January 2012

Top 5 Groceries to Have on Hand as an After School Snack

My youngest daughter gets home from school at 3:00 pm. Since my oldest daughter is homeschooled, she is already in the house. Both of the girls act like they are starving at 3:00 pm, so I feel obligated to give them something to eat. I don’t, however, want it to be something that is going to ruin their appetite for dinner, which I serve promptly at 5:00 pm. The following is a list of grocery items I keep on hand to feed my girls when they feel like they just can’t wait any longer to eat.

Give Generic a Try

Our culture looks upon generic foods with scorn.  In this “keeping up with the Joneses” society, you might be less of a person if you choose not to buy the brand name things.  This applies not only to clothing, but also to food.  My mom was frugal in many ways, but she was what I would call a “generic snob.”  She refused to buy anything generic, so I didn’t discover the wisdom of generic food until I was an adult.

Let e-mealz Plan Your Meals for You

While searching the net for low-fat recipes, I came across a site called e-mealz. I love the idea of e-mealz and truly believe that it can save families money on weekly groceries.

There is a subscription cost associated with e-mealz, but it is a low $1.25 per week. This fee is made back by utilizing the website’s recipes and weekly grocery plan. Sticking to a plan eliminates the extras that you pick-up when you go to the grocery store while still unsure about what you want to serve your family for the week.

The e-mealz website can be used several different ways. First, you can choose to get seven days worth of recipes based on the weekly sales at your local grocery store. Of course, you can just get seven days worth or recipes without basing them on sale items. Next, you can choose the grocery list tab to have the recipes compiled into a list of items you need to pick-up at the grocery store in order to make the recipes.

Bulk Bread Ingredients

If you make your own bread, you will probably find a considerable cost savings by shopping for your bread ingredients in bulk.  Things like yeast, salt and flour can be purchased at bulk buy stores like Costco for much less than what you probably pay at your local store.  If your goal for making your own bread is to save money, you pretty much have to buy in bulk to realize any savings.

Consider Purchasing Groceries from Drugstore.com

The Internet has quickly become a great resource for me in terms of purchasing items I would normally pick-up at the grocery store. I don’t care where my groceries come from, so long as I am paying the cheapest price possible. For example, I was able to grab some Atkins products this week at a considerable discount on Amazon.com. This post, however, will focus on the savings you can get by shopping at Drugstore.com.

Most people are unaware that Drugstore.com sells groceries as well as personal care products. It also doesn’t charge a dime for shipping ever so long as you spend at least $25. Who spends less than $25 when shopping for groceries anyway?

How to Avoid Paying Too Much at the Grocery Store

From time to time, it happens: an item you're purchasing at the grocery store rings up incorrectly. Sometimes we don't notice until we get home, or we might notice but feel awkward about mentioning the mistake. These little errors can really add up. You don't have to be impolite to make sure you're not overpaying for your groceries. Follow these tips to help ensure checkout accuracy and to find a solution should a problem arise.

Make Use of Your Slow Cooker

Once I started using my slow cooker, I realized how much money I was saving. What I found was that I was stopping by the grocery store whenever I was to busy or tired to cook. I would grab a hot chicken or pre-cooked food from the food bar that cost an arm and a leg per pound.

The slow cooker allows me to prepare a dish in the morning, while I am still full of energy. I can set it up, put the dish on low, and forget about it until supper time. Then at night, or after a day full of running errands, I can come home and simply scoop dinner out of the slow cooker on to everyone’s plates.

Skip Instant Oatmeal Packets and Make Better Breakfast in One Minute

I grew up on instant oatmeal and cereal for breakfast.  I remember fondly the taste of Maple & Brown Sugar instant oatmeal – it was one of my favorite morning treats.  When it comes to nutrition, however, all that extra sugar is not such a great idea, especially for young children who need guidance to establish healthy eating habits.  Instead of instant oatmeal from a packet, try making your own oatmeal from rolled oats and ingredients of your choosing.

Saving Money on Atkins Diet Groceries

I recently decided to try the Atkins Diet. I’ve heard some bad things about the program, but actually think it does a great job of teaching you how to eat appropriately. Having said that though, you really need a lot of willpower to stay on the program until you are no longer craving unhealthy foods.

My first hurdle when joining this program was the cost of the Atkins Diet foods that I would like to purchase from the grocery store. I’m not talking about the meats, veggies, etc. that I would normally purchase anyway, I’m talking about the shakes and snack bars. I can’t spend $10 for 4 shakes and $10 for 5 snack bars, or I’d be broke by the second week of the program.