grocery items

Have you made a shopping list this week? Let’s take a look at that list and see what we can do about saving you some money! These products need to be evaluated, not necessarily removed from your list, but you may need to rethink how you buy them.

Produce

We definitely want to keep buying produce. As I teach my children, fruits and veggies give us the vitamins we need to stay healthy. But, we do need to be smart about how and how much produce we buy.

  • Buy fruits and vegetables that last longer, such as carrots, potatoes, onions, apples, and squash. Limit your quantity of more fragile produce such as lettuce, bananas, avocados, and green onions. Make sure those items can be used up more quickly.
  • Buy some vegetables frozen, such as corn, peas, and broccoli. You can throw a handful into soup or stirfry, or even mac and cheese without trying to keep fresh produce on hand.
  • Learn how to use your scraps and get more produce tips in my produce post.
Image by Jeremy Smith from Pixabay

Meat

Meat is another item that we want to be able to keep on our shopping list. But, when you look at the price per pound, it can be the most expensive item you buy.

I love the luxury of being able to use 3 pounds of ground beef to feed my family, but when money is tight, 1 pound will have to do. Here are some tips for making sure your family is getting plenty of protein and you aren’t burning through your grocery money.

  • Choose less expensive meats, such as chicken leg quarters, ground beef on sale, and ground turkey.
  • Use additional sources of protein as part of your meal plan. Consider eggs, peanut butter, whole grains, and lentils.
  • If needed, cut the amount of meat that is called for in a recipe. For example, in a stir-fry, use less meat and more veggies so everyone is still filled up.
  • Use meatless meals as part of your weekly menu rotation. We have burritos every Friday with beans and rice. Delicious!

Paper products

I’m about out of toilet paper, and to be honest, I’m okay with not spending that $15 to get another package. Keeping 10 people in toilet paper can sure add up! Disposable paper products are relatively new on the scene, and a pure luxury. If we are able and can afford them, they can make life easy, but they are not a necessity. If you need to save money, paper products can be removed from your list.

Toilet paper can be replaced by family cloth. Check out my post on family cloth to get all the details to make this work.

Paper towels can be replaced with cleaning cloths. I recommend some good quality microfiber cloths to be able to clean just about anything in your kitchen and bath. My favorites are the ones from Grove Collaborative. I keep a small amount of paper towels for cleaning the super nasty stuff like when someone breaks an egg.

Paper plates can be replaced with, wait for it….. real plates.

Paper products are not evil, and you are not a bad person if you use them. Just keep in mind that money can be saved here, and there are other ways to accomplish the same thing.

Generic products

I have always defaulted to buying the store brand because they are cheaper. Right?! Not necessarily. If you walk in the store and compare the store brand to the name brand side by side, then yes, the store brand will probably be cheaper. But, there are ways to get the name brands for cheaper than generic! I have recently been playing around with this concept with the help of some apps on my phone. I needed deodorant and was able to get two women’s Suave deodorant for less than fifty cents for both. That was pretty exciting. Here are two apps to get you started.

IBOTTA, look for offers in the app, purchase the products, scan your receipt, and get cash back. Pretty simple. I used this app to get a huge jug of ALL detergent for $8. Use my referral code: GQMRRNC

SHOPKICK, scan products in the store to get “kicks,” purchase them and get lots more kicks. You can cash use your kicks for gift cards or cash. This is the app I used to get my deodorant for nearly free. Use my referral code: EARN822925

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Coffee

This was a tough category for me. I love my cup of Keurig coffee every morning. But, when the rubber meets the road, 35 cents a cup doesn’t compare to everyone getting a cup of coffee for that same 35 cents or less. Saving money doesn’t have to mean giving up a good cup of coffee, though. You can put your bulk coffee grounds in refillable pods in your Keurig machine to get the same strength you are used to. That big can of Folger’s coffee is pretty good, especially when it frees up money to pay my bills. Win!