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15 ways to save Money on your Grocery bill

Photo courtesy of fuzzbabble

Today’s Thursday Thirteen started out as 13, but it quickly developed into 15. So, enjoy the 2 additions……………..:)

Here are ways you can save money when you shop for Groceries:

1. Check for sales in your area using your computer – Why buy the newspaper when everything you need is there on the computer? You can easily access local news, national news and most of your favorite grocery store coupons or specials.

2. Cook at home – Cooking at home instead of eating out is always a cost saver. And probably better for you as well.

3. Buy unprocessed food – Processed foods are expensive.

4. Make your own bread – Buying bread ingredients is easy, cost efficient, and provides quite a variety of choices. At $3.00 to $4.00 per loaf for store bought bread v less than a $1.00 for homemade bread, you’ll just save at least $2.00. And the bread will be more fresh, natural and tasty.

5. Buy in bulk – Bulk food stores are able to help you save money since you purchase a larger quantity of items. You might not want to purchase produce or meat there—because of its shelf life--but they are very cost effective for items ranging from paper goods to non perishables. Check out for specialty stores that offer bulk items. I love Whole Foods, but I know their prices tend to be a higher than standard local grocery stores, but their dry bulk can be very cost effective such as specialty beans, different varieties of rice, whole grains, etc.

6. Use a Farmer’s Market – Sometimes the prices at farmer’s markets are similar to the grocery store, but as I posted in Eat Local, the other benefits outweigh the no cost difference.

7. Make your own laundry soap – Now, I haven’t tried this yet, because I just found the link today. It sounds extremely interesting, easy, and inexpensive. If any of you have a chance or are inclined to try this, let the Iowa Avenue community know what you think.

8. Don’t buy fast foods – Enough said!!

9. Use local international stores – Through my own personal experience, many small mom and pop international stores have lower prices than the large chains, especially on produce, and of course, special spices and seasoning. If you haven’t already discovered one in your area, take a longer look the next time you take a walk around your neighborhood.

10. Eat more beans – Beans are an extraordinary way to get inexpensive protein. Lower in fat and much less costly than meat or poultry products, beans should be a daily part of everyone’s menu, in some form or fashion.

11a. Don’t take the kids – I’ve spoken on this before, but only in reference to buying healthy foods, but leaving the kids at home also plays into cutting costs. If your kids are like most children, they’re not concerned about the cost of an item, they just want it. So, to cut costs and not buy anything you, as the parent, don’t want, leave the kids at home.

11b. Take the kids – If you want to teach your kids about cost savings via the grocery store, then taking them and talking to them as you shop is a great way. Kids need to learn the value of spending and saving money, especially with a weekly activity as important as grocery shopping.

12. Go to the store more than once a week – To take full advantage of the fresh produce or buy an additional item that’s on sale, consider going to the store more often. Read Metroknow's blog, Almost Fit , which lists 11 more reasons to shop more often.

13. Make your own stock – Above I mentioned buying beans as a method of cutting cost and improving your eating plan, but to make a soup taste really good, you can add stock, either vegetable, beef, or chicken. Buying canned stock is expensive and those little cubes are often full of sodium, so making your own gives you flexibility and a healthier meal.

14. Start a garden – There is nothing like the feel of dirt under your fingernails from working in the garden. Plus, the satisfaction of growing your own food is deep and ingrained in our American farming culture; at least for me, born and raised in Ohio. There is nothing like the taste of a tomato you just picked from your own backyard. Oh, did I forget to mention the exercise value of gardening? So, starting a garden has four major benefits (If you count the dirt under the nails part). Who knew?

15. Plan, plan, and plan some more - I can not emphasis the importance of planning your meals enough. If you plan your menus ahead of time, chances are you’ll save money each and every time you shop. Don’t get overwhelmed, shopping for a week is fine. Or if you plan on taking advantage of #12, just a few days will do.

What ideas do you use to cut costs at the grocery store? A penny for your thoughts, because,

After all, it’s about a healthy lifestyle!

© Iowa Avenue

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