Thursday, May 14, 2009

Some Frugal Ideas for Groceries

As a friend recently reminded me, when we start trying to be frugal, we seem to put a lot of emphasis on food! I think this is because grocery spending is one area we can cut back on easily.

I want to share a few frugal things I have been doing lately to cut our grocery bill.

1. The Discount Bread Store. You might think it wouldn't be worth it to go to the discount bread store, but its all in how convenient it is, what the prices are, and how much bread you buy. There is a very nice Sunbeam Discount Bread Store that I pass on my way to work. It opens at 8:00 A.M. and I pass right by it at 8:15 or so. It takes me 5 minutes at the most to stop in. The good brand whole wheat bread is $1.29 a loaf, compared to almost $3.00 at Food Lion. They also have wonderful hoagie buns, the large sandwich buns and more for 85 cents, compared to almost $3.00 a pack at Food Lion. I check the "sell by" dates very closely and always buy bread with several fresh days left.

2. Sale priced and marked down meats. I never buy meat that isn't on sale and/or marked down. When I find a good deal I stock up and immediately put it in the freezer. One secret I have learned is that finding marked down meat with several days left on the "sell by" date is timing. I buy most of my meat at Food Lion. Food Lion's sales run from Wednesday through Tuesday. So, Tuesday afternoon is a great time to find good deals on meat. The meat department people want to get rid of the meat that was on sale so they can get ready for the next week's sale. Also, Tuesday is a slow day at the grocery store, so more of the meat is unsold at the end of the day. I have found great cuts of meat on sale and then marked down twice. I am accumulating a nice stash of meat in my freezer this way. Its so nice to be able to come up with a good meal at any time because you know there is always plenty of meat in the freezer.

3. When I have plenty of meats in the freezer and my pantry is well stocked, I can stay on a weekly grocery budget easier. Right now I am trying to spend $50.00 a week for a family of 4. If I stock up on meat on Tuesdays, I typically spend about $30.00. That leaves $20.00 for milk, bread (see no. 1!) and for stocking up on other good sale items. I don't do a big stock up on meat every week, so some weeks I can put more of the $50.00 on pantry staples that are on sale, bought with coupons, which helps keep the pantry well stocked. Of course, I could go without going to the grocery store at all a couple of weeks if I need to, since I am keeping the freezer and pantry stocked with items bought on sale and with coupons.

I realize that I can't keep the grocery budget at $50.00 every week, but many times I can, using frugal skills.

Please check back tomorrow for Frugal Friday. I want to share one of the biggest money saving ideas I have come across lately. Oh, and its not related to food!

Have a great Thursday! Its a beautiful sunny morning here in North Carolina and I'm off to attend a work related seminar. I will moderate any comments tonight. Thanks for visiting!


Heather said...

i wish we had a discount bread store near us. we go through so much bread every week! and our bread costs almost $4.00 a loaf!

Pen Pen said...

Can't wait for frugal Friday. I never have made a budget like your $50 a week, but would be fun to try. Our problem is that we love soft drinks... that takes a lot of our food money!

DarcyLee said...

I have a favorite bread store that I go to and just buy enough for the month since it's pretty far away from me but it's the best one in the area. Unfortunately, many of the bread stores in my area are closing down. My husband is the one that always watches for marked down meat. He has a better eye for good meat than I do, so we have stocked our freezer this way, too. Great tips. Looking forward to tomorrow's frugal non-food tip :)

Mom2fur said...

We used to have a discount Pepperidge Farm store near my home. I really miss it--you sure got the great buys there!

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