Saturday, May 10, 2008

The best buys at the grocery store, as I see it.

I am often asked how I get my groceries so cheap.  Well, of course I use tons of coupons, but I also shop smart.  I don't buy something just because it is a good deal, sometimes good deals just aren't good enough.  Maybe chips or crackers are only $1.50 after sale and coupon, but we don't need to eat them, so I would be better off spending the money elsewhere.

Stock up on;
1. dried beans- if you have a crockpot soak them overnight and divide them into ziplock baggies then freeze.  You can get about 6 bags of beans for the price of one can!
2. pasta sauce in a can-  Don't buy jarred when the cans down on the bottom shelf are about a buck and just as good.
3. dried pasta- Always good and a cheap staple, try the store brand!
4. canned tomatoes- buy the cheapest, they are always good.
5. frozen spinach- cheap and packed with nutrients. Throw it in everything.
6. frozen peas- high in protein, great side dish with meat free spaghetti
7. onions- always cheap, buy in big bags to save
8. carrots- buy whole unpeeled, I just scrub and cut up for snacks, easy.
9. potatoes- also very cheap; bake your own fries
10. in season only produce- dont pay more than $1 per pound, and make yourself eat it, you'll learn to love it, I promise!!
11. oatmeal- whole rolled oats make a super filling and cheap breakfast

Stay away from;
a. juice; its expensive and even children don't need the extra sugar or calories
b. pop, soda; also very expensive. My husband only gets it with a super good sale and coupon.
c. convenience foods, pre packaged will leave you hungry and broke
d. impulse buys; take a list and STICK TO IT (dont shop hungry)
e. meat; EXPENSIVE, worried about protein?  start reading labels (an adult female needs 40g per day)
f. dairy, milk and cheese; expensive as well, worried about calcium? See this chart for info. Women need about 1200mg.
g. candy, cookies and deserts; really?

Be willing to substitute;
a. beans (or lentils!) will work for beef in most meals
b. canned tomatoes sub for fresh in recipes
c. don't buy specialty items for a recipe, see what you can sub instead
d. add veggies to your dishes or casseroles as fillers

Menu plans help many people stick to their grocery budget.  I don't follow one, but I never really have a problem pulling together an inexpensive, wholesome and healthy dinner.  I was just raised that way.  For really great menu ideas check out BeCentsAble, the girls post their menus on mondays.

I hope these ideas help you stick to your budget as well as feel good about eating such wholesome foods.  Let me know if you have any tricks or secrets!


Marin said...

Thanks! I got some really good tips from this!

Sara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sara said...

Great Tips, Thanks For Sharing!

Erin said...

Glad you guys liked them! Thanks for posting!