27 responses

  1. UltimateSmartMoney
    November 14, 2011

    Shopping around when it comes to trying different stores just takes too much time. However, I like your idea of shopping around within a store for different brands. I did not know about looking down on the shelves for possible cheaper products.

    I also like your first point about not shopping when you are hungry.

    • Caitlin
      November 15, 2011

      Yeah, I learned about not shopping while hungry as a student. I'd come back to the dorms with more food than I could easily store. I can't even remember who told me about cheaper brands being on the lower shelves, but it's true of nearly every grocery store. I like getting the giant bags of egg noodles for $2 or so.

  2. The Jenny Pincher
    November 13, 2011

    Great ideas! A few other things I do is – I plan my meals each week before going to the store. This helps cut down on buying a bunch of random things that don't really constitute a "meal" – which I was notorious for!

    Another thing I do is check the grocery store ads each week and the store that has the most things on sale that I need is the one I visit.

    The last tip I have is instead of buying premade convenience foods, I buy staples like dried beans, rice, flour etc. I can make so many things much cheaper by adding my own spices etc.

    • YFS
      November 13, 2011

      Looks like I'm not the only person who cook for the week. It makes life so much easier! Hmm.. good idea on not buying premade foods. I tend to buy the steam veggies/rice that is on sale. Are you against using those?

    • Caitlin
      November 15, 2011

      We definitely stick to the staples as well. I have to say, we're not very good about planning out the week, though it is a great idea. Sometimes we get distracted by the fancy cheese aisle…

    • The Saved Quarter
      November 15, 2011

      I'm with you on meal planning! It is the single thing that saves me the most at the supermarket. Having a plan means I'm not buying on impulse, and that I don't have to go to the store mid-week for something forgotten, ending up with another cart full!

  3. Shaun @ Smart Family
    November 12, 2011

    It's 1 dollar a meal per person. If you don't mind shameless links:
    http://www.smartfamilyfinance.com/category/frugal

    Otherwise, feel free to delete. It's actually not that crazy to do. $1 times 3 people and 3 meals a day is about $270/month for a food budget. However, breaking meals down by cost/serving helps you to plan and spread out meals better.

    • YFS
      November 12, 2011

      I don't mind the link at all! I eat quite simple and for nutritional value and I thought my meals were the cheapest. I eat for about 3 dollars a day. Your food does look tastier! Heck, I would love to feature you as a guest poster talking about frugal dishes.

      • Shaun @ Smart Family
        November 12, 2011

        Thanks for the offer, I'd love to. It's one of my favorite topics. I'll see what I can come up with this week and will shoot you and email :)

      • YFS
        November 12, 2011

        Great! can’t wait to read it.. Looking at the picture of your chicken and biscuits has me drooling.

  4. Shaun @ Smart Family
    November 12, 2011

    My family breaks down the cost of a meal to cost/serving. That way we aren't eating expensive dishes every day. Our goal is to eat at $1/meal or less.

    • YFS
      November 12, 2011

      Is that 1 dollar a meal per person or 1 dollar a meal for the family? In either case I would be interested in knowing what you eat. 1 dollar a meal is pretty darn good!

  5. LT
    November 12, 2011

    These tips were good ones. A lot of them I already know of or used to implement.We are a household of 4 and I think we spend about $200 or less a month on groceries. Its not that we are doing anything special, though. My husband and I just lucked up and live near a military base where we can buy groceries for less. I know how expensive things are out in town and the only place that we will buy from when the base grocery store is closed is Wal-Mart. They are still a little higher, but only by pennies, other stores anywhere form 2-3 dollars an item.

    Before I had military benefits, I would scan the weekly circular and decide what I needed and shopped this way. It made the bills less, because I was only buying sale items for pleasure and necessities.

    • Caitlin
      November 16, 2011

      $200 a month for a family of four? That's pretty awesome. My husband and I live in a small college town, and while it is much cheaper than larger cities, it is more expensive than the surrounding area because of the school.

    • YFS
      November 16, 2011

      Please email me your monthly meals.. 200 for 4 people is amazing! wow

  6. Adam @ RabbitFunds
    November 11, 2011

    Great post. I'd be a bit cautious with Step 4. If you aren't doing any couponing at all, then jumping both feet in might be a bit much. However, there is a lot of money that can be saved if you go all the way. Thanks!

    • YFS
      November 11, 2011

      Adam, I'm with you. Personally, I can't stand to clip coupons. Are there any other steps or tricks you might follow to save money?

    • Caitlin
      November 16, 2011

      At my grocery store, they print out coupons when I am checking out. So, all I have to do is grab them. I don't propose spending more than a few minutes a week looking for coupons, and I think the coupon sites are useful because you can search for specific items and stores. It's pretty easy to scan them quickly. I usually don't cut many coupons. It would drive me crazy after too long :)

  7. Hank
    November 11, 2011

    Great tips! Another one of my favorite tips is to shop on the outside track of the grocery store and not down the center aisles where the junk food and expensive foods are. On the outside, you can get the staples like milk, eggs, bread, veggies, fruits, etc.

    • YFS
      November 11, 2011

      What a great idea! I'll be sure to use this the next time we go grocery shopping.

    • Caitlin
      November 12, 2011

      You know, I've never thought about it, but it's definitely that way at most of the grocery stores I've ever visited. Neat tip.

      • YFS
        November 12, 2011

        Caitlin you need to go to gravatar.com so you can get yourself a cool logo when you comment on other blogs so people know it is you

      • Caitlin
        November 15, 2011

        Yes sir! Neat site.

  8. Aaron Hung @aaronhun
    November 11, 2011

    some very useful tips here, I'm a newlywed myself and living with my wife so I'll keep these in mind :D

    • YFS
      November 11, 2011

      I say make sure you do steps 1 and 2. Those will save you tons of money

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