If you are really trying to cut back on your spending here some simple changes you can make to your buying habits to save money. I realize everyone’s situation is different. Sometimes the time savings and convenience are worth more to you so do what works best for you.
This is how I shop.
The first thing that I always do Is buy seasonally. In the fall and winter, I buy apples and squash, and citrus fruits. In the summer I buy watermelon, berries of any kind, canteloupe, corn on the cob. It doesn’t mean I can’t buy any of those all year round but I buy what comes in fresh and seasonal and it usually is a good price. I buy items like onions, celery, broccoli, avocados year-round because the price stays consistent and those are staple items for us.
Use the store apps, that is where you can load all your digital coupons. After a while, they start customizing your coupons for the things that you buy on a regular basis. However just because you have a coupon doesn’t mean that you should buy it. Only buy it if it is something you use all the time. If you just buy it because there is a coupon for it you aren’t saving. Keep in mind, you don’t have to use coupons to save money.
When I shop I am usually getting the staples for the next couple of weeks, fresh veggies and fruit, bread things like that. However, I am always shopping ahead, which means I am always looking for good prices on things that I know I will need eventually and that won’t go bad. So if mayo or mustard is on sale I will buy one or two so I always have a backup in my pantry. I’ll never have to run to the store and pay full price because I ran out. Any item that I know I regularly use I will keep extra in the pantry.
I realize some people do not have wiggle room in their food budget to be able to buy ahead. You might only have enough money to buy food for the week. Read my article Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck. You can get some really good ideas to maybe get a little bit ahead so that you can stock up on sale items.
I always have a goal for dinner every night to only spend $5 to feed my family of 3. Sometimes I go over, that’s ok but I plan it so I’m usually right around that $5 mark. It’s not garbage food either, it includes protein, fresh veggie (sometimes organic and never canned), and a starch. We have an entire section on this blog of$5 Meal Ideas. It has recipes but it also has articles that show you how to get larger cuts of meat and separate them into meal portions sizes. If you have more people in your family your goal might be $7 or $10 for dinner every night. Check out our Page full of $5 Meal Ideas.
Examples of some simple changes you can make to your buying habits to save money.
Instead of buying prepackaged precut servings of carrots, peel and cut your own carrots into snack-size pieces. Keep them in a container in the fridge for quick snacking or put them in your own small containers to take to work or school. I buy 2lb bags of organic carrots for $1.99, which works out to $ .99 per lb. I checked the price of the little pre-peeled and cut organic baby carrots they sell 24/2.25oz bags for $5.99 that works out to $1.93 per lb.
Packaged $1.93 – DIY $ .99 = $.94 per lb savings
Cut your own apples. I can always find organic apples for $ .99 on sale. If you buy the prepackaged sliced organic apples you get 8/6oz bags for $6.99 that works out to $2.33 per lb.
Packaged $2.33 – DIY $ .99 = $1.34 per lb savings
Make your own hashbrowns instead of buying the frozen packages. The cheapest I can find shredded frozen hash browns is a 30oz bag of the store brand for $1.75. Nonstore brands are at least $3.00 but we’ll use the store brand price, it works out to $ .93 lb. I can buy a 10 lb bag of potatoes for $2..99 right now, when I make baked potatoes I just make several extras, and then we have hashbrowns the next morning. They shred easily when they are cold and you are getting the skin that has most of the nutrients.
Get jugs of juice instead of juice boxes. I can buy store brand 100% apple juice 64oz for $2.00 that works out to $ .031 per oz. I found online 40/6.75oz 100% juice boxes for $31.78 that works out to $ .11 per oz. If you bought a 64 oz bottle of juice and paid $ .11 per oz you would end up paying $7.04 for that bottle. There is no way you would pay $7.04 for a bottle of apple juice. You save $5.04 just by buying the jug instead of juice boxes.
Make your own frozen waffles instead of buying the frozen box at the store. A box of 10 frozen waffles at the store is $2.38 so $.23 per waffle. If you buy a large 10lb bag of waffle mix for $7.80 and make your own, that comes out to $.09 per waffle. Store bought frozen waffles 10 for $2.38, homemade waffles 10 for $.90. You save $1.48 for every 10 waffles.
Buy the bigger bags of chips and put them in a baggy or a container instead of buying the single-serve 1 oz bags of chips. Right now I can buy this 9.75 oz bag of Doritos for $1.99 or $.20 per ounce. The Frito Lay box of individual size chips is $7.99 for 18ct 1oz bags or $.44 per ounce. You save $.24 per ounce.
Prepackaged foods are a budget killer, we all have to use them at times but try to buy ingredients and make things instead of buying premade or prepackaged. These are just examples of some simple changes you can make to your buying habits to save money. I know the dollar amounts aren’t huge but I still think every penny counts right! If you like these check more of my Quirky/Thrifty things I do to save money! What do you do to save money on groceries?
We have a lot of frugal tips and money saving ideas, you can read more here: