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Category: Grocery Deals

Tuesday’s Kroger Shopping Trip (I found some great markdowns!)

Tuesday's Grocery Shopping Trip

We stopped by Kroger on Tuesday night and found some great markdowns:

  • Oscar Mayer Natural Chicken Breasts — marked down to $2.89
  • Hamburger Buns — marked down to $0.99
  • Rolls from the bakery — marked down to $1.09
  • Organic Baby Spring Mix — marked down to $1.49
  • Frozen Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts — $5.99
  • 9 Dannon Greek Yogurts — marked down to $0.49

You can watch my quick video here where I share more about these deals and what I plan to use them for.

What deals have YOU gotten recently? Tell us in the comments.

8 Ways To Save Money on Meat

Guest post from Sarah of Sidetracked Sarah

Unless you’re a vegetarian, you most likely buy meat on a regular basis — and those meat prices can add up quickly! It can be hard to find ways to save money on meat, as you typically just have to pay the going price.

We have a busy and hungry family of 9 people, and buying enough meat to feed us all can be VERY expensive, especially now that we have a few teenagers in the house. Here are a few ways that we’ve saved money on meat for our family throughout the years:

1. Buy in Bulk

While this can be pricey up front, it will likely save you lots of money in the long run. We’ve bought meat in bulk in a number of ways.

  1. Shop Sam’s Club
    You can buy a case of ground beef at the meat counter and the price is reduced more than it normally is. You just have to have a plan in place of how you are going to store it and/or use it. For instance, you could plan to have a Crockpot Freezer Meals cooking day, using these hamburger recipes. Or you could plan to separate it into 1-2 pound packs and freeze it.
  2. Buy a Side of Beef From a Local Farmer
    You can purchase a whole cow, half a cow, or even a quarter of a cow from a farmer and have it processed at a meat processing plant.

Typically, the beef you get from this tastes much better than the store bought kind AND you get those expensive cuts of meat that you typically don’t buy because of how outrageously priced they are. I recently ate T-bone steaks for $3.50 a pound!

2. Shop the Sales Circulars

Stores tend to go in cycles of when they lower the price of certain cuts of meat. Watch the cycles and prices and buy them when they’re at their lowest.

3. Find Creative Replacements

Here are two simple ideas for replacing expensive meat with less expensive options:

4. Eat Venison

Do you have a deer hunter in the family? Or maybe a hunting friend? Ask them if you pay for their hunting tag if they would let you keep the meat from the deer and have it processed.

If you have a hard time with the wild game flavor, mix it with hamburger meat or use it in dishes that require heavy seasoning, like chili.

Here in Southeast Kansas, if you call the Sheriff’s office, they will put you on a list of people who would like to pick up roadkill deer in good enough condition to be processed. If you get the call, you simply go out and pick up the deer right after it happens and then transport it to the local meat processing plant.

5. Use Food Buying Clubs

Recently, I was able to buy 40 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts from Zaycon Foods for $1.69 a pound. They don’t offer deals like this very often, but it’s well worth it to stock up when they offer it.

There may be other food buying clubs in your area that you could join that have great meat prices, too. Ask your friends and family to see if they’ve heard of anything in your area.

6. Raise a Cow

I hear what you’re saying,”But, we don’t have land!” I realize, I live in Kansas, where there are lots of farms all over the place, so this may be much more applicable to me than to you, but I couldn’t leave it out.

I’m writing this list because I want you to think a little outside of the box. Some of our friends live on 80 acres and they have cows on it. They offered to let us put a cow out there, too. All we really have to do is provide any feed that it may need.

Now, I realize you may not have a friend out there who will do this, but is there a farmer who would accept a fee from you to do this, still making the meat less expensive? It’s worth a shot.

7. Go Fishing

My husband loves to fish but he doesn’t love to clean the fish. If, however, someone offered to take any fish that he caught and clean them, so they could eat them, I’m sure he would gladly hand them over.

There are probably plenty of fisherman who would do this. Of course, you could be even more adventurous and go cast your rod in and catch the fish yourself. Yes, that would be much more fun!

8. Shop the Markdowns

Every store handles their soon-to-be expired meat differently. I’ve seen Dillon’s freeze it and offer it for sale for cheaper in a special section. Walmart immediately marks it down when it’s getting closer. Other stores probably do similar things.

Get to know your store. When do they mark their meat down? For us, it’s first thing in the morning, so it pays to be an early shopper. If you can’t figure it out, go and ask the meat manager when the best time to buy meat that is close to expiration. I’m sure they’ll happily pass this information on, as it will help them get rid of the meat faster.

How do YOU save on meat?

Sarah Robinson, busy mom of 7, blogs regularly about feeding her busy family on her blog Sidetracked Sarah. She’s discovered the secret to having stress-free dinner times by regularly using Crockpot Freezer Meals. She would love to give you a free Freezer to Slow Cooker one week meal plan when you visit her here.

Seven Ways We Lowered Our Gluten-Free Grocery Bill

glutenfreegrocerybill

Guest post from Jen of Working At Homeschool

Our grocery budget was unprepared when my oldest daughter was diagnosed with Celiac disease three years ago.

At the time, I was caught off-guard – I didn’t know anyone who had Celiac disease who could give us advice, and the grocery stores were filled with brightly colored gluten-free packaged foods that seemed like necessities (they weren’t).

My first shopping trip post-diagnosis was a total failure. I spent my entire monthly budget for food on one week of groceries! How could a family who had heavily relied on pastas, breads, and tortillas survive financially when the gluten-free counterparts were triple the cost?

We didn’t plan well and overspent immediately after her diagnosis; however, we have finally figured it out, and now our grocery budget (and our family) is healthier than ever!

Here are the 7 main ways we have lowered our grocery bill while eating gluten-free:

1. We use naturally gluten-free foods.

We plan our meals and snacks around foods that are naturally gluten-free like meats, eggs, dairy, vegetables, rice, quinoa, fruit, and nuts. We used to buy Goldfish crackers and granola bars, but my kids are just as happy with cheese sticks, almonds, and sliced veggies – which are a fraction of the cost!

2. We don’t buy pre-packaged gluten-free “replacement” foods.

Instead of pricey packages of gluten-free substitutes for pasta, tortillas, bread, and desserts, we substitute spaghetti squash, regular corn tortillas, and the kids’ favorite ice cream.

3. We buy in bulk.

We buy gluten-free flour in bulk when we find it at a decent price.

Most gluten-free foods are full of ingredients that aren’t very good for you, and gluten-free flours are no exception. But my daughter has cravings for yummy, homemade bread (and I don’t blame her!) so we stock up on gluten-free flour and make it as a special treat from time to time.

4. We don’t waste!

When we do make gluten-free bread, we use the heel ends or leftovers to make croutons or crackers.

5. We avoid more expensive “natural” stores.

If we do need to buy gluten-free, we make sure to buy online or at the local grocery store.

We’ve compared prices multiple times over the years and discovered that the staples can be found at Kroger or Trader Joe’s for a far better price than a specialty store known for gluten-free foods.

6. We buy regular cereals instead of specialty cereal.

My kids love cereal, and while we used to have to buy a separate box for my daughter because it was so expensive, now many cereals that have coupons available are going gluten-free. We can buy Chex, Cheerios, and several others without breaking the bank.

7. We research specially labeled “gluten-free” products before we buy them.

Some products (pure vanilla extract, for one) are naturally gluten-free – but some are marketed as a gluten-free product unnecessarily. A quick Google search revealed that most, if not all, pure vanilla extracts are completely gluten-free and there is no reason for me to spend an extra $4 on a specially-marked bottle.

These are just 7 ways we’ve saved money as a gluten-free family.

Have you cut out gluten? How do you save money?

Jen is a work-at-home homeschooling mom who works part-time on her website, workingathomeschool.com, part-time for a non-profit ministry, and full-time wrangling her 5 young kids. Jen writes passionately about Bible-based homeschooling, organization, healthy gluten-free food, and meal planning. While acknowledging that meal planning is an incredibly boring hobby to have, she is thankful that it works to the benefit of her readers as she provides monthly free printable healthy menus, meal plans, and shopping lists.

How We Save Over $150 On Our Monthly Grocery Bill

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Guest post from Gerri of Maple Planners

Saving money wasn’t really anything I ever thought about until we became a one-income family. Both my husband and I are computer engineers and we made a good income, so I never gave second thought to budgeting.

It wasn’t until our little one came along and I was home for maternity leave that I first thought about trying to save money. After a break of nearly a year, I decided to stay home with my child and began looking at money-saving tips to keep our finances under control.

After writing down our expenses for a couple of months (I never kept track before), I was shocked to find that we were spending around $400 every month on groceries! Well, that was enough to make me start thinking about taking action in our spending department.

I am glad to report that our expenses have been under control since then, and we have been able to save around $150 on groceries every month! Here are some of the tips and tricks I utilized to lower our grocery bill:

1. Compare Prices

Comparing the prices of different items across different stores has probably saved us the most amount of money. I use Crystal’s Price Book to write down the price of the most-shopped-for items in our household. It also helps me figure out if the sale advertised in that week’s flyer is actually saving us money or not.

This is how my price book works. Let’s say you buy 4 boxes of cereals every month, usually for $3.94. You end up paying $15.76 monthly. Every few weeks, the price drops to $3.44 a box and you pay $13.76 per month. When you buy cereal every time the price is reduced you end up saving $2 per month.

Similarly I compare bread, sugar, cooking oil, frozen vegetables, etc. at a variety of stores for different dates. It may not be a huge savings per item, but believe me, when you add up the amount for major items, the saving can be significant by the end of the year. We were able to save right around $70 per month just by comparing prices.

2. Stock up on Sales

I watched as my sister bought in bulk from Costco, but the thought never occurred to me!

However, after our family grew, I started stocking up on non perishable items like sugar, bread, cereal, ice cream etc. I saw significant savings of $25 with this change.

I sometimes use coupons on top of buying in bulk and end up saving even more.

3. Plan Weekly Meals

Before we started meal planning, we would buy whatever we saw in the aisles of the supermarket. For example, I would buy an extra bag of potatoes, not realizing there is already one lying in the corner in our pantry.

When I started our planning our weekly meals, I had to write down the menu for each day of the week. That led me to track down everything in our pantry, fridge, and freezer, and then make a grocery list.

This system helped me save more than $40 per month that would most likely have been thrown away or wasted (rotten vegetables and fruit).

4. Avoid Prepackaged Food

You might be tempted to buy that cute packing of pre-cut apples and melons, or the snack size mini Oreos, but you end up spending too much money as opposed to buying whole fruits or family sized packages.

We ended up saving more than $40 when we stopped buying prepackaged food.

We are glad that we were able to come up with a system that helped us save money without compromising our lifestyle and the quality of food we consume.

Do you have any other tips to save money on groceries?

Gerri is the owner of Maple Planners, where she creates all kinds of different printables for home management, planning, and entertaining. When she’s not busy creating printables, she loves hanging out with her family and friends.

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7 Ways To Shrink Your Grocery Bill

grocery bill

Guest post from Chrissy of Littles and Laundry

I am a frugal mama. Don’t get me wrong, shopping is one of my favorite things to do – I be shoppin’. But most of the time… I be window shoppin’. 😉

Since becoming a stay-at-home mom, I have spent a lot of time researching how to cut down on our grocery bill while still eating (mostly) healthy, whole food.

Are you looking for some ideas to shrink your grocery bill? In my experience, here are the things that have helped us most:

1. Limit meat.

Especially when you buy the organic, free-range stuff. We eat meat but it’s definitely something we cut down on to cut costs.

Consider using it as a condiment instead of centerpiece to your meals. Foods like beans and lentils, quinoa and the like are great sources of protein at a fraction of meat’s price.

2. Make friends with potatoes.

Baking potatoes, sweet potatoes, whichever kind you like. Potatoes and delicious and oh SO cheap!

We like to use them in a variety of ways: Baked (maybe with vegan chili on top), chopped and as a side dish, or homemade potato soup. French fries, anyone?

3. Have a Fiesta!

I find when I’m cutting down on costs we eat a lot of Mexican-style dishes. It’s just very affordable to make meals like enchiladas, tacos, etc. When in doubt, make it a Taco Tuesday!

4. Shop at Aldi or Walmart.

Aldi and Walmart meet our week to week needs best and at a great price. I usually check Aldi for everything on my list first, and whatever they don’t have I get at Walmart.

5. Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan.

I used to make a meal plan and then I wouldn’t even follow it. Not the best use of my time right? However, now I refer back to my meal plan often to remember what I’m supposed to be making for dinner that night.

It really helps me to not use ingredients I purchased for one meal accidentally on another. It also gives me the option to prepare dinner in the morning since my plan has already been thought out for me. No more 4:30pm “uh-oh-what’s-for-dinner” freak outs!

6. Grocery shop once a week.

This one can be tough (and I don’t always stick to it) but it really does help keep costs down.

If you run out of something, consider substituting a couple of ingredients for clever alternatives. There are great cheat sheets on Pinterest in subbing one ingredient for another.

One of my favorites? If you don’t have 1 cup buttermilk, sub 1 cup almond milk or the like with 1 TBSP of apple cider vinegar! Now you can go make buttermilk pancakes. You’re welcome. 😉

7. Eat oatmeal for breakfast.

Oatmeal is cheap and healthy, it fills you up and did I mention that it’s cheap?!  I like to add almond milk, cinnamon, blueberries, and ground flax to mine. Delish!

So there are some ideas to shrink your grocery bill. I hope they help!

Happy grocery shopping!

Chrissy is a Jesus loving wife, boy mom and coffee lover. She blogs over at Littles and Laundry. Her heart is to encourage women to bloom in motherhood and homemaking.

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