On a homeschool message board where I am a member we're having a little discussion on how to save money on groceries and various things.
With a little savvy, the average family can reduce their monthly grocery budget. And sometimes by quite a bit!
Here are 50 ways to save on your groceries and other household expenses.
- Create a weekly budget for your weekly groceries. Don’t go over this budget.
- Keep a checklist of everything you need and check off what you have. Use this list to make sure you’re only buying what you need.
- Track your grocery expenses in a spreadsheet. Save your receipts and type in what you spend into that spreadsheet at the end of every shopping trip (time consuming but worth it to save money).
- Frequent 2 stores instead of 1. Over time, you’ll start to get to know which items are cheaper in which store. (for example I shop at Fred Meyer and a local produce store. Each has great deals on various things but not usually the same).
- Plan your grocery shopping weekly. It saves time as well as money on transportation going back and forth to the store.
- Cook a lot at once (like freezer cooking). Bulk cooking will generally save you money.
- Don’t “emergency cook.” Plan so that you’re not going out to shop for and then cook only one meal. That can be quite costly.
- Pack your own lunch for work or school (can be a huge money saver)
- Instead of buying frozen foods freeze your own cooked foods after cooking in bulk.
- Cut out sodas, donuts, etc. These can add a lot to your bottom line.
- Don’t shop when hungry – You’ll tend to over shop when you’re hungry.
- Cut out coffee if possible. A $3 cup of coffee daily costs $90 a month. Get a coffee machine if you absolutely must have caffeine.
- Buy produce in season. This will help you reduce the cost of your produce.
- Get Printable Coupons
- Buy non-brands. Branded products often cost a lot more for the same ingredients.
- Check to make sure your receipts are correct. Don’t get over charged (I made this mistake recently and was out $5).
- Garden. Create your own food. Seeds are cheap.
- Shop in local grocery stores rather than brand name grocery stores.
- Save your leftovers and either eat them or use them to cook up new dishes.
- Read newspapers and check magazines for discounts and coupons.
- Check the home page of your grocery store to see if they have discounts.
- Try online coupon sites. Sites like coupons.com often have coupons to help you save money.
- Ask your store to match a price if you can find it cheaper elsewhere.
- Send in your rebates! They total to a lot of money over time.
- Stop eating out! Cooking at home saves a lot of money. As an experiment, try tracking your eating out expenses for a month or two to really see how much it costs.
Places to find Coupons
- Keep all your change, from pennies to dimes to nickels. Whether you find these under the couch or just get spare change while shopping, these can add up over time. We keep a bowl on my desk. Everyone puts their change in there and then we take it to the bank
- Carpool. Save money on gas and other automobile expenses
- Wash your car yourself. Getting a weekly car wash for $6 adds up to $24 a month
- Keep your car tuned. A car that’s not in tune can cost you hundreds more in gas and potentially thousands in repairs if you let it wait too long
- Find the cheapest gas station in your area. Compare gas prices as you drive past gas stations. There's an app for that
- Wash your dishes by hand. Dishwashers use a lot of water and electricity; possibly even gas to heat the water
- Dry your clothes outside (or inside in a warm place). This saves energy and is also better for your clothes. We did this one summer and saved a little
- Wait until you have a full load of laundry before washing. This saves water and electricity.
- Add insulation to your water heater. This helps your heater use less electricity and keeps the water in your heater hot.
- See if there’s a discount for paying your bills by direct debit.
- Get in the habit of turning off the lights. We also saved big with this tip.
- Buy water saving shower heads. Over time these savings can add up to quite a bit of money.
- Compare insurance rates from several companies. Raise your deductibles to get a lower rate.
- Bundle your phone, internet and TV with the same provider. You can save as much as $100 to $300 a year doing this. Check to see if your provider has a loyalty department and see if you can get further savings (my husband is great at this).
- Ask if your energy company will audit your home for free. Many power companies will help you save money by sending an energy expert to see how you could save power.
- Cut your credit cards. This is often a huge hidden expense in many households.
- Check out dollar stores. Items like utensils, sponges, batteries, etc are often much cheaper at dollar stores than grocery stores.
- Collect your “trash” like used clothes, electronics and toys. Have a garage sale or sell it on eBay.
- Compare energy companies. Though your house may come with one company by default, other companies may offer a lower price.
- Pay your bills on time. Being late a few times a year can add up to a lot of extra costs.
- Get paid to shop online. Sign up with Ebates and shop at your favorite retailers. Earn cash back on your purchases. Click here to find out more.
- Cut out smoking and drinking. These are both very expensive habits. (just say NO).
- Cut down your TV channels. How many channels do you actually watch? Call your cable provider and see if you can get a cheaper service by reducing your channels. If you're on Amazon Prime see if you can get better deals for just the channels you watch.
- Make your own detergents (except laundry). Things like baking powder can clean just as well as a lot of name brand products and cost a fraction of the price.
- Change your own oil. It takes 15 minutes to learn by Google and will save you money for years.
Of course all these tips may not work for you but even one or two could save you a nice chunk of change.
Have any other money saving tips to share?