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5 ways to cut the grocery budget with NO COUPONS!

Gasp!!

No coupons?!?!

How is that even possible??

I haven't always couponed. I only started in the fall of 2007. But there are a few things that I've always done to keep the grocery budget down. It's been a necessity for me since the first 2 years of marriage involved finishing up college, having a baby, moving twice, becoming a stay-at-home mom while Dave started work in education. It's a great profession but being a teacher or working for a school district does not involve your family rolling in the money.


Can I get an AMEN?!

So here's what we do to make it work.

1. Meal Plan

Writing down actual meals with recipes on a calendar (we keep a magnetic one on the fridge) makes planning for the week (or two weeks) super easy. I look at the calendar and BAM, I already know what I'm making that day. Also, with the recipes and a shopping list including ONLY the items that you need to make those meals, you are becoming an efficient shopper! Sticking to your list and not impulse spending will save you 30% over the people that show up to the grocery store and have a general idea of what they want to make. There are so many resources online for recipe ideas as well! Allrecipes.com is great, and there are a million blogs out there. Don't like to cook? Check out crockpot365.blogspot.com.

2. Make it yourself

It's amazing to me that people purchase a mix to make pancakes. Or waffles. Or biscuits. Do you know how easy and CHEAP it is to make yourself? The other day I tripled a recipe for homemade waffles. I made all the batter and refrigerated the leftovers in a large ziploc bag. For the rest of the week we had waffles tossed in the toaster for a quick, easy, and inexpensive breakfast.  Eggs? so cheap. Make your own muffins. They are super quick and the kids love them. You can even get gutsy and make your own bread. I learned how to bake bread many years ago and it takes very little hands on time (if you have a mixer). I make two 1 1/2 pound loaves at once and they last about a week. When all my kids are in school, I will probably double that and make 4 loaves a week, but that doesn't take any extra time, just extra dough. They probably cost me .25-.50 loaf. AND I know exactly what goes in them. Try it out. It's not as scary as it sounds.

3. Cut out the crap

Now that I coupon, I am able to get granola bars, crackers, etc. for very little if not free. But before I started couponing? We just didn't buy that stuff. No crackers, no chips, no soda (we still don't do soda), no cereal, no ice cream. I simply couldn't afford it. A sandwich was eaten with some fruit or veggies as a side. This is a hard one for a lot of people because we've gotten used to eating like this. But you don't need it, I promise.

4. Shop Alone

Do I even need to explain? Those little fingers and voices every 3 seconds and don't get me started on my husband! I swear he can be worse than the kids! He just throws things into the cart, that stinker. I do not usually have the chance to shop alone, but I can go out with just one child instead of all 3 if I plan accurately. I always bring a sandwich and a sippy cup so he is happy in the cart. Planning is what counts!

5. Shop the sales

You will not get the best price on every item you need at one store. You just won't. I live 15 minutes away from the closest grocery store, so it's not convenient for me to shop at more than one store. But convenience is not what allows me to stay at home with my children while my husband works for a school district. Luckily for me, the 3 stores I shop at most often are very close together. So when I'm out, I just know I'll be at more than one store. OR, you can take all your ads to Walmart or Target and they will price match as many ads as you have. Sometimes I email a small list to my husband who works across the street from Sprouts (a great place for cheap produce). He's already out, it saves me a trip, and takes him 3 extra minutes out of his day. Win-win!


If you are looking to cut some costs that you can control to pay for things we can't control (gas prices), then these tips will work for you!

And questions?
 Please ask.
I'd love to answer anything.

Comments

yeah that to all that you said!

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Post Honey Bunches of Oats $1.49 WYB 4. $.75 coupon below!
Pork chops .99/lb with in ad coupon
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