Meanwhile…Melissa needs a Mentor

Happy 2009 my fellow blog sisters… I know this is probably an anticlimactic salutation since it is already January 7th and all of us are back in the hectic swing of life. I don’t know about you, but I love a new year and all of the hope that it represents. It’s sort of like a new binder or a new journal. I love blank pages. I even love the smell of blank pages. Well, on our drive from Houston to Atlanta I was full on in my dreamy state thinking of all the lofty things that I want to get right this year…like, I am going to pray WAY more often or I am going to call people rather than text them (already buried that one in the grave). And then it happened…GASP. Colin said to me, “Darling, we need to talk about the budget I have planned for us for 2009.” Budget? And then I opted for the semantic argument which I hoped would stop him dead in his tracks by saying, “What exactly do you mean by that word, budget? Can you exegete that for me?” He ignored my question entirely and later handed me twelve envelopes with labels for January- December 2009. Yep, folks, Mr. Fitzpatrick wants me to gather each of my receipts, no matter how mundane (like a pack of gum from the convenience store), and place them in the month-appropriate envelope. And he is going to review them. Can you imagine? I haven’t been this terrified since I took my SAT’s. Now, don’t get me wrong the two of us don’t spend heaps of money (we simply don’t have heaps of money) but Colin’s point is that we can do better. Apparently a new year is about living more skillfully, more wisely. And so, in light of me being the very submissive wife that I am, I have gotten my heart in gear and I am really trying to jump on my husband’s bandwagon. I even ran out of Nordstrom right after I met my friend for lunch at Nordstrom Café…I kid you not, I was like Joseph fleeing from Potiphar’s wife in Genesis 39. One more minute in Nordstrom and I would have been a very fashionable sheep fattened for the slaughter. Sigh. You really should have seen that jacket I passed up. It was oh so fine.

Okay so this is my specific question for you: How can I save money at the grocery store? Obviously I know how to avoid the Mall (though at times it appears to draw near to me) but I am downright lost as to how I can save serious bucks at the grocery store. What do YOU do to save money on groceries? How do you make your food last the longest? Do you have any tips or any secrets to offer me? If your resolution for 2009 was to mentor a fellow-sojourning woman this year, now is your chance. Mentor me. Please? I would have asked my Mom who is normally the ultimate mentor but as it is she avoids the grocery store at all costs.

Are we almost to 2010 yet? I’m exhausted.

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201 Responses to “Meanwhile…Melissa needs a Mentor”

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  1. 51
    jana beth says:

    See if your local grocery stores offer any coupon deals in the middle of the week. We have a store in Missouri that offers $10 off a $50 purchase certain Thurs. each month.

    Buy extra’s when things go on special sales during the year. For example I bought 2 Turkeys (both on a big sale) around Thanksgiving and put one in the deep freeze to make later in Jan. One Turkey makes several meals and saves in the long run.

    I’ve learned that reading the store’s flyer the week I go helps me save money b/c I found out about special coupons I may have missed otherwise.

    Limiting the food errands to once a week really helps me stay on budget.

    Last…if you get into coupons write the date they expire on your calendar so you remember to use them. This alone has saved me tons!!

    Hope it helps.

  2. 52
    Tonia says:

    There is a website out there called The Grocery Game. http://www.grocerygame.com. I would highly recommend you look at it. My girlfriend signed up..its only 25 dollars every 8 weeks I believe, and she saved that her first trip to the store after following the guidelines of the website. I have not tried it yet but am planning to soon. She, my girlfriend, said the last time she went to our local Albertsons, the store manager, who knows her by name now, told her he talked about her at his regional meeting because of all the money she saves when she goes in there. Let me know what you think…
    Good luck!!

  3. 53
    maggie says:

    Looks like you have 500 or so bits of great advice, so I’m not sure what this adds to it, but in case there’s a nugget…
    1) Menu planning is key. We plan 6 dinners a week, knowing we’ll eat out at least once (which is budgeted in our “eating out” envelope!).
    2) Survey the pantry, freezer and fridge as you plan the menu and make out your list. At our house, I’m at the table, poised with pen as hubby rummages through pantry to see what we already have and what we need. We have a lively banter over what meals we can put together for the week. Goal is to use what you have before you buy more, and only buy what you need.
    3) shop where they match competitors ad prices. This saves us more than coupons any day. Get the ads from the mailers and a pad of sticky notes. Use the sticky note to list what you’re matching out of each ad.
    4) shop less often. We buy meat and non-perishables two weeks at a time. We go back weekly for just fresh produce and milk.
    5) budget a certain amount for stocking up when there’s a great sale price — meat at $1.99/lb, bread for $1 a loaf, etc.
    6) EAT before you go to the store. EVEYTHING looks good to a hungry shopper. Our favorite time to shop? After breakfast on a Saturday morning. There’s no one else there, and we get home and unloaded in plenty of time to make it to other weekend activities.

    Happy shopping!

  4. 54
    Betsy says:

    I saw you have 531 blogs so if you don’t get to this one I unerstand. However, I just wanted to encourage you in your endeavor to live on a budget. My husband has had me on one for about 3 years and as odd as it sounds it has been truly freeing. I actually think I sometimes get to buy more on it than I did before. Plus we were able to pay off all of our credit card debt and both our cars. (so that’s automatically more money to spend on something else, like clothes)

    As for advice at the grocery store I’d say don’t impulse buy and stick to your list.

    Good luck!!

  5. 55
    jan in nc says:

    I shop at the best Goodwill store around, as well as consignment shops not because I have to, but because I can find brand name clothes for $3. By spending less on clothing, I have more money to go around period.

    As far as food goes, I like to make soups. Lots of volume for little price.

  6. 56
    Melissa S. says:

    Hi. I live in Atlanta too. Here is how I save…I buy meat, fish, fresh fruits and vegetables at Whole Foods. (If you find yourself near Decatur, try the Dekalb Farmers Market for fresh fruits and vegetables.) I buy canned goods, pastas, spices, chips, salsas, flour, soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc. at Natural Foods Warehouse. I buy paper products (trash bags, paper towels, napkins, etc.) at Costco, Sams, Kroger or Wal-Mart.

    The turkey breast cooked, slicked and frozen in the freezer is a great idea. Although with my family I have found once it hits the freezer it doesn’t come out again until 6 months later…freezer burnt and ready for the can.

    Occasionally I buy frozen items at Natural Foods Warehouse for quick meals instead of grabbing fast food on the go and for days when I have little to no time to cook (homeschool mom of two and helper to hubby with his own business).

    Happy Cooking in 2009!

  7. 57
    Marion says:

    A tip to try, as your driving to the store, I ALWAYS pray that God will make me a good steward of my money and I feel His Almighty presence standing in that cookie aisle as I have my spiritual battle over buying sweets that I don’t need!
    After reading through many…many comments (in an effort to try and learn something new!), the only other thing I can think of,is I purchase my meat in bulk from Sam’s. I then put enough for one meal (2 chicken breasts/tenders) in freezer bags. This way when I need chicken, I only pull out enough for that one meal, plus I get the added benefit of buying meat in bulk. Also, I buy ground beef the same way, wrap up enough for one meal in plastic wrap, put it in a gallon freezer bag and the same thing goes.Another thing you can do for casseroles is buy chicken legs which are super cheap, boil them, break them up and put enough for one casserole in a freezer bag. Also, on the way to the store, Hope this helps!My husband and I are also trying to pay down our school loans this year and I feel your pain of having a budget-even though it will be worth it. For once, going grocery shopping can be a rewarding experience!

  8. 58
    Barbara in GA says:

    I am a homeschooling mother of 5 who has always had a very small food budget. ( I can feed my family of seven on $5 per day total) If you want to really slice your food budget here are the ways I do it:

    NEVER buy soft drinks.

    NEVER buy packaged cookies/snacks.

    NEVER buy chips, ice cream, candy.

    NEVER give each person their own piece of meat, cook your meat and then slice it up into casseroles…I use two pieces of chicken for each casserole and feed 7 people.

    NEVER buy fast food or coffee or soda’s when you are out.

    NEVER buy snacks/meals at the ball park…bring your own.

    PACK your own lunches.

    ONE piece of lunch meat per sandwich.

    ADD rice and/or beans to many meals to stretch your food ( My children didn’t know that everyone doesn’t have “chili over rice”)

    ALWAYS buy plain rice…not the pre-flavored, boxed kind.

    BUY FRESH vegetables. (serve over rice/noodles)

    SAVE leftover vegetables from dinner meals and make soup.

    BOIL all chicken/ham bones and save the meat/stock and make soup.

    BAKE your own “snacks” like cookies, (and bread).

    ADAPT most recipes and figure out what ingredients are not necessary.

    I realize most people won’t go this far but it really works for me! We are all happy and healthy!
    Barbara

  9. 59
    Jill says:

    Thank you so much, Sabrina, Beth and everyone @ LPM. Boy did I need to hear the words “dont use the Word as a weapon against people”. I was instantly convicted of times I have attempted this against my teenage sons. Thank you Lord for forgiveness and mercy as I repent of this sin. Thanks again Beth, you are a wonderful teacher.

  10. 60
    theweaver says:

    It sounds like you have a lot of advice to listen to and I couldn't resist chiming in…

    I was trying to cut ours several months ago (we're a upper 20's couple with a 7 yr, 5 yr, and 9 month old) and a lot of the stuff I was reading didn't work for us because a) we don't do left overs well, b) my hubby's not crazy about casseroles, c) there are certain things that I like my brands for, d) I can't play the coupon, rebate game… it's too much for my mind. However, I have been able to cut down our groceries significantly by doing this…

    1. Make a menu (and I saved more money when I shopped for two weeks at a time… I plan my dinners-about 5 meals a week, add in lunch meat, etc. for lunches, and some breakfast foods…)

    2. Make a list off what you'll need…and then write in prices next to the items… I like doing this because if I go under on a product I know I can 'afford' to go over on another one if it's higher than I realized.

    3. Divide it by stores (I do best if I go to three different stores… Aldi's for a lot of my canned, boxed, butter & eggs…, Trader Joe's a local heathfood store that has great prices on many products including some produce, chips, cereals, & really good chocolate chips… and Krogers or Mejiers for meats and produce…)

    4. When you get home any of the produce you're going to cook (i.e. onions for sauteing) go ahead an slice, chop, or julienne and then put them in freezer bags and throw them in your freezer. That way it's done and your produce doesn't go bad. (I am a produce-gone-bad queen…)

    So anyways, oh, one more… if you buy slice and bake cookies… try make a double batch of your own cookie dough… Form them into balls and place on a cookie sheet… place them in the freezer for 20 minutes or so… then remove them and put in a freezer bag and return to the freezer. Now you've got homemade cookies whenever you need them… better and cheaper.

  11. 61
    Anonymous says:

    How very lucky you are to have a husband who is thinking of your financial security at such a young age! For years, I tried to bear the brunt of the finances in our family – and I made a wreck of them….hid them from my husband and met payday w/a sick headache before I had written a single check. But, God revealed it to my husband….he stepped in and now we are in perfect partnership concerning all God has given us.

    As for groceries – think about it, Kiddo….shop the outer edges of the stores…that’s where the fresh veggies are, the fresh meats and the dairy products are. These are the best choices for you health-wise and you truly do get more for your money.

    Judie – West Texas Girl (married 36 years this week!)

  12. 62
    [email protected] The Cocoon says:

    Ok..I’m not nearly as dedicated as you guys, so I’m not going to read all 531 comments right now….I’m just going to post my comment and hope that its not redundant.

    The #1 thing to a lower grocery bill is a menu. I always (almost always) plan a menu on Thursdays before I go to the store on Friday. The menu is based on what’s going on that week and what I already have on hand. Then I simply make a list of what I need and stick to it. Use coupons when you can. And have at least a few meatless meals…meat is the highest cost on your grocery bill and you can make some pretty tasty vegetarian dishes for much less money and actually much more healthy.

    Ok…that’s my 2 cents!

  13. 63
    jackie says:

    Read the weekly sales ad of your store, then plan your menu around and shop what is on sale that particular week. Also, stock up on your favorites (like chicken breasts and ground turkey and freeze) when they are on sale so you don’t have to pay full price the following week.

  14. 64
    Debbie says:

    Shopping with a list (and sticking to it) helps me. Also, never shop when you’re hungry. You know you don’t NEED 17 loaves of French bread, but the smell of it baking seems to convince you otherwise.

  15. 65
    Dean says:

    O.K. First—list of meals for the week, then make a grocerly list of the things you would need for those meals. Stick to the list! Shop at stores that offer “card” savings and gas rewards program. (I shop at Kroger and have a Kroger card.) Buy store brands!!!

  16. 66
    Beth says:

    What great ideas! I’m a financial counselor and even I cringe at the word “budget.” Sounds too much like “diet.” I prefer “spending plan!” I love coupons, too. We even use them for restaurants. That way we can enjoy a meal out and not break the bank. Check out the Entertainment Book in your area.
    Also, I really like http://www.mint.com. This is a free website that helps you track your spending and manage your money. As someone who has helped many folks with budgets and credit,etc. I highly recommend this site.
    I so appreciate all the comments…I have struggled with meal planning in the past but am now very inspired!

    Beth in Jacksonville

  17. 67
    Melissa says:

    Coupons, Coupons and Coupons! Another way is CVS Extra Care Bucks! Also, check out moneysavingmom.com. She has lots of freebies and bargins on there as well! Good luck! I know its scary! 🙂

    Melissa B.-Indiana

  18. 68
    Sandi C says:

    Melissa~ as a mother of 2 teenager BOYS that eat ALL the time I have a couple of trips that save some money (but may take more time). First of all make a menu and then a list~ This way you are not all willy nilly over the grocery store! Also buy store brands they are cheaper and usually taste just as good. Don’t go to the grocery store hungry and go alone~ you get out faster!!
    I haven’t saved millions on my grocery bill but every bit helps!
    Sandi

  19. 69
    Leslie says:

    Really learning to cook – not just put recipes together was the ticket for me……and I learned this 20 plus years into marriage. I was sick for a long weekend and did nothing but watch the food network – broke the habit of preparing recipes (which were quite delicious) and learned HOW to cook – now I don’t throw away or waste anything – I know how and when and where to put “leftovers” together or what I can freeze or can’t – one example – leftover breads – use to throw them – now they all go in the freezer for some really delicious homemade croutons I learned watching Emeril – oh the wasted bread over the years……anyway – it’s free (usually) and available through the tv, internet or books – just pick a chef and try to watch for several shows and you’ll get the hang of it – even if you already really know how to cook, a new chef can get you to think out of the box with your foods…..Caution: food network recipes can call for some more expensive ingredients, but I’ve actually found that over time I have saved breaking convenience food/restaurant habits and building a nice pantry of staples.

  20. 70
    Anonymous says:

    Just wanted to echo the previous comment about flylady.net and “saving dinner”. The menus are great. They include shopping lists, nutritional values and they even have specialty menus like low-fat, carb conscious, heart healthy. etc. It is a great website. God bless!

  21. 71
    The Henrie Family says:

    The BEST I have yet to find in helping you save money and plan out dinners, go to http://www.relishrelish.com
    Of course, I like to clip coupons too but this site makes dinner easy and more cost effective than anything I have ever seen!!!!

  22. 72
    Deborah says:

    So much good advice already! 🙂

    *Definitely agree with don't go shopping hungry

    *Make friends with your freezer (and keep that & fridge clean & organized)

    *People have already mentioned the grocery game (although I haven't used it on my new eating requirements)

    *I can't eat anything with wheat, corn, white rice, potatoes, sugar or other similar things, so I will onlyonlyonly buy sales, and then I buy (reasonably) ahead and stock up so that I can enjoy things within my budget

    *Find out what days meats are discounted, buy, freeze

    *I compare the ads in the Sunday paper and can (by God's kindness) sometimes go months without paying full price for milk

    *I buy from farms & farmers' markets when I can

    *I made an excel spreadsheet of every item in my store that I ever buy, organized by aisle location. The list stays on the fridge and an item is marked, when needed (or noticed as getting low), and then that list is pulled out to be compared with the Sunday ads. The items that are on sale are noted (I even have it set up that typing it into excel will pre-total my bill for me–no surprises that way) and then I don't go down aisles that don't have items I don't need and that aren't on sale. I can closely predict my expenses before I even leave the house, and can make it through two+ weeks' worth of grocery shopping in 30 min. Time *and* money 🙂 If you'd like that excel file to take and adapt to your own store, I will watch the comments and if you post that you want it, I will make sure to send my email address in via the LPM contact link.

    Just some options… 🙂 Wahooo on good ideas for the new year. Thanks for sharing the mentoring info! 🙂 I am praying for you two. 🙂

    ~Deborah

  23. 73
    Anonymous says:

    Melissa,
    I used to follow Lisa Whelchel Cauble’s site and here are one or two web sites she referenced. Also, my sister is a nutrition major and some of these sites came from her.

    http://www.cheapskatemonthly.com/default.asp
    http://www.thefrugalshopper.com/
    http://www.listorganizer.com/lists.htm
    http://www.miserlymoms.com/
    http://www.hoptechno.com/book24.htm
    http://www.stretcher.com/index.cfm

    Crockpots – I haven’t read far enough down to see if someone else has mentioned them yet. Though, in small spaces – like apartments – storage is limiting.

    Frozen veggies – I have read far enough to see these referenced. These are good – almost as good as the real thing!

    The budget thing – consider yourself blessed that you and Colin can even talk about a budget…. proactively and constructively!! Most couples can not….and most marriages end because of it.

    I think you will find it a blessing on the other side – at the end of the year. Like all blessings, time is critical – the Lord uses time to teach…..and so do budgets!!

    Have fun and consider your blessings this year!!
    Janet

  24. 74
    Kari says:

    Hi melissa,
    #1 I’m going to mirror most of the women and say STICK TO A PLAN! Plan out the menu and stick to it.

    #2 See how creative the real cook in you is. Buy the whole piece of meat, like the whole chicken instead of just the breast, Roast it for one meal, use leftovers for another meal(like a casserole), and then use the bones to make stock for soup. See how many interesting meals you can make with it. This will really challenge the REAL cook in you.

    Have fun!
    Kari-Washington state

  25. 75
    Anonymous says:

    ok, so here goes…
    COUPONS, COUPONS, COUPONS…!!!
    THEY REALLY DO WORK.
    I am not sure of the grocery store chains in your area, but pick the CHEAPEST ONE!!! (as long as it’s clean).
    I don’t care what they say, a grocery store is a grocery store whether it looks upscale or not does not matter, its the quality of the food and the cost. In my town , we actually go to “Bottom Dollar foods” yes , that is the name of it.
    Look for a grocery store that will double your coupons. So say you have a coupon for .50cents off of say a can of spaghetti sauce.. then you will actually save 1.00 because they will double it.
    most grocers do that. Then some will have certain weekends a month where they will triple them. They may limit you to how many you use, but hey, a couple of trips in a weekend could save you 100 bucks.
    It took me a while to get the whole coupon thing down.
    Now you don’t want to buy something name brand with a coupon when you could buy the off brand with just as good of quality for cheaper. But that is a personal choice.
    Always get your sunday paper and clip clip clip…
    Only use the coupons on what you use. don’t buy just because you have a coupon for it.
    But let me say this as well, buy what is cheaper, if you use hunts ketchup , but you have a coupon for heinz and the heinz is cheaper, suck it up and buy what’s cheaper .. it’s the only way your really gonna save money with coupons.
    Another way is a Sam’s club or something like that where you can buy in bulk and they will accept coupons as well.
    So that’s my spill on coupons…
    I have in the past gone to the store and came home with hubby asking how much money did you spend on all of this ,,, and when I tell him, I have to actually show him the receipt to prove it.

    I have in one trip gotten 250.00 worth of groceries and only paid about 125.00 for it. NO KIDDING!!!

    You just gotta learn how to work it.
    Get you a small coupon organizer, always make a list and only get whats on your list. And I agree with previous posts as to plan your menu at least a couple of weeks in advance so you are not making a trip every few days.
    ok,, so that’s my spill on how to save money on food….
    Works for us…
    Oh and when you get the hang of it and you have a huge whopping handful of those things, and the cashier looks at you funny and the person behind you sighs with frustration… just smile and listen,,,, cuz everytime she scans that coupon and you hear the beep beep beep… money is going back into your pocket…

    loving all of you…

    jessica

  26. 76
    Theresa Haskins says:

    Melissa,

    I buy generic brands whenever possible and STICK TO THE LIST!!!! Never take children shopping with you (if they are old enough to walk) and cut down on “quick stops” for milk and/or bread. Usually you end up with much more!

    Good Luck!

  27. 77
    Rody and Wendy Chesser says:

    Hi Melissa..funny you mention this. I have a family of 5 and my goal is to keep our food budget on task this year too (and don’t feel bad…God totally worked me over on the submissive thing when MY husband presented me with a budget too). Here’s my plan for 2009 and so far…so good. Meal Plans–make them and stick to them (this cuts out on the ‘I don’t know what to make so call Pizza Hut’). And then cook once, eat twice. Make enough to freeze and eat next week. Also, I’m looking forward to reading on how others use circulars and save without going to 5 different grocery stores. God Bless your family and what an example to submit early in your marriage. Funny–God’s plan really does work.

  28. 78
    Rhonda in Chile says:

    Hi Melissa!
    I know that there are a lot of ways to save at the store, but my best tip is to eat out less. One less meal out per week can easily save more than what the average person saves clipping cupons.
    My DH bought some expensive meat which we cut into steaks for two meals. We would have spent 3 times as much for steak dinners out.
    Its not as much fun, but since you are a budding cook, you can be creative and make dinner at home better than dinner out. The added bonus is that most men I know love to eat at home.
    Happy Cooking!

  29. 79
    Anonymous says:

    Going to the grocery is a treasure hunt for me. I do use a store with a gas rewards program. I also clip coupons (LOADS OF THEM). I get coupons in the usual places (through the mail and newspaper). I also get them on line from a few coupon websites. If there is a specific item that I want and can’t find a coupon for it, I go to the product manufacters website. You usually have to sign up for some silly news letter but they will send you coupons in the mail (good ones like $1 off). I also get samples of products to try. If you have a discount card at a grocery chain and use it often, the store will send you coupons. These are the best because I usually get free stuff. Some of the coupons will be $25 off an order of $100 or more.

  30. 80
    SLMorrow says:

    Hey Melissa! Try using this website: http://www.emealz.com. You can pick your grocery store & your menu. They will send you a menu & grocery list once a week. It's great for 2 people or a full house! They do charge $15 for 3 months – but I save way more than that when I follow it closely. God Bless! Renee in Texas

  31. 81
    Renee says:

    Hi Melissa,

    I am a Mom of four 23, 19, 13 and 10. I have been a “stay-at-home” Mom for over 18 years as unpopular as that is in this day and time. We have been on one income for 18 YEARS!

    I buy very few pre-packaged foods. I try to make things from scratch. Pancakes, biscuits (we don’t eat many of those), Soups, cookies (once there gone I will be less tempted to make another batch for a while). We have learned to stretch food. One time when my husband was self-employed for three years (if it wasn’t for God showing up as our Daily Bread Jehovah Jireh) we would have starved. Anyway, I stretched a whole chicken three ways. I made homemade chicken salad w/the breast. I made soup, and a casserole with one chicken.

    I shop at Sam’s or Wal-mart for meats and chicken, dairy and some other great deals there (not everything there is a deal). I then stop by Aldie’s a store here in NC for fresh veggies and fruit and canned goods. Then by the bread store because if doubled wrapped you can freeze it. I also buy bagels, whole wheat English muffins, and a few other items that I can freeze there.

    Sorry to be so long, I have a good friend who is going to help me learn how to “coupon” this year for things like shampoo, cleaners, etc.

    Hope this helps some,
    Renee NC

  32. 82
    Martha says:

    Tips for saving:
    1. Buy dry goods and non-perishables at Super WalMart
    2. Use the circular from your favorite store to plan main dishes that are on sale
    3. Make a complete menu for the week, make a list from that and your pantry/fridge
    4. Buy frozen chicken or other items in bulk (difficult to do if you live in an apartment, though)

  33. 83
    kellyb66 says:

    Misty,

    I know that website very well and i am also a coupon clipper and you do save a lot of money! Faye Prosser was on channel 11 last night showing Diane Wilson how to save money on groceries.

    We also have a food saver and we use the green bags…I love the food saver and the green bags have saved a lot of veggies from going bad. They are both a must have!

    These are my suggestions, Melissa.

    Kelly B.

  34. 84
    angelamoore says:

    ok…this may have been mentioned already but my husband and I eat vegetarian at least twice a week. Salads, pasta with marinara sauce, hummus, veggie wraps, mac and cheese, bean burritos, etc. It’s healthy and saves money.

  35. 85
    Angela says:

    my husband and I eat vegetarian meals at least twice a week. Things such a bean burritos, homemade mac and cheese, pasta with marinara, hummus and pita with a salad, falafel, etc. Not only is this healthy for your body it’s also healthy for your budget. Good luck with the B word….I’m really working on that too, my hubby is great at sticking to it, but then again I’m the one who does the majority of the shopping. Blessings, Angela
    check out my blog for some recipes under the category delicious

  36. 86
    Carolyn in Atlanta says:

    Melissa, I agree with the ladies who said to shop sales and stock up then. It’s called the pantry principle. You continuously stock your pantry when things are on sale and then you have plenty until the next sale rolls around. If you live in a small place you can do things like hiding toilet paper under your bed, etc. One more word of advice since you linle in the Atlanta area. If you ever have car trouble on one of the major expressways in metro Atlanta, dial *DOT on your cell phone and the Hero Unit will come and help you. I had a flat tire once and they came and parked their big unit behind my car, and then changed the tire in no time. Every female in Atlanta needs to know this. Love to you and your family.

  37. 87
    Completely His says:

    I use an online menu planning service at http://www.e-mealz.com. There is a very small fee…I think its $15 for 3 months of meals. They give you a week of meals and a shopping list for all the items. Its based on whats on sale at your local grocery store. Also: Stay away for the grocery store long as you can, just like the mall. The more you are there, the more you will spend. This is my biggest struggle too…haven’t gotten it all worked out either, but I’m tryin’!!

  38. 88
    Anonymous says:

    After 31 years of marriage, I have finally learned the secret (for me anyway) to saving money at the store is to go only when we will be eating at home and not to stock up. When I do a big shopping trip, things tend to go bad or I forget what all I have tucked away. I now put off going to the store until the cupboards are bare, which forces me to eat things I would normally save for a rainy day. I keep stocked up on organic milk (it lasts longer) and coffee.

  39. 89
    Anonymous says:

    I love grocerygame.com-it makes clipping coupons so easy. It seriously takes the work out of if the coupon thing. It does require a small investment ($10 for 3 months) but it’s working for us!

  40. 90
    Anonymous says:

    Quit making those fancy recipe I have seen you post, and keep it simple.

    Buy your meat in larger quantities. For example, If you purchase the family pack of 2 lb. ground chuck, cook all of it, and freeze half for the next week… Tacos this week and speghetti next week. It’s cheaper and time efficient.

    Jenny in Bama

  41. 91
    Anonymous says:

    Melissa, I am married to an accountant so I have always had to “turn in” my receipts. That discipline alone is the best way to save money. I know exactly what I’ve spent, I know I am accountable to how I spend it, and it gives me great freedom when I do spend. What I thought would be drudgery actually is exciting especially when we realize how much we have saved by not frittering it away.
    (and I buy bulk whenever there are really good sales)

    Have fun!

    Carla Nova Scotia

  42. 92
    Rachel says:

    I’m a very careful shopper and try very hard to implement most of the money-saving ideas suggested here. However, I’d like to just put in a plug for the virtues of paying a fair price for a worthy product. It’s wonderful to be a good steward of the money God gives us charge over, but at the same time, those products we are getting so cheaply do cost somebody something–the cost for a “deal” is absorbed somewhere along the line. In other words, I don’t mind paying full price for a gallon of milk knowing that my dairy-farmer brothers are at the other end of that transaction. God gives us the gift and responsibility of participating in commerce for the purpose of supporting and serving one another in honest, wholesome work, which, by the way, was ordained by God in the garden. Sometimes, “getting something for nothing” (or for very little) just means we’re robbing our brother, both of the profit to which he’s justly entitled and the ability to care for his or her own family. Not to be a downer, but “saving money” can be a form of greed that does injustice to others. Something to think about.

  43. 93
    Anonymous says:

    -A funny story-
    I always shop for sale items. I didn’t realize how far I had gone in this area until my son who was three at the time went up to a stranger who was putting a regular priced item in his cart and said “‘scuse me Mister, but you are ONLY allowed to buy the things that are on sale!” He is still a great shopper!

    Carla
    Nova Scotia

  44. 94
    Mrs. Pastor Bob says:

    I create a menu for about a week or so. Then from the menu, I create my shopping list. During the week, I jot down items that I have run out of or know I will need shortly. I take a look at the sales ads for Krogers and see what I can get on sale. I buy all my meats at sale price. I cut a few coupons, but most of that stuff is still more expensive with the coupon doubled or tripled than the store brand. Doing this keeps you from dropping all other sorts of things in your cart and adding $$$. Leave your husband at home too — they always buy off the list! I can always cook a great meal for my family (and I’m on Weight Watchers) for under $10.

  45. 95
    Mrs. Pastor Bob says:

    One more thing — I have a great recipe for homemade pizza dough — it is awesome and delicious. Email me if you want the recipe. Save alot of money on homemade pizzas! You can also use the pizza dough for a sausage roll dinner — that is also an excellent treat!

  46. 96
    Beverly says:

    Cash in an envelope! I had never done this, but when I went through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, I committed to really do the program like he taught. Buying food–groceries & food I eat out–with cash made a HUGE difference in what I spend on food. I am single, so my situation is a little different, but the principle still works. I also don't have a lot of time to shop different grocery stores for weekly sales. I just shop at whatever store is usually the least expensive. I used to live in Houston & LOVED HEB stores! Best produce, best store brands, best prices, best everything! Unfortunately, for those of us east of the Mississippi River, that is no longer an option. So, you just have to find the places with the overall best prices.

  47. 97
    Kristi says:

    I am a huge Harris Teeter fan. I am not sure if you guys have those in Atlanta. But, as much of a pain as there, I clip coupons and once every couple of months, they do triple coupons :). Big savings there. Also, on my husband’s way home from work, when he has to make an extra milk run for us (we have 5 children and really go through milk), he checks the meat department for markdowns. It is great, because we go on and cook it then and freeze it. One time it was so cheap, they actually paid him a few cents for buying it!! Seriously! I hope that helps! Good for you guys for doing this early in your marriage. You will not regret it!

  48. 98
    Kristi says:

    Oh, yes, and also I make a weekly menu before I make out my grocery list. It takes some time, but really helps. Oh, and when I go in the store, I have a clipboard with my menu, my coupons, and my list. It really helps me!

  49. 99
    Vicki says:

    Since you are in Atlanta and blessed with a Publix their store brand stuff is actually pretty good.
    The biggest thing is to stick to your list or only get what you need. Impulse buying is my weakest link.
    And I plan what we are going to eat that week based on what is on sale.
    Good luck to you and God bless.
    In the future you will look back and be glad that you were on a budget.

  50. 100
    Jeff and Jenny says:

    MENU PLAN!!! Look in your kitchen to see what meals you can make with what you already have. Then gather your grocery store sale papers and see what you can make with items on sale. Plan meals for every day that week from your pantry and the sale items. Make a list off that menu plan. When you go to the grocery store, only buy what you have on the list for the meals for that week.
    Once you have the menu planning thing down, you can start adding in coupons. Then you would create a menu based on what you have, what’s on sale and what you have coupons for.
    Also…look up CVS!!!! Check out http://www.moneysavingmom.com

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