I grew up in an average size family. On top of that my brother and I are eight years apart so at times growing up there was only one child in the house at a time. We bought our paper towel rolls two at the time, we never had to buy over a pound of hamburger, and often we made quick trips the the store to pick up things for supper because, well, we didn’t have to haul a bunch of kids in and out of the car to do it. Now as a mom of five little ones I do things much differently because we use lots of groceries and lots of groceries cost lots of money.
I’ve done some trial and error along the way to try and shop wisely for our growing family. But I’m always looking for more tips that can help to keep the grocery costs down. Specifically tips that don’t add hours more time to my planning and shopping. I am a fan of coupons and use them on a weekly basis. I match them with the sales going on at my store. But, I’m more of a paperclip couponer than a notebook couponer. I don’t do big shopping trips using large quantities of coupons. I don’t see anything wrong with that, it’s just not something that would fit into our lifestyle at the moment.
I have found other ways to cut grocery costs though through the years and, no doubt, some of you guys have to. Just considering things like one pound of hamburger will only feed four people if you’re eating cheeseburgers but will feed about seven if you’re eating spaghetti is one way. Don’t get me wrong we do eat cheeseburgers here, I’m just saying it helps to keep an eye on your per serving costs. We have some meals that are less than $1.00 a person, that’s great for the budget, but we don’t always want to eat rice and beans around here either. I try to balance our per servings costs when planning for the week. I like to plan meals on Sunday when David and I have our weekly meeting, but I don’t shop until Wednesday so sometimes the meals will get tweaked a bit when I find out what meats and things are on sale. I can easily substitute a cheap cut of beef in for boneless skinless chicken depending on what is on sale that week.
We’ve shopped at big box stores also from time to time which is a way to save some money as long as you are conscious about what you are buying. In some instances I believe you are better off shopping at a local grocery store and using coupons. I only have a few practices that some people may find extreme. I do water down a gallon of whole milk to make two gallons of milk since whole and skim milk are the same price. We also cloth diaper our babies most of the time and use reusable wipes with them.
So, lets here your tips for cutting grocery costs.