Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Saving Money on Groceries 101: Buy More Than You Need When Prices Are Lowest

Besides menu planning, there are some simple things you can do to lower your grocery costs. One of the most important concepts of saving money on groceries is buying MORE than you need when prices are lowest. At first, it seems counter-intuitive to save money by buying more than you need but if we are talking canned food, cereal, or meat that can be frozen, you will save so much in the long run.

Let's look at meat for example. My family likes to eat 93% lean ground beef. If I bought a 1 lb package every time I needed ground beef for a recipe, I would be spending $3.99 - $4.99 per lb. Yikes! Instead, I wait until 93% lean ground beef is on sale for around $2 a lb (sometimes even less) and purchase one or two large packages.

Then, I divide the meat into 3/4 lb portions and freeze them in little sandwich bags. I use the cheap ones, so I double bag them, but if you buy the freezer bags you won't have to do this. Most recipes call for 1 lb of ground beef, but I usually use about 3/4 lb, as a cost saving and waist slimming measure!

So here I have enough meat for 8 dinners, about 6 lbs of meat, that I purchased for about $12. If I had bought 1 lb packages at full price 8 times, I would have ended up spending anywhere from $30 - $40. If you do this with just your meat (chicken breasts, bone-in pork chops, even steaks), you will save so much money.

Another plus about having the freezer stocked with meat is that I have a harder time making excuses to eat out when I know I have plenty of meat at home waiting to be used.

I will expand on this principle in other posts as we explore more ways to save money but, in the meantime, tell me what your favorite money-saving tip is!


  1. Yeah it's true- that's the only way to save some money - buy in bulk when there is a good sale. Grocery prices keep going up - it's really something we have no control over sadly. But at least you can take advantage of buying alot of something when it's cheap! :)

  2. I've noticed the same trend, Heather. I've been entering my receipts into a spreadsheet for about a year now just to track the pricing trend of my groceries, and it's amazing how prices vary! I love being able to walk into Kroger and call them on their "low prices" of the season when, in fact, the price hasn't changed at all--usually, it's gone up! :)

  3. When I stop by the bakery and the produce dept I check out the discounted carts that they have. Things are discounted for quick sales because of the best before date or the fruit/veggies are a little too ripe. With the baked goods I often throw it in the freezer to use later, and with the fruit and veggies I use in a day or two or make muffins out of the ripe fruit.