Skip to content

Ten On Tuesday

I know that the price of food has been increasing for quite some time but it seems (to me, at least) that the prices have skyrocketed lately. My favorite cheddar cheese now costs almost eight bucks a pound and that just seems ridiculous to me! I have never been one to scrimp on food, though, and if I want steak or lobster or expensive cheese I’ve always just bought it and figured I’m worth it. If I’m going to be able to continue that sort of shopping I think I’ll need to make some adjustments wherever possible and that brings me to this week’s topic 10 Ways to Save At the Grocery Store.

The irony of showing a box of truffles that cost $9 in a post about saving money on food is not lost on me, but that’s just the way we roll here at Carole Knits.

  1. Use coupons. I used to be very good about this but I haven’t done it in ages. Perhaps it’s time to start again.
  2. Consult the weekly sale flyer. I almost always choose my meats and vegetables based on what’s on sale.
  3. Buy store brands when possible. I won’t buy store sugar or flour but I do buy store brand vegetables and juices and milk. I’m pretty sure no one can tell the difference.
  4. Shop from a list and don’t buy things that aren’t on the list. Impulse buying is hard to resist and those purchases definitely add up.
  5. Add inexpensive ingredients like beans and rice to your meals to stretch your food dollars.
  6. Bake your own cookies and bread. A package of cookies is $4 but you can make 5 dozen cookies for a lot less than that. They taste better, too.
  7. Shop alone. If I have Dale with me I wind up spending $20 more with all the extras he throws in the shopping cart.
  8. Don’t shop hungry. This is as much for health reasons as for financial ones. If I shop when I’m hungry I wind up buying lots of junk that I don’t need to have in the house.
  9. Watch the scanner for errors. I’m pretty good about this and I rarely find mistakes but I know they happen and it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for it.
  10. Don’t pay for conveniences like pre-shredded cheese and pre-packaged processed food. Do it yourself and you’ll save quite a bit.

I have a feeling a lot of our lists will be very similar this week but I’m still hoping to pick up some tips on saving money. These days we can all use all the help we can get.


This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. I am not allowed to shop for groceries. My husband is the King of coupons, store flyers, what’s on sale where, who has the cheapest staples, and rebates. I would prefer to shop like a French woman, marketing every day for fresh meat and produce, but instead, I have a freezer full of meat and have to deal with those giant Costco packs of romaine lettuce. We may retire more comfortably if I just stay out of it.

  2. I hear you about the price of groceries. I just dropped $80 for a few days worth of groceries to use during our stay in Maine. Now grant it several of the items will be here for a while, but still.
    I use to be much better at coupon shopping and I do look for sales, but since my kids have flown the coop I haven’t been as careful. I do buy store brands for frozen veggies.

  3. I definitely don’t have 10 different things, but one thing I’ve found is to buy meat in the ‘family pack’ when it’s on sale & divide it up at home into smaller packages. Also, package them into the correct portions for your family. Use less expensive salad dressings for marinades, they’ll flavor the meat or veggies just as good as the expensive ones! Buy the larger bag of rice & keep it in a sealed container … measure out what you need. Much cheaper than buying the smaller boxes!

  4. Because I do a lot of meals for events at our church people ask me questions like this sometimes. My #1 answer? USE everything you bought. On average, Americans toss almost 25% of the food they purchase. If you could use even half of that… think of your savings. If our schedule changes and I won’t get that chicken on the menu before the expiry date, it goes into the freezer – and more importantly, comes back out soon for use. If I have to purchase something pricey like basil, I make sure I plan the week’s menus so I can make the most of it, instead of just one meal. And I plan menus for a week at a time. Fewer trips = less money. And yes, buy ‘the good stuff’ where it matters, but be flexible on the rest.

  5. Here in NYC we get great Irish cheddar at Zabars for $5 a pound (if you come to visit I’ll take you there and you can stock up). I shop at several stores, keeping close track of which stores sell which items for less, and I’ve found that Whole Foods has great prices on their house brand, “365” products. For instance, butter is under $3 a pound. Trader Joe’s has pine nuts for half the price of everywhere else.

    Make popcorn from scratch in the microwave. Don’t buy packaged cereals. Homemade ice cream is better and cheaper than store bought. Avoid bottled water. I can go on forever!

  6. All good points, yours and in the comments. I just discovered that a package of Jello — Jello!!! — has 1/4 less in it. My Easter pie filling didn’t come up to the edge of the crust.

  7. I agree with all of your points, and especially with Robbie: I made a New Year’s Resolution several years ago to stop throwing away so much food. It has (mostly) stuck. I agree with store brands as well, once you have established that their quality is good.

    I guess my added tip would be to have a well stocked pantry – if you always have something around that you can fix a few standard meals with, you will be much less likely to run to the store (or go out to eat). My Mom is the master of that – she and Dad can be away from home on a two week RV trip, but have a hot meal put on the table the day they get back (without going to the grocery store, but only using her freezer and pantry). Amazing!

  8. Interesting. Why do you avoid store brand flour and sugar? I do know one person who never bought any sugar besides C&H, because she wanted pure cane sugar instead of beet sugar (she sold candy professionally every Christmas), but frankly – I’ve never tasted a difference in any brand of sugar. Or flour, either. I don’t use much flour any more, though, so I’m more likely to buy organic when I do, but I have occasionally bought the store brand in the past.

  9. Great topic! Don’t buy GF. Srsly, GF bread etc is SO expensive. Therefore, I buy as little GF as possible and stay with fresher ingredients. We bought a freezer so we could buy bulk foods and meats on sale. That way we always have something on hand. I agree with Cathy R that a well stocked pantry, with loved and oft used items will make cooking easy and quick.

  10. Since cereal is so expensive, I only buy it on sale. Always.

    I practice puttting something, anything, back at the check out. I can always find one thing I really dont need. I just hand it politely to the checker and say I decided against this.

  11. I too am curious as to why you avoid store brand sugar and flour. Those are two of the items (raw ingredients) that I would think the store brand couldn’t mess up.

  12. I have to echo Margene. GF is so darned expensive. I buy fresh GF breads when I’m in Portland or Seattle and fill my freezer with them. My husband jokingly said I needed my own freezer just for our imported breads. I always buy bulk when things are on sale. Because we’re a pescatarian family, I buy a lot of produce. If I put off a making a meal, I might end up tossing more produce than is acceptable. I wish we had a handier market. We use to live near our market and we’d shop every couple of days for produce, only buying what we’d immediately use. Great topic.

  13. I do at least one (usually more) meatless meal a week, and I make sure to plan my menus – then make my list – all while using the store flyers and coupons. It takes a little extra time, but the menu planning and sticking to it, helps enormously.

    I also shop at a store that adds up points (1pt = $1 spent at the store) and with 100 points I earn cents off my gasoline purchases from their gas pumps. Every little bit helps.

    And even as a single gal, I stock up on things when the sales are on – tho’ I’m not a hoarder, that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!

  14. I need to remember that I can spend an afternoon on a weekend doing things like shredding my own cheese. It’s not like it is hard, but I often buy the pre-shredded stuff for convenience. Silly, because it is only annoying to do when I just get home from work.

  15. All excellent suggestions, and if Dale only costs you $20 extra consider yourself lucky. I won’t let my DH in the store with me. And store brand flour and sugar are fine, I’ve been getting them for years. I even (shhhh) buy store brand laundry soap and the put it in the tide bottle, because that is one battle I was never able to conqure. So I just let him think it is one thing when it is another. But I won’t buy store brand cereals.

  16. Yup, our lists are a lot alike! I should have added – Buy snacks at Trader Joes because they’re a lot better, and a lot cheaper. 😉

  17. Great tips! I didn’t think of putting “buy generic”, but that’s something I do. My ex-husband’s family owns a pest control company, and one of their clients is a sugar house (processing factory) in the Bronx. My ex used to service it, and he said that all they do is change out the paper for the bags–same sugar, different label! That convinced me that the practice has to be common. Some products really don’t seem to be the same quality (plastic wrap comes to mind), but it’s always worth trying the generic at least once!

    I’m so guilty of buying pre-shredded cheese, even though I know it’s a rip off. I’m going to change that starting this week! Thanks for the reminder!!

  18. Ah, yes, shopping solo saves me tons, too, especially if Bruce is hungry. Also, others are easily annoyed that it takes me a bit longer when I need to check specifics to go with my coupons.

  19. I’ve stopped buying pre-packaged salad blends. I used to buy them for convenience but I had a fit when the Caesar salad kit my 10 year-old loves surpassed $3 a bag. Instead I bought three kinds of lettuce and went right home to clean them. I semi-dried the leaves, wrapped a paper towel around them and put them in a zip top bag. The lettuce stayed beautiful and crisp for more than a week. We had salad on demand. It was easy & saved a bundle

Comments are closed.

Back To Top