What Is Everyone Doing to Cut down Your Grocery Bill?

Updated on October 03, 2008
A.H. asks from Gilbert, AZ
10 answers

I keep seeing things in the news about the rising cost of groceries. I'm starting to notice how much we are spending right now on groceries and it is significant. We buy a lot of generic brands, but the one thing I can't fudge on is Organic Milk. I think what adds a lot to our costs is feeding my two children. My daughter loves macaroni and cheese and lots of other pastas and my son is just starting on solid foods. What do you suggest making for them that will last and they will like that doesn't cost a fortune? I've been buying Gerber graduates and it just seems really expensive. He's past the baby food or I would puree my own. Thanks for any help!

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K.S.

answers from Phoenix on

A friend just told me about this site. grocerygame.com
They take the legwork out of it. THye research the stores you use the most then either give you the coupons or tell you what's out there. I haven't used it yet (just got it), but she saved $200 on her first trip. It costs $1 for 4 weeks and then $10 for 8 weeks. Seems reasonable enough!
Hope it helps!
K.

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P.K.

answers from Phoenix on

Buy hot dogs when their on sale, and watch for the sales. Pasta is cheap and good kids love them. For the baby, just give him regular food just cut it up real fine so he can chew it. Mashed potatoes is a big hit also. Get chicken only when it's on sale. Just check your paper for the weekly store ads. P.

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M.S.

answers from Phoenix on

I shop all the grocery adds. I get the sunday coupons from my neighbor. I find that bashas usually has the coupon items on sale the same week. I also check the managers section at fry's for meats that I will cook that night or the next day. Always keep your staples available with cream soups. Local churches and food banks can help too. St Mary's food bank in Mesa will provide food boxes for half of what it cost in market. Sunflower/farmers market for lettuce and fruit. Shop store brand rather that going for name brand. REALLY PRICE SHOP. Kid foods-have him lick or put one taste in mouth each meal. The ones he likes keep. Avoid buying tons of snack foods so they eat dinner. Hope this was helpful. We are all feeling the crunch.

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S.B.

answers from Phoenix on

I buy Organic Milk at Costco. I do use coupons and watch the adds.I found that Frys tends to have the best deals when they are on sale and I use a coupon with it.
For fruits and veggies I recently start using bountiful baskets.
It is a co opt and you can get 2 small laundry baskets of fruits and veggies. The first time is $17.00 each time after is $15.00.
You order on the website then pick up on the pick up day and bring your own baskets/bag. You don't know what you are getting but I was presently surprised. They also have bread. If you are interested here is the website for more information.
http://www.bountifulbaskets.org/

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J.L.

answers from Phoenix on

Remember that you can "ad match" at Wal-mart. As long as it is a specific price not buy one get one free or 20% off. Wal-mart doesn't do that. I don't buy organic milk but I do ad-match my milk at Wal-mart.

If you are looking to make something where there is left-overs that are easy to re-heat and they love mac & cheese - try making it with elbow mac (or whatever pasta you like) and velveeta cheese. It really isn't all that expensive at Wal-mart. In fact I buy the generic because honestly I prefer the taste over the Velveeta brand. Just cut the cheese into chunks and heat over med-low heat with a little milk and it melts so easily (stir it a lot so it doesn't burn) and pours over the cooked pasta. My daughter loves it and that is the only way she will eat mac & cheese. She hates any other (the box kind) unlike most other kids in the world. She is my picky eater!

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T.N.

answers from Phoenix on

I give my 1 year old daughter what we eat usually, and I have for the past several months. I just need to mash it up sometimes. It's healthier and much cheaper. I RARELY buy babyfood of any kind.

Also, check out www.sistersavings.net The lady who created the website gets all the grocery ads and lists the specials for each store by category. It's free and I print the spreadsheets out and highlight which items I want to buy. I take the highlighted spreadsheet to Walmart with me because Walmart price matches, so I can get all the local deals at one store. It's a quick process. I like to go on Wednesdays because Sprouts has awesome produce sales and their ads overlap on Wednesdays, so both the next week and prior week's sales apply on Wednesdays and I get to price match both. For cheaper produce you can also do a co-op such as www.bountifulbaskets.org. I participated once and really enjoyed the experience, the food, and the prices so I plan on doing it again. The co-op also has other things besides produce that they go in on together like bread, cheese, granola, organic meat.

You can do coupons as well, but that is more time consuming. You can buy in bulk when things are on sale and freeze them. Even if it's not on sale, buying in bulk generally costs less.

Also shop only with a grocery list to reduce impulsive spending. Prepared and packaged foods are more expensive and generally less nutritious. Tracking spending helps dramatically as well. So maybe add up all the grocery receipts every month and keep track (it's sounds like you already did this to some extent, hence your desire to reduce your grocery bill). Measured progress improves. Use some of the good ideas these helpful moms are giving you along with some discipline (create a budget and stick to it) and you'll be on your way!

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C.M.

answers from Phoenix on

A friend and I are shopping Costco and splitting up the items so we can buy bulk and not have it go to waste. I also look at the ads when the come in the mail on Tuesday and make a shopping list by store, so when I do need to go shopping I know which stores to go to for certain items. I also recently discovered the Superstition Ranch Market for my produce. I can get up to two weeks worth of produce for less then $20.

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J.R.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi A.,

If your son can eat the graduates, he should be able to eat "regular" food. Have you given him pasta along with your daughter? This should save money right away. Also, incorporate more frozen veggies. These retain nutrients better than fresh and are more economical (cheaper to buy and they don't spoil). Organic milk is getting less expensive but still a big chunk of change. I buy it at Costco or look for it on sale -- usually about $2.50 for half gallon.

Good luck!

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J.C.

answers from Phoenix on

I ad-match at Wal-mart.

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S.L.

answers from Phoenix on

look into a website called couponsense.com. There is a fee, but it is a company that looks at all the sales ads for all the different stores. You then get a discounted rate for the weekly papers. I dont want to confuse, but the short story is that it compares the weekly ads to coupons from the sunday paper ads and tells you the best places to get what you need. You just put in what you need for the week, and it tells you where to get it. I am not kidding; I spent 20 dollars one week for over $100 dollars worth of food. Plus, it tells you the deals that get you free stuff to stock up on, tooth paste, brushes, lots of stuff. There is a membership fee, but it pays for itself in no time. I went one week and had to laugh. I got a few eye rolls from the people behind me in line as I handed the cashier a large stack of coupons. The eye rolls turned to a jaw drop as the total bill dropped.

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K.S.

answers from Phoenix on

A friend just told me about this site. grocerygame.com
They take the legwork out of it. THye research the stores you use the most then either give you the coupons or tell you what's out there. I haven't used it yet (just got it), but she saved $200 on her first trip. It costs $1 for 4 weeks and then $10 for 8 weeks. Seems reasonable enough!
Hope it helps!
K.

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