Monday, October 1, 2012
31 Days:: The Basics
If you're a novice at slashing your grocery spending, then this post is for you :) If you're an expert at saving money in the kitchen, then please add your own "basics" in the comments!
Here are the basics, in a nutshell:
1. Check out the sale ad for your favorite grocery store. Why pay full price when you can get it on sale? Plan your meals and make your grocery list around what's on sale.
Almost all items (with the exception of some specialty things) will go on sale eventually. It's commonly thought that grocery stores have a sale cycle of approximately six weeks...meaning that if baking products are on sale this week, you'll probably see many of the same baking products on sale in about six weeks.
2. If a non-perishable item is on sale for a really good price, buy more than what you need for the week. This is called "stockpiling". This can also be done with perishable items that are freezable, as long as you plan to use them within a reasonable amount of time. (Freezing guidelines are widely available online.)
Let's say that Prego is a great deal this week, plus you have a coupon for $1.00 off 3. You put Easy Ravioli Bake on your menu, and "Prego" on your grocery list. But your coupon is for three jars, and you only need one right? Wrong! In this case, you "need" three! Instead of buying just one jar of Prego, buy three jars and use your coupon. In two weeks (when you're ready for another Italian meal but there's no spaghetti sauce on sale), you can use your bought-on-sale Prego to make Italian Stuffed Shells or Mom's Spaghetti Sauce.
3. Become a couponer. You don't have to be an "extreme couponer" to save money! More on this tomorrow.
4. Follow a grocery-saving, money-saving, or deal blog. There are plenty of great tips to be had, and most of them also point you to the best deals in your area. More on this tomorrow too!
Even if you do only these four things, you'll still save more money than if you just head out to the store to buy whatever sounds good.
What do you consider to be your "basics" when it comes to saving money in the kitchen?
Looking for more money-saving tips? Check out the rest of this series, here.
I'm linking up over at The Nester, who's hosting the 31 Days party!