70 Ways To Cut Your Grocery Budget In Half (Without Clipping a Single Coupon)

 

Looking for ways to cut your grocery budget in half (without clipping a single coupon?) While I save a bundle with coupons, the bulk of my savings come just from shopping strategically, which means you don’t have to clip any coupons at all.

 

 

I also enlisted the advice of the ladies in our Dinner’s Done Facebook group on this post (they had so many great ideas!) If you’d love to get encouragement on making dinner every night, I highly recommend joining this free group ~ go HERE to check it out!

 

 

  1. Always shop with a grocery list
  2. Actually stick to your grocery list once you’ve made it
  3. Menu Plan
  4. Shop Aldi
  5. Be cautious when buying in bulk at Costco and Sam’s Club (more info HERE)
  6. Try out Fresh Thyme or Sprouts for crazy low prices on produce
  7. Always shop Fresh Thyme or Sprouts on Wednesdays during double ad sales day
  8. Always (always) shop your store’s sales ad
  9. Know your prices
  10. Stockpile when you see a good price
  11. Substitute with things you already have (no buttermilk on hand? Mix vinegar and milk)
  12. Shop without children
  13. Shop without your spouse. 🙂
  14. Buy produce in season
  15. Eat your leftovers
  16. Shop your pantry fridge and freezer (then use All Recipes ingredient search to make a meal)
  17. Learn your store’s markdown schedule
  18. Shop the store brands
  19. Use Ibotta
  20. Start a garden
  21. Load store digital coupons to your card
  22. Try shopping once a month
  23. Check the unit price to make sure you’re never spending too much
  24. Buy diapers and toilet paper on Amazon
  25. Checkout Checkout 51
  26. Use Favado
  27. Take advantage of Walmart’s Savings Catcher
  28. Buy in bulk
  29. Pay with cash
  30. Skip the pre-packaged stuff
  31. Don’t use paper towels
  32. Or trash bags
  33. Buy double ply TP and only use single sheets. (TEASING. Just checking in to see if you’re still awake.) 😉
  34. Make seasonings and sauces yourself (get a few of my favorites in the index at the back of this free cookbook)
  35. Store deeply discounted items in your freezer (get the full list of what to freeze over HERE)
  36. Have breakfast for dinner once a week
  37. Don’t cook more than you need if it will go to waste
  38. Only buy meat when it’s on sale
  39. Shop early in the morning when meat markdowns have just been made
  40. Ask the butcher to cup up large bulks of meat to get the best price
  41. Rotate your pantry so food doesn’t expire
  42. Make baked goods from scratch (homemade bread, anyone?)
  43. Cook in bulk
  44. Ask stores to price match
  45. Don’t shop if you’re hungry
  46. Learn the map of your store so you get in and get out fast
  47. Skip any pre-cut meats, fruits, or veggies
  48. Buy big roasts (pork and beef) when on sale and cut them into 2 or 3 chunks, making for several meal (thanks Tiffany!)
  49. Buy eggs
  50. Don’t buy bottled water
  51. Use this database to see which stores in your hometown have sales each week on items you’re purchasing
  52. Buy a rotisserie chicken at Costco or Sam’s and use the meat in soups, stews, and casseroles
  53. Keep a running log of how much you spend at the grocery store each week
  54. Eat eggs
  55. Shop more than one store
  56. Use cloth napkins instead of paper
  57. Skip paper plates
  58. Repurpose glass jars (or use mason jars) and store your homemade dry mixes
  59. Learn to can your own foods
  60. Create a price list for your area (Thanks Ashley!)
  61. Re-use your grocery sacks
  62. Pick up produce in large bags instead of buy the piece
  63. Don’t buy pre-packaged salad blends
  64. Use up every single thing in your pantry
  65. Try out shopping online using Kroger Click List or Walmart Grocery Pickup so you avoid buying extras you don’t need
  66. Avoid the kid snack traps, like packing your own goldfish, making granola bars, relying on fruit, etc (thanks, Amy!)
  67. Base your meals on sales, buy lots of meat when it’s on sale and freeze the extra (thanks, Nicole!)
  68. Instead of using foil or plastic wrap, store food in re-usable containers
  69. Reinvent leftovers. Bones from cooked meats can be turned into broth. Use the trimmings and peels from celery, onions carrots for flavor in the broth. Repurpose leftover bits and pieces into something else. Bake extra chicken, use it in other dishes or on a salad. (Thanks, Robin and Vicki!)
  70. Prioritize what you need most and cut out non-essentials. We no longer buy things like soft drinks, paper towels, most packaged or prepared food. Buy ingredients and cook from scratch. So much healthier for you too (thanks, Tami!)

 

 

 

What other things do you recommend to save on groceries without clipping any coupons? Leave a comment to share ~ I love hearing from you! 

 

 

Need more ideas on how to save on your grocery budget?

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The Ultimate Aldi, Target & Walmart Price Comparison Sheet

Love pinching pennies? Sign up for free daily emails to get my favorite 20 slow cooker recipes, grocery list & menu plan delivered to your inbox!

 

To get Aldi, Target, Walmart Comparison Sheet, go HERE and download your free PDF.

I’m soooo excited to have this updated! 

The PPP team has just updated this amazing (seriously, amazing) reference guide for you to use every time you shop Aldi, Target, and Walmart.

 

 WOOHOOOOO!

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Now, as always, pricing will vary a bit by area and your store, but this gives you a good basic starting place with an idea of what to really expect at each store.

And if you’re like me, I’m betting you’ll be a little surprised at how the prices stack up.

I never (ever?) would have expected Walmart and Target to be higher on so many items (not everything, but many things!), so the results were pretty interesting to me.

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 Here are a few things you need to know to fully take advantage of this list:

  • These are everyday prices on these items and don’t include any special sales at all. If you can wait for a sale at Target or Walmart you’ll get a better price, so this is just your starting point.

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  • We did the best we could to compare things evenly across the board. We looked at basic generic brands as much as we were able to (i.e. Up & Up for Target and Great Value for Walmart), and gave you the exact item name so you can compare too.
  • These prices were updated in the Southeast, so your pricing will vary some by store. This just gives you a handy little reference guide to get an idea of what to expect.
  • You’ll want to compare to see how these prices stack up at Costco & Sam’s Club as well ~ go HERE to print your free list for those stores.
  • ****MOST IMPORTANTLY**** This is such a valuable tool when shopping other store sales. A few weeks ago I was shopping the Mega Sale at Kroger and while I thought I was getting a good price on peanut butter, a quick look at this list let me know that I was getting a serious stock up price. Even if you don’t use this list to compare these stores to one another, it is so stinkin’ handy so that you’ll always know when you’re getting the very best price on an item.  WOOHOOO! 😉 

 

Okie dokie ~ are you ready for it? Here we go! 

 

To get Aldi, Target, Walmart Comparison Sheet, go HERE and download your free PDF.

If you’d love to keep up with penny pinching deals I’d sure love for you to sign up for free daily emails too – go HERE and you’ll receive a free Freezer Printable Guide just for signing up. Thanks so much for joining PPP!!!)

 

Looking for more posts like this? Here you go . . . 

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I can’t wait to hear what you think on these prices and how they stack up ~ leave a comment to share your thoughts!

 

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The Ultimate Aldi, Costco & Sam’s Club Comparison Chart

 Download my FREE Crockpot Cookbook over HERE! 

Oh my word.

I am so.

sooooooooooo.

Seriously, SOOOOOO .

. . . . excited about this!

 

(Did you catch that?) 🙂

 

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My awesome PPP team has put together this crazy fun (FREE!) reference guide for you if you ever shop Aldi. Or Costco. Or Sam’s Club, and just updated it with 2017 pricing!

 

You’re welcome. 🙂 

 

I was shocked (seriously, SHOCKEDby the results. I really thought Aldi would win just about every price, but you know what?

 

They don’t.

 

 

 

 

After seeing these prices, I was pretty surprised at which items Aldi sells way cheaper (canned veggies anyone?), which items Sam’s Club carries for the very best price (check out the sticks of butter), and which items are worth making a trip to Costco for. (Need cooking spray? Costco’s the place to be!)

 

 

Of course, as in everything, there are some limits. The prices at Costco and Sam’s may be higher (especially on produce) than Aldi, but the size of your pineapple (or watermelon, or whatever), is likely smaller.

 

 

And, there’s no way to compare Costco’s amazingly yummy Ghirardelli brownies to the Aldi Baker’s Corner brand (which actually end up costing you more money, WHO KNEW???

 

This is a great reference guide that we hope makes your life shopping and deciding where to shop for certain items just a wee bit easier.

 

 

So, head on over HERE and print your free list, and please leave a comment to share your thoughts! I’d love to hear which items you’re surprised by (a bunch surprised me) ~ let me know what you think.

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Note – these prices will vary some by region but this hopefully gives a starting place ~ would love to hear your thoughts on this!

 

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Looking for more posts like this? Here you go . . . 

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The $14 Challenge.

 

$14.

 

That’s what we have left in our budget until Friday.

 

Eek.

 

We stick to an all cash budget most weeks, but honestly, if we go a wee bit over and need to use our debit card to get us by, most weeks we just let that go.

 

But this week, I’m determined to make it until Friday morning (at exactly 9AM Eastern Time) with no more than the $14 I have right here.

 

Will you join me?

 

(Misery loves company, you know.) 🙂

 

Hop up.

 

Yup, step away from the computer.

 

Or your phone.

 

Go get your wallet right this very minute.

 

See how much cash really is in there.

 

And decide to use that.

 

Only that.

 

For the next 96 hours.

Really, it’s NINETY SIX  HOURS. We can do this.

 

As I shared in today’s Facebook live video this morning (scroll to minute 15 of the video to watch ~ I’ll update you on Stitch Fix shortly), we’re in a way different season today than we were 20 years ago when we first started penny pinching 20 years ago. 

 

And (thank heavens!) if we spent an extra bit of money this week it really wouldn’t break the bank.

 

But we can so quickly blow through $20, or $50, or $100 if we’re not careful.

 

Most importantly though, we have a 16 year old, 13 year old, and 9 year old who are watching closely right now how we choose to spend our money.

 

Eek.

 

So we’re choosing to stay on track.

 

Here’s what we’re sacrificing this week to stick to our goal:

1. Trash Bags.

 

We’re completely out of trash bags, but rather than going and spending $5-$10 on a big box of bags (these are the ones I normally buy), we’re going to use grocery sacks for the week.

 

2. Paper Towels.

 

For years (and years and years), I pretty much refused to buy trash bags because those were simply not a luxury we could afford while paying off debt. In the last few years I’ve splurged on paper towels (and I’ve got to admit, they’re glorious!) but when I realized we’re almost out this week I knew I could go back to using plain old rags.

 

This is such a tiny savings, but if it keeps me at home and away from the grocery store when I’ll probably buy more, I’m taking it as a win for the week.

 

3. Eating out.

 

As I’ve shared (a bunch!) this last month, eating out is probably one of the easiest places to bust your budget each week. So, like we did last month, we’ll be eating at home (I’m using the Whole Foods Menu Plan from Eat at Home Cooks), and choosing to skip the drive thru this week.

 

(Note – I did spend $60 on groceries yesterday for the weekly menu plan, and we already had a decent stash of produce, milk and snacks to get us through the week. That helps!)

 

4. Our piggy bank.

 

Like many folks, my husband collects his change in a jar each day, so IF we absolutely need some extra moo-lah, I may have to count some coins to pay. As I shared in today’s video my kids are usually the ones who ask for money (not all that often, but occasionally), so if I absolutely think they need it (which is doubtful), I’ll give them the option of the raiding the piggy jar.

 

While this would still be technically considered “spending money”, I guarantee we won’t spend as much change as we would if we went to the ATM and took out more cash (or pulled out a credit card – eek), but I think this will help us have a “no excuses” week this week.

 

Do you need to join me?

 

Go ahead.

 

Count up your cash.

 

Hunt down your coins.

 

Take stock of what’s in your pantry, fridge and freezer.

 

And determine for the next 96 hours to stick with me. 

 

 

We can totally do this, and watching what we save today will make our long term goals come just a little bit closer.

 

Happy penny pinching! 😉

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More posts like this: 

 

 

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The Ultimate Amazon Shopping List: 50 Things You Should *Always* Buy On Amazon

 

 

Do you love shopping Amazon? 

 

Me too! 🙂 

 

For many of us, Amazon offers easy savings (and convenience) on thousands of items, delivered right to our door. But it’s important to know what items really are great prices, and which items are worth heading to your local store for.

 

 

My general rule of thumb is to check Amazon for anything I would make a quick trip to Walmart for, because so many items end up being less money, with no stress. 

 

I love that.

 

 

Here’s a peek at my Ultimate Amazon Shopping List ~ I’d love to hear what you’d add to the list too!

 

 

And to make our lives a little easier – you can even print your own FREE Printable Amazon Shopping List HERE!

Amazon Daily Deals

1 . Amazon Gold Box

2 . Amazon Lightning Deals

 

 

Amazon Prime Deals

3 . Free eBooks

4 . Free Movies

5 . Free Music

6 . Free Photo Storage

 

 

Arts, Crafts & Sewing

7 . Crafting Supplies

**Amazon carries an HUGE variety of crafty goods – from Colored Pencil sets to bulk construction paper and Sewing Machines!

I also think Amazon usually has a better deal on a Silhouette machine than other stores  – I absolutely love mine!

 

 

 

Automotive Parts & Accessories

8 . Auto Parts

*Besides major auto parts – we also see really good deals on windshield wiper blades pretty often!

 

 

Baby

9 . Baby Wipes

10 . Diapers

*Both the diapers and wipes often have coupons you can clip, plus an extra 20% Savings if you’re a member of Amazon Family!  Learn more about Amazon Family and get a Free 30-Day Trial 🙂

 

 

 

Beauty & Personal Care

11 . Drug Store Makeup and Makeup Remover Wipes

12 . Olay Regenerist

*This is my absolute favorite moisturizer and Amazon always carries it for way less than Walmart after you subscribe and save, plus they frequently offer a coupon which makes the price even better 🙂

13 . Pads/Tampons  (compare to Walmart)

14 . Razor Systems or Disposable Razors (when they offer a $3 or $4 off coupon they can be great deals!)

15 . Shampoo & Conditioner

16 . Teeth Whitening Strips   (compare to Walmart)

17 . Toothbrushes (the bulk packs)

 

 

 

Clothing, Shoes & Jewelery

18 . Children’s Hair Bows

19 . Crocs

20 . Scarves

21 . Toms

 

  

Electronics

22 . Cell Phone Charging Cords

23 .  Cell Phone Cases

24 . Photo Memory Cards

 

 

Gifts

25 . Gift Cards

Grocery & Gourmet Food

26 . Coffee Pods

27 . Snack Foods when they include special discounts

*Check out all the current Amazon Grocery Coupons here!

 

 

 

 

Health & Household

28 . Batteries

29 . Some Cleaning Products

30 . Dishwasher Tablets

31 . Disinfectant Wipes

32 . Laundry Detergent

33 . LED Lightbulbs

34 . Mr. Clean Magic Erasers  *Also check out the generic eraser sponges!

35 . Mrs. Meyer’s Dish Soap

36 . Mrs. Meyer’s Hand Soap

37 . Vitamins & Supplements

Kitchen & Dining

38 . Cuisinart Knives 

39 . Kitchen Gadgets and Small Appliances

40 . Rubbermaid Containers (watch for Lightning Deals on these sets!)

Luggage & Travel Gear

41 . Luggage

42 . Tents (wait for a sale on these – they come around all the time!)

 

 

 

 

Paper & Plastic

43 . Paper Towels

44 . Toilet Paper

45 . Trash Bags

 

 

Pet Supplies

46 . Cat Food

47 . Dog Food

 

 

Reading Materials

48 . Books

49 .  Magazine Subscriptions  *Check out the magazine deal of the day each day!

 

 

 

Toys & Games

50 . We see soooo many good deals on toys and games on Amazon, especially around Christmas.  Keep an eye on the hottest “Movers and Shakers” to catch the biggest sales on popular toys and games!

Some items we often see deals on:

 

 

Can’t get enough AMAZON?  Here you go . . .

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The Ultimate Guide to a Better Grocery Budget Week 4: Pantry Shopping, Menu Planning & Beware The Mega Sale (+ GIVEAWAY!)

 

Congratulations to  e..e..er@hotmail.com (CrockPot Winner) and m..a…9@aol.com (Instant Pot) for winning the giveaway! Thanks so much to everyone who entered ~ I so wish I could give you all a crock pot and an instant pot and I loved reading all of your favorite dishes!  🙂

 

Have you been working to transform your grocery budget with us this month? 

 

I hope you’ve saved a bundle!

 

This is our last week in the series, but I think these three little tips can really help you save big.

 

Let’s get started . . . 

1. SHOP YOUR PANTRY.

If you haven’t learned this already, this can change your grocery budget.

 

Before you run out to the store and spend a bundle, I want you to really (really, truly) shop your pantry, fridge, and freezer to see what you can make using what you already have.

 

Do you have chicken and pasta? Make up some chicken noodle soup. A little ground beef and tacos? Taco Tuesday is perfect.

 

And before you race to the store for one more item you really don’t need, consider doing a 1 week no spend challenge and really tackle that grocery budget. We saved hundreds of dollars trying this out a few years ago, and I’m already thinking about a group challenge coming in in March (so get ready.) 🙂

 

groceryweek3

2. Don’t turn a Mega Sale into a Mega Mess

 

Good gravy, this can be huge.

 

When Kroger (or Publix, or Target, or wherever) has their crazy deals, it can be so very tempting to grab them all even if you’ll spend way more than your grocery budget.

 

To grab all the deals.

 

To not pass by a single thing that has the lovely blue tag screaming “I’m-a-mega-sale-price-so-you-really-need-me.” 

 

But your job as you’re whittling down your grocery budget is to focus on spending a little of your grocery budget on the deals, but not more than your grocery budget.

 

Okay?

 

However, even to the best of us it sometimes happens.

So what do you do when you’ve spent too much?

1. Give yourself grace.

If you’ve overspent already, there’s nothing you can do to change it. Give yourself grace, determine to focus more on your total budget the next time you shop, and be thankful you have a nicely stocked pantry.

2. Determine to use what you’ve bought.

Once you’ve overspent, there’s no going back, but you can make a plan to use what you’ve bought (saving money in the long run!)

3. The next time you shop, be mindful of what the “deals” really are.

An easy example of this was on the Quaker Oatmeal. The Quaker was priced at $1.89 after the Mega Sale. However the store brand was $1.50, and there was a $1/2 Kroger ecoupon on Kroger Oatmeal. Definitely the best price! Next time you shop, be really cautious of the “Mega Sale” deals to make sure they really are your best prices. If they’re not, pass those by (and remember stores like Aldi may offer a better deal every day!)

 

Guys, I’ve said it a jillion times here, but there is no other area in your family’s finances that you have complete control over. You can’t lower your car payment or mortgage or electricity bill today, but you can choose how much you want to spend at the grocery store. 

 

And last but not least . . . 

3. MAKE A MENU PLAN AND STICK TO IT!

Guys ~ I cannot tell you the value of having a menu plan.

 

It’s huge. 

And starting next Monday (2/6/17), we’re starting a Countertop Cooking Challenge and I would just love for you to join me.

 

My friend Tiffany from Eat at Home Cooks is offering us her VERY best prices for a few days only to the very first people to sign up using the code EARLYBIRD at checkout, and I want you to be included! 

HERE’S WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU SIGN UP: 

  • Weekly menu plans for the entire month
  • A set of slow cooker menu plans
  • A set of whole foods menu plans (those are the ones we’re using right now)
  • A set of traditional menu plans
  • One quick click to download all 3 sets of menus (in color or black and white ink)
  • This month, because there are 5 weeks in the month, you’ll actually get access to FIVE WEEKS of menu plans for as low as $1.13 per week!

>>>USE THE CODE EARLYBIRD AT CHECKOUT TO GET THE BEST PRICE ~ THESE ARE THE LOWEST PRICES YOU’LL FIND ON THIS MENU PLAN!<<<

 

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Here’s how the prices breakdown:

Determine to make 2017 the year that you transform your family’s grocery budget ~ you can do this! 

 

Wanna make this a little more fun? It’s clearly time for a giveaway! 

Because I love you (really, I do!) I’m giving away ONE Instant Pot and ONE Crockpot this week to two lucky winners who sign up.

Here’s how to enter to win:

So, pull up those big-girl-panties and let’s get ready to save big in February ~ we can do this.  I would love to hear how you’re doing on your grocery budget too, so leave a comment to share!

 

 

Note: this giveaway is not sponsored by anyone, just a way for me to thank you for keeping up with PPP. So thankful for you! Giveaway will end 2/2/16 at 10 PM Eastern Time. 

 

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The Ultimate Guide to a Better Grocery Budget Week 2: Coupons, Sales and Resourcefulness

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Note: this is a four part series we’re doing each week this month ~ go HERE to start with week 1. 

 

Are you tackling your grocery budget this month with me?

 

I’m so glad I’m not alone! 🙂

 

The biggest thing I discuss in coupon classes that I feel is so very important and absolutely need you to hear today is this:


There is no other area in your family’s finances that you have such control over than your grocery budget.

 

You can’t change your car payment. (At least, not easily.)

 

You can’t drop your mortgage by 50% this month.

 

You can’t skimp on your health care costs. Or your utility bill. Or how much you pay for your cell phone.

 

But every single week, you decide how much you spend at the grocery store.

 

You know what I love about that?

 

you. have. control.

 

{I like control.}

 

{ahem.} 😉

 

You decide where you want to shop and exactly what you want your money to do every single time you shop.

 

I just love that. 

 

So, start off with last week’s tips.

 

And then?

 

Tackle these two strategies too.

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1. Use a coupon AND a sale.

Please, please, PLEASE hear me on this one!

While coupons can save a ton of money, your goal is to use a coupon almost exclusively when it’s combined with a sale to see the largest amount of savings at the grocery store.  (Remember, the secret is in the sale!)

 

So, if you have a $3 off coupon, you want to WAIT TO BUY THAT ITEM until that item goes on sale.

 

Did you hear that?

 

Honestly, 30%-50% of my grocery savings comes from shopping the sales ad ~ not just using coupons. While a $1 off coupon is pretty amazing, a $1 off coupon combined with a 50% off sale makes for some smokin’ hot deals.

 

Note: the only store I don’t think this is true at is at Walmart who doesn’t tend to have sales that are significant at all. When you shop there, ALWAYS use those high value coupons!

So ~ print your coupons, organize your coupons, and then watch the ads for the very best sale on what you’re looking for. (See all the PPP store sales included over HERE.)

 

You can do this.

 

And #2.

 

This is huge.

 

Are you ready?

 

2. BE. RESOURCEFUL.

 

Folks, this tip alone could save you $20 this week.

 

Don’t believe me? 

I spent just under $100 this week for enough groceries to make 6 meals at home (plus scored an extra roast since they were Buy One Get One Free this week!) 

 

Let me show you how.

 

Yesterday I went to the store with my Eat at Home Cooks grocery list (remember, these go up in price tonight, so order soon if you’re interested.)
While I love her lists, there were a few things there that aren’t regular purchases for me and would have been  pretty large expenses on my grocery budget this week, so I got a wee bit creative. First, I looked through her list and checked my pantry, fridge and freezer to see what I already had in stock (easy, right?)

 

Then, I did this while I shopped: 

 

1. on the list ~ cranberries (not in season and only found in the frozen aisle or as whole cranberries in the dried produce aisle.)

Because I was determined to only spend $100 this week, and a big bag of whole cranberries would cost me $8.99 (eek!), I grabbed a 6 pack of small Craisins that happened to be on sale for $1.50.

Now, they won’t be the same as cranberries (but I couldn’t find them at my store anyways), and for $1.50 instead of $9 I’m pretty sure our Pork Chop, Veggie and Cranberry Sheet Pan will taste just fine. (Honestly, I could have probably omitted them completely but it just sounded so good!)

 

2. on the list ~ cajun seasoning ($6.99 ~ eek!)

Many spice blends can be made at home, and since we don’t use that one all that often it’s way cheaper for me to use what I already have at home. I looked up this Cajun Spice Mix on All Recipes, and sure enough have everything in my spice cabinet I need to make that one pretty easily.

 

3. on the list ~ 2 tsp sesame seeds (also $6.99)

I really struggled with this one (because I knew the sesame seeds would last through several recipes), but I realized that in 20 years I can’t remember even once cooking with sesame seeds, so they aren’t a necessary staple at our house. I also knew that my kids aren’t big fans of sesame seeds, I could care less whether they’re there or not, and my husband would never know the difference.

 

Honestly? I’m like this every time I shop, and with just about everything we use. 

 

I constantly think of ways to use less ~ like using rags instead of paper towels, plastic grocery sacks for trash instead of large bags, and cloth napkins instead of paper ones.

 

This has changed some in the last few years as we have a little more money and a lot less time, but when I can, I still try to be resourceful as much as possible.

 

Most seasoning packets, mixes and even cleaning supplies can be mixed up at home, costing you a fraction of the cost.

 

You probably have lots of items already in your pantry that you use before buying one more thing, so this week I want you to constantly think of ways to be resourceful and use what you already have. Remember ~ you have control over what you spend, so see how much you can save with this one simple trick!

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Ready to get started?

 

Use your coupons with a sale as much as possible, and always be willing to think out of the box when it comes to your grocery list. You totally have control of this, and I can’t wait to hear how it goes for you!

 

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And don’t forget, today’s the last day to get access to Eat at Home Menu Plans before they go up in price tonight. Head on over HERE and check out Tiffany’s Menu Plans ~ they’re as little as $1.15 per week right now, and I really do just love mine. (Honestly, they’ve saved me at least $100 this week, and our family has eaten well. See a peek of me making yesterday’s meals over HERE!)

 

 

 

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The Ultimate Guide To A Better Grocery Budget: Week 1

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Anyone else ready to tackle their grocery budget this month? 

 

You’re not alone!

 

After Christmas I always feel like it’s a great time to reign our grocery budget in, so today is the perfect day to start.

 

Each Tuesday for the rest of the month (going right up until February 1st), I’ll be sharing the Ultimate Guide to a Better Grocery Budget, including tips to help busy families transform their grocery budget (even if you don’t have tons of time to clip coupons.) I’ll also include pics of what we actually buy, so you hold me accountable too. 🙂

My biggest tip?

Start with a great menu plan.

(THIS is the one I’ve been use and I. love. it. Highly recommend if you’re looking for one! AND, starting next Monday we’ll be doing the Countertop Cooking Challenge with this program. Use the code EARLYBIRD at checkout to get the lowest price!)

Ready?

Let’s get started . . .

 

 

1. First things first ~ determine your grocery budget.

Before you start really tackling your grocery budget, look at what you’ve spent over the last few months on groceries and decide how much you’d like to cut your grocery budget.  Expect to save about 20% on your grocery bill over the next month as you’re building your pantry with basic staples, and you should see significantly larger savings in the next six months.

 

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2. Decide how much you want to spend each week on “stockpile” items.

Remember that just about every item in the grocery store will go on sale within six to twelve weeks, so purchase enough non-perishable items when they’re on sale so that you won’t have to purchase those items again at full price. When I see a great price on something I’ll purchase as much as my grocery budget can afford, so I’m not paying full price when it’s not on sale. 

 

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3. Know your prices.

Goodness, this is probably my biggest frustration ever when talking to folks who spend too much on groceries!  So many people naively go blindly into the grocery store with a list in hand (or maybe worse, with no list at all), without even considering what’s on sale. This is the easiest way to spend way too much at the grocery store, and you can easily save big if you just put a little forethought into shopping!

 

Can I just tell you the easiest thing you can do EVER to reduce your grocery budget is to know what really is a good price? By determining a stock up price (at the very least just for produce, dairy and meat products?) and only buying items at their stock up price, I’m betting you can cut your grocery bill by at least 1/3 each week.

 

And above all else . . . 

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shop with a grocery list and menu plan. 

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When I’m completely on track, I use Tiffany from Eat at Home Cook’s Menu Plan and love. it. Before shopping I go through her list, shop my stockpile, and mark off what I can by shopping my pantry before heading to the store. It’s quick, easy, and I get my grocery shopping done in record time.

 

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Head on over HERE and check out Tiffany’s Menu Plans ~ through next week they cost as little as 1.13 per week when you use the code EARLYBIRD at checkout, and I really do just love mine. If you’ve tried them out in the past I’d love to know if they’ve worked for you!

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Here’s what our grocery shopping looked like this week . . . 

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(My big splurge this week was on those pre-sliced apples for $4.98. I know it’s WAY too much to pay, but my kids gobble them down like candy and I love that they have an easy healthy snack ready whenever they need it!) 

I followed Tiffany’s Menu Plan exactly, shopped my pantry before heading out, shopped at Walmart (gasp!) and spent $45.99 for all the groceries I’ll need to make 5 meals + 1 dessert.

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(Note, I’m using the Whole Foods option this week ~ made the Chicken Florentine Quesadillas last night and they were fantastic, and her slow cooker beef tacos are cooking up in Mrs. Potts right now. Success!)

 

 

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So, start with your grocery budget, know your prices, and make a menu plan and grocery list ~ I know you can do this. 

And starting next Monday (2/6/17), we’re starting a Countertop Cooking Challenge and I would just love for you to join me.

My friend Tiffany from Eat at Home Cooks is offering us her VERY best prices for a few days only to the very first people to sign up using the code EARLYBIRD at checkout, and I want you to be included! 

HERE’S WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU SIGN UP: 

  • Weekly menu plans for the entire month
  • A set of slow cooker menu plans
  • A set of whole foods menu plans (those are the ones we’re using right now)
  • A set of traditional menu plans
  • One quick click to download all 3 sets of menus (in color or black and white ink)
  • This month, because there are 5 weeks in the month, you’ll actually get access to FIVE WEEKS of menu plans for as low as $1.13 per week!

>>>USE THE CODE EARLYBIRD AT CHECKOUT TO GET THE BEST PRICE ~ THESE ARE THE LOWEST PRICES YOU’LL FIND ON THIS MENU PLAN!<<<

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Decide today to really transform what you’re spending, and I promise you’ll see success. Leave a comment if you’re joining us, and (if you feel comfortable) let me know what you’re spending so we can all decide to stick together and transform our finances in 2017.

 

Happy penny pinching! 

 

Looking for more ways to change your grocery budget?

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Top 10 Christmas Budget Busters

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It is so easy this time of year to pull out that credit card, plunk down a few more dollars, and spend so. much. more. than you planned for this year. 

 

But you don’t have to.

 

Here are 10 Christmas Budget Busters that can completely whittle away your Christmas savings, so take a few minutes today and make sure your spending is in check.

Top 10 Christmas Budget Busters

1. Shipping.

Do. not. pay. for. shipping.

For real.

Most stores offer free shipping with pretty minimal purchases this time of year, and almost all stores allow you to pick up in store for free as well. With shipping costing easily $6-$10, you could easily blow your budget with a few unexpected purchases.

And, don’t forget Free Shipping Day is 12/16/16 ~ it might just be worth waiting for!

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2. Stocking stuffers that cost too much.

In our house my kids love their stockings, but I work really hard to keep the cost of stocking stuffers to a minimum. 

Go HERE to see my list of 101 stocking stuffers all $1 or less.

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3. Gifts to just fill under the tree.

My kids typically ask for a few big (and a few small) items each year.

But oh so often, I’m tempted to buy them extra things just so they have more to open under the tree.

They don’t need any of it.

This year I’m really sticking to giving them the few things they really want, and then letting it go.

I hate the clutter come December 26th, and they really don’t need much of anything.

Skip those extras this year. 

(Download my free Christmas Made Easy Checklist to track your Christmas List and Expenses as you go.)

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4. Unnecessary family and friend gifts.

If you have a large extended family, consider as a group doing a white elephant gift exchange or choosing “secret Santas” ~ everyone will have just as much fun, and your whole family will drastically cut down on Christmas expenses. 

 

And, if you love blessing people who bless you throughout the year (UPS drivers, garbage truck drivers, mail carriers, etc), consider baking a yummy treat for them instead of purchasing a gift this year if purchasing gifts isn’t in your budget. A small act of kindness can go a long way to bless someone’s day!

 

Side note:A few years ago I shared how just about felt gived out by the time December was over. I realized that much of this was because while I happily said yes to every place to donate early in the Holiday season, by the middle of December I was done: and so was my budget.

Since then my husband and I have an honest discussion about what we want to give together so that we can choose to give to those that we both feel most passionate about. (To see more on giving over the holidays, check out The Advent Conspiracy.)

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5. Paying too much to trim your tree.

love Christmas decorating.

Like, I. love. it.

But, I get almost all my decorations 90% off AFTER Christmas, unless I find them at the Dollar Tree.

If you don’t have just what you want right now for Christmas, be patient. 

Wait until December 26th (December 27th is even better), head out to the stores, and score some amazing deals for next year’s Christmas tree.

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6. Spending extra to decorate your home.

Just like it’s way too easy to spend too much on tree trimmings, home decor can get out of hand at Christmas.

Fluff up what you already have on hand, head outside for some fresh greenery, and keep things simple by not over doing Christmas clutter.

 

7. Deals that are “too good” to pass up.

Sometimes I come across a deal (or two, or three?) that I think is just “too good” to pass up. 

But unless it’s something someone really wants for Christmas, it’s just not worth ruining our budget for.

 

Skip those ones you really don’t need, determine to stay on track, and make Christmas more about the season than stuff this year. 

8. Purchasing extra gifts after you are done.

Once you’re done shopping,

you’re done shopping.

Determine this year to get your Christmas list checked off, and then don’t go back to purchase more items that your family really can live without.

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9. Wrapping paper.

Get wrapping paper 90% off at Target and other stores in January ~ last year we had to wait until January 4th, but don’t miss that one this year.

10.The Christmas feast.

Last but not least, be mindful over the next few weeks of deals as you plan for Christmas.

Inevitably every store in town will put ham, turkey, veggies, and more on sale, so your mission this Christmas season is to watch for those deep discounts.

Go HERE to do a quick search of the best sale items on just about everything at your local store, and determine to stick to your budget before spending too much this year.

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What else would you add to the list? I’d love to hear your thoughts – also check out the Ultimate Guide To Building a Better Grocery Budget. You can do this!

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Looking for more? 

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Free Budgeting App + Giveaway at 9PM Eastern Time

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Have you tried the Budgeting App Every Dollar, created by the Dave Ramsey team? 

 

It’s an online program that includes a free app allowing you to easily manage your budget, no matter where you are. 

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From your computer or phone, you can . . . 

  • Create your first budget in less than 10 minutes
  • Add and split transactions
  • Set and achieve your money goals

Here are a few reasons to try it out . . . 

1. It’s free.

What have you got to lose? 🙂 

 

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2. Create your budget from your computer or tablet.

Just create a free account and lay out your monthly budget on your computer or tablet.

 

You’ll also get a free Guide to Budgeting when you sign up, so if you have no idea where to start, you’ll be walked through every step of the way.

3. It automatically updates everything for you.

Once you’ve gotten started,  Every Dollar will automatically update your totals while you work through your expense list, and easily gives you access to “Baby Steps” to encourage and motivate you along the way.

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4. Once your budget is set up, you can add in purchases as you go from your phone, almost creating a “virtual” envelope system.

What I think is genius about this program is that you and a spouse could both set up accounts on your phone, and both people can keep up with what’s really being spent. If you’re both willing to really determine to track your spending, this adds in so much accountability and will help you work towards your goals together!

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5. It might just change your financial future.

If you’re not tracking your budget, you have no idea where your money is really going. Choosing to stick to a budget really will transform your finances, because you’ll know exactly where your money goes each month.

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This is an easy way to start working on that for free which I love. Head on over HERE, sign up for your free basic account, and let me know what you think!

 

 

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BONUS: I’m super excited because the Dave Ramsey team gave me THREE Rachel Cruze Budgeting Wallets with Clip Systems to give away to 3 lucky readers (wow!)

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Go HERE to check them out, and join me at 9 PM Eastern Time on Facebook live to enter the giveaway. I’m so impressed with the quality of this wallet, and think you’ll love it too. Go HERE to enter to win at 9PM Eastern Time! 

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This is a sponsored post from Dave Ramsey, however all opinions are my own. I really did try it out and love it, and think you’ll love it too!


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