Posted by: Hallie | February 9, 2009

Grocery Shopping on the Cheap

I’m having way too much fun with this blog! I should have done it sooner but was chicken sh*t. So those of you reading, welcome and bear with me as I get a handle on things! Hope you enjoy reading it like I enjoy writing it.

I’m jumping into this community to participating in two blogger events. The first is this:
FFFKLogo I learned about this from this blog, and it sounded fun so I decided to go for it. Last summer, I did the Couch-to-5k program and learned that I could actually run…albeit very slowly. I always run with Nina, and I think I need to run without the girl every once in awhile so I can go my own pace. I’m thinking about training for a 10k, but I should probably get my 5k time and endurance up a bit before that, no?

And the second is Meghann’s Blogger Bake Sale. I bid on something today, and I think I’m going to get it! So exciting. And I’m a sucker for charity athletic events ever since I walked 60 miles for the 3 Day in 2006.

Tonight I had leftovers for dinner. I had leftover curry from Friday with leftover green beans from last night. Still good, but next time I’ll freeze some so I don’t have to eat cauliflower curry three times in four days. Which brings me to…

Eat Well, Don’t Go Broke

Money is tight for me just as it is for many out there. It’s easy to look at $0.99 value menus at fast-food places and think, “Healthy eating is expensive!” Well, I consider myself an excellent bargain shopper (thanks, Mom!) and I wanted to list a few of my favorite ways to save money on groceries.

  1. Shop at different stores for different things. Non-city folk might not be able to do this, but I know that the cheapest (and best) Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, and ground flax comes from Trader Joe’s. So when I run out of those I make a special trip over there.
  2. Costco is awesome (or Sam’s Club, I guess, although I’m sorta anti-Wal Mart). We buy staples like eggs (for him), oats (for me), frozen chicken breasts, Parmesan cheese, and dog food from Costco because we always need it on hand and it’s cheaper there than anywhere else. If you don’t need two bags of Cheerios but could use one, go with a friend or three and split the costs. Maybe even share the membership too (that’s probably against their rules but I live on the edge).
  3. Bulk up! Along with Costco, find a health-food store or co-op (you don’t have to join to shop) and raid the bulk bins. Especially for nuts, beans, dried fruit, and SPICES! I bought about three tablespoons of cayenne pepper for about 30 cents. I need to remember this more when I meal plan. Oh, about that…
  4. Plan your meals as much as possible. I always spend less money at the store, and we eat out less, when I make a game plan on Sunday. Even if things come up and you have to switch things around, it’ll help.
  5. Freeze leftovers for later. Eat leftovers! Some people don’t like leftovers, so I guess you could just make enough for your family and have none left. But if you can make a few extra meals, pop them in the freezer for busy nights so you don’t have to buy expensive frozen meals or get take-out.
  6. Use coupons wisely. Marketing folks are smart and they use coupons to advertise new products. It’s so easy to think, “ooh…25 cents off that new flavor of Dove ice cream bars” but unless you usually buy Dove bars (like I did 40 pounds ago), you aren’t saving money.

I can think of more but this is getting too long for my ADD. Did I miss your favorite grocery shopping-for-less tip? Or any bargain shopping, for that matter? I can buy food like a champ but shoes, clothes…I’m not so good at discount-hunting there.

Tomorrow I’m making something for dinner that Mitch doesn’t like so I haven’t cooked in….oh, a year and a half! And I’m doing my very first mini-giveaway so please check back in!

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Responses

  1. i love your tips! planning & freezing are my two fave tips… i’ve also learned to buy beans in their raw uncooked form too and soak them and cook them… takes longer but not if you do it on the weekend ahead of time and it’s so much cheaper 🙂

  2. Wow great tips!
    I’m looking forward to your BSI entry!

  3. […] three-day weekend. I may get the rainy days I’ve been hoping for. Of course, I’m running in a virtual 5k this weekend, so I may have to hit the treadmill. Honestly, I don’t care about my time, I just […]

  4. Also, be flexible. If you want to make soup and green beans are on sale, get those instead of, say, the carrots that are expensive this week because they’re out of season, or whatever. Also, save on snack food by buying whatever fresh fruit is on sale and in season, or yogurt, both great snacks that you can get on the cheap.

  5. Another shopping tip that’s more about saving calories/fat than cash, skimp where you can but splurge where you just can’t, it keeps you from going crazy. You can live with margarine and fat free sour cream, but reduced fat peanut butter or mayonnaise is gross and not worth the minimum nutritional differences. But keep in mind that substitutions are not always possible, especially in baking. Butter and margarine have very different textures when heated, and reduced fat cheeses don’t melt well.


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