Posts and articles in the Cooking on a Budget category will include tips that will help you feed your family (which of course includes you and pets!) for less money. I’ll start the ball rolling with a few of my favorites. It’s my fervent hope that you will all get involved and leave your own eating on a budget tips in the comments. I’ll often round up the best tips and post them in accumulative posts, with full credit given, of course.
Tips for Eating on a Budget, Spending Less at the Grocery Store, and Cooking on a Shoestring!
- Don’t be a coupon snob! Coupon snobbery is a very expensive offense. You can save so much money simply by clipping coupons and using them religiously. Of course, you have to be on your toes, because sometimes it’s actually cheaper to buy the store brand – or another brand. Always have your coupons ready but never use them just for the sake of using them. Go for the best deal.
- Coupons in the Sunday newspaper often more than pay for the newspaper itself. If the coupons are especially good one week, buy several newspapers. In our town (Owensboro, Kentucky), we have three different newspaper options. When I buy the papers, I buy all three – but when my husband buys the Sunday papers, he only gets two. Most of the time the money saved with the coupons MORE than pays for the small amount of money spent on the papers. Here’s the thing: I’m ALL ABOUT supporting my community, so I look at buying newspapers as a means of supporting my community, supporting the tradition of newspapers, reading the news, AND saving money with coupons. It’s all good. Be sure to look throughout the newspaper for other coupons and deals as well – they often show up in places other than just the coupon section. Also, check out the savings in the Walgreen’s circular – they also have coupons and the deals are often outstanding. Get this, there are actually online websites (such as this one) that preview the coupons coming in the Sunday Paper. Ahhh, the information age!
- A lot of magazines also feature coupons. All You can be a coupon mecca!
- Look for coupons online and print them out.
- Check in on freebie sites such as this one.
- Check your favorite grocery store’s website. My favorite store, Kroger, lets you download coupons and savings online to your Kroger card – when you use it at the store, the deductions come off automatically. Love it. No doubt other stores have similar arrangements.
- Buy in bulk. It sounds like a stereotypical suggestion, but it’s true blue. I’ve noticed that it’s particularly thrifty with certain things: cat food, dog food, birdseed (what can I say, no doubt Noah’s my kindred spirit), garbage bags, canned foods, paper products, pasta, beans…
- Turn to old cookbooks. Many older cookbooks are dreams come true when eating on a budget. They stick with the basics and the food is just great, old-fashioned meals you’ll love serving your family.
- Turn to Church or Community cookbooks. Not only does buying these cookbooks support very worthwhile groups, they’re written by people like us who shop on a budget. Some of the best recipes you’ll ever use are from these types of humble cookbooks.
- Use common sense. I love eating out as much as the next dish washing, kitchen cleaning person but have you ever stopped to think of the amount of groceries that could be bought for one meal out? It’s a great, fun luxury (and one where someone else does the dishes and cleanup!) but can it ever add up?! If you’re like me and always leave a generous tip, it’s even costlier.
- Throw loose change into a piggy bank and watch it add up… especially when you tell everyone in your family to “throw in” their loose change as well.
- More tips coming soon! And, again, please be sure to share your tips with us.
Photo Credit: The adorable piggy bank at the top of the post is Schylling Rubber Piggy Bank and I love him madly. I actually collect pigs (you may notice that in a lot of my personal pics on the site, a pig can be seen lurking nearby) and I just started a piggy bank collection to add to my pigs. This one will soon be an addition. Too cute for his own good.