Monday, June 13, 2016

Keeping the Grocery Budget on Target Tips

Feeding eight, and very often nine or more, people, we have to stay on track with the budget. One way I do that is by making use of the online shopping cart feature at stores I shop at, like Sam's Club. Even when I don't order it online to pick up at the store, using the shopping cart is helpful. I simply put what I need to buy in the cart, and it keeps track of the amount I've spent. I can efficiently add or subtract as needed to help me maximize the budget without going over. Once I am finished, I print or handwrite the list. Sometimes I copy it into an email where it can be read on a phone. This helps keep the groceries in line with our budget. 

When I shopped by sale items and coupons, I would make my weekly menu by what was on sale. While there are a few fresh meat and vegetable coupons out there, there aren't that many when compared to the processed foods which we try to avoid. There sure aren't enough fresh food coupons to make even a slight dent with the amount my family consumes! I save more money by raising our food at home, so I put my time into that instead of cutting coupons and matching up sales and then driving all around our area to acquire them. Now, I make my weekly menus by what is on hand at home. I only buy what is needed to go fill in the recipe for those meals.

Herbs and spices are much cheaper when purchased in bulk. I have used for well over a decade for not only our medicinal herbs but also culinary herbs, spices, and specialty salts. Sometimes, but not very often, Sam's Club will beat their price. Since they arrive in a thick blue bag, I repackage and relabel them into quart sized canning jars and store in a dark, cool place. Using these spices, I often mix my own blends such as taco seasonings, steak rubs, etc. For supplement or herbal medicine, I buy gelatin capsules and cap my own or make other forms like tinctures, extracts, teas, etc. This has helped me create very flavorful dishes and buy supplements for our family without breaking the bank. 

One of the biggest ways you can save on your grocery bill is by doing this one thing: eliminate waste. Look for ways to use everything you can. If it is about to spoil, find a way to use it before it does. One of the tips I acquired years ago was to take the juice from canned fruits, add a little water, and freeze it into popsicles. By pausing before you toss something out and thinking about how it can be used can bring you big savings.

Happy Frugal Mothering! 

Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,