Buy things when they are on sale and stock up.
You are not saving if you are buying only what you need each week. Keep 3-6 of items you frequently use.
MRS.BAIRDS THRIFT STORE @ BELTLINE/CENTRAL EXPRESSWAY
I recently purchased $24 on the following:
5-chips variety ( barbeque, sour cream, fritos, and tortilla chips
1-sub sandwich bread
1-hamburger buns (12 buns)
Plus, they gave us 5 pkgs. of different kid desserts.
And they give you 1 free item for every $6 you purchase.
MAKE LIST OF FREQUENTLY PURCHASED ITEMS:
Go through your receipts and list what you usually buy and figure out what is the lowest price you can find that item.
Make a list of the things you need to keep your kitchen running. I found that the dollar store carries my Italian dressing for only $2 (large size).
LOOK FOR GREAT DEALS ON MEAT AND CHICKEN:
I bought $50 of meat and chicken at Tom Thumb on Sunday.
It will last all month. When you know how much things cost, then you know when something is a real deal. That is how I was able to pay 1/2 the cost for the meat I purchased. Save receipts and when the deals come around, you will know it. Usually I would look at the price for a package and not at the price per lb.
I wanted to make tenderloin and the butcher at Tom Thumb recommended a second best for a fraction of the cost. Yipee!
It was a great treat.
FRUIT OF THE WEEK:
The one that is on sale. Easy decision.
I buy most of my groceries at Wal-mart. Yes, Wal-mart will honor sales from other grocery stores.
The malt-o-meal cereals in a bag taste just like the real stuff. (worth trying.) Just don't wander the whole store or you'll spend your savings.
MARINATE AND SEASON:
Also, I marinate and season my own meat and chicken. I will cook a double batch of lean ground meat, divide it, and season two different ways or I will only season 1/2 the batch and I will put the rest in the refrigerator to season in two days. For example, prepare one with taco seasoning and the other batch with spaghetti sauce. Cooking double batches has made it a no-brainer.
For weekly menu, I change it up: different meat each day or I make it a non-meat day: cheese enchiladas.
I cook extra marinated chicken breasts: great for quesadillas, enchiladas, pita bread and salads.
MAKE A List of 5 different meals you cook with ground meat, chicken, etc.
Look for recipes that use similar ingredients.
BEVERAGE OF CHOICE:
Tea and water (add a spritz of cranberry or any other juice to flavor drink)
Good, but usually they are for pre-made foods: not good for the waist-line or pocket-book.
SHOP WITH CASH:
It will make it crystal clear what is a need and a want(which usually adds to the waist-line.
Initially, it will take some focus and then it will become second nature to you.
Also, I have taught my 12 and 9 year old boys to cook and we have made it a fun family activity. It took a lot of patience, but now they make circles around me as they help with dinner. We divide dinner: one cooks the rice while I season the meat.