting at 1st to record everything you buy, but the savings are unbelievable. You will see your expenses go down every time you make an entry in your book. This process has saved me the most money on my groceries. And, after a while you will know if something “is a good price.” Don’t rely on the stores to tell you if something is a good price! You can set your own prices with this strategy.
- Cook from Scratch: I have a Master Pantry List and a Meal Idea List that work in tandem, so there is always something I can cook from my pantry.
- Batch Cook: I have a large freezer in my garage for long term storage. It’s helpful to have meals and components of meals made ahead for those days you are too busy or tired to cook.
- Shop at Several Stores: This works with the Price Book. With this system, I actually spend less time than I used to at the stores.
- Monthly Shopping Trip for Pantry Staples: Once a month, I do a large shopping trip for pantry items that I am running low on. I keep my pantry stocked with essentially the same items every month.
- Weekly Shopping for Sale Items: Buying items that are part of the store’s weekly sales for the best price.
- Buy in Bulk: But, only if you have verified that it is at the lowest price with your Price Book.
- Avoid Pre-Made, (and one use) Ingredients: Conversely, having ingredients on hand will allow you to make many meals, not just a single one. This strategy also keeps you from having to do last minute grocery trips, which can result in overspending.
- Calculate Prices of Favorite Meals: This will give you a sense of the best value for your money, and you may then choose to make more frugal meals. Many of my Homemade Breakfasts can cost between $.10 and $.25 ea., and Lunches & Dinners can cost $.50 ea. per serving.
- Free Food Sources: Free items by using coupons and Rebate apps like Ibotta, growing your own food, surplus fruit from friends’ trees, using Amazon rewards and Swagbucks Gift Cards, etc. for groceries.
I 1st embarked on my frugal path over 20 years ago after reading The Tightwad Gazette Books. They will really help you to start thinking and acting more frugally.