Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Saving money on your grocery and household bills

When I started this journey last August our grocery and house stuff ran us between $400-$600 a month. Whittling the number down to $200-$250 a month (yes I go over sometimes :) ) has been a very gradual process as I have learned what works for my family needs.

Here are some of the things we do to save money on groceries.
  1. buy meat on sale/cook/divide into meal portions/freeze
  2. make our own breads/rolls/buns from scratch
  3. use lots of coupons
  4. eat more frozen veggies during the winter when fresh is SO EXPENSIVE
  5. have meatless meals
  6. use up our leftovers
  7. stockpile when I can get something free or almost free
  8. spices from whole foods bulk bins

Some things I would like to be doing

  1. make more from scratch (healthier and cheaper)
  2. start a garden
  3. do once a month cooking
  4. cook more beans

What we do to save on household stuff

  1. Walgreens- learn the system and use it
  2. Use washable rags/towels rather than paper towels
  3. clean with vinegar, bleach or free stuff
  4. use about 1/2 of the recommended amount of laundry detergent (Tide or All Free&Clear)
  5. not be brand loyal (most of the time) - at least be open to trying something different, specially when you can get it for free.
  6. Do what works for us- we tried using All free&clear for us like we do for the kid and hated it and went back to Tide for us
  7. stock up when I can get stuff for free (some of the stuff you should never have to pay for: toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes, hair products) or really cheap
  8. newspaper instead of paper towels to clean mirrors and windows

Above all I think the best way to save money is to:

  1. stick to the basics
  2. look for ways to use something in multiple ways
  3. do not autopilot to buy instead borrow/trade/make do without/make it yourself

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