Advice for Saving Money on Groceries

Updated on September 25, 2008
K. asks from Allen, TX
7 answers

Hi! I don't buy many packaged or frozen goods, limit the simple sugars like pastas, sweets, breads, etc., buy lots of fruit and vegs, and try to buy organic when feasible (read: sale!). I don't find many coupons for the types of things I buy but really want to spend no more than say $80/week. I've been known to do it, but usually the bill goes over $100 or more which is too high for our budget. And, what usually ends up happening is we eat out b/c we're out of food...kinda defeats the budgeting for groceries! Advice? I've looked at the it? Other ideas? I see these moms who are a whiz at saving money ("Jon and Kate plus 8" show!) and I'm at ground training with the grocery savings game. How can I become a saavy shopper?

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answers from Dallas on

Love love love The Grocery Game, but I have to admit that quite a bit of what appears on the list are snacks, frozen foods, etc. However, they always list the best prices for fresh veg & meats as well. I know there are quite a few GGers on the message board who prefer organic/fresh and they are able to use the Grocery Game to their advantage. I'd suggest taking a look at the message [email protected] and asking about it're sure to get helpful advice!

I've taken a break myself because of awful morning sickness (could not bear to even look at a list of food) but was able to get my monthly bill down to $200 from $400+.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My husband found out last night (while waiting behind someone in Walmart checking out) that you can bring any ad in that shows a sale and get that price. It takes some research and you might inconvience the one behind you, but I think its worth it. My husband will now be the next one to try it. Ex...if Tom Thumb has a special on grapes and its a better price than Walmart, show the ad at checkout and get Tom Thumb's price. And when you do get a good a lot and prep and freeze some of it. Like slice up bell peppers and then you can thaw and toss in sauce/meal on a different date. I love a foodsaver. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I find that if I make a list of meals for the week and create my grocery list around it and only get what is on the list I save tons. I find it very hard to stick to the list if I shop where I always shop...because I know where to look for deals there...and then I end up buying things just cause it was a good deal not because it was on the list. Lately, I have been shopping at a new store (for everything but meat & frozen stuff)...Market Street or Walmart. When I do need meat I look through the adds and go buy it in bulk. I hardly ever buy frozen novelties...if I do I do it at Sams.

Anyways just going to a new store (even when it is Market Street $$) and sticking to the list saves me $50/week consistently.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

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.

I recently purchased $24 on the following:
2-Orowheat loaves
2-dinner rolls
2-raisin bread
5-chips variety ( barbeque, sour cream, fritos, and tortilla chips
1-sub sandwich bread
1-chicken seasoning
1-hamburger buns (12 buns)
2-flour tortilla

Plus, they gave us 5 pkgs. of different kid desserts.
And they give you 1 free item for every $6 you purchase.


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).

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Like you, I buy alot of fresh fruit and vegetables. My lifesaver has been Sprouts! One just opened up by me--Lebanon & Preston--and their produce is the best I've tasted from any grocery store (including Central market) and it's as cheap as Walmart or cheaper. Next, I use grocery game but just for cleaning products, laundy detergent, toothpaste, diapers, etc. You'd be surprised how much you can save by using Grocery game...also check out CVS. They do bonus dollars and many times i'll have coupons and they'll have specials where you get money back. I haven't paid more than .25 for toothpaste since I started grocery game. good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Check out She has several $40 / week meal examples. They are a household of 4 with a SAHM. She is in the middle of morning sickness and has upped her grocery budget to $70/ week.


answers from Dallas on

Hi K.,
I shop at my local Tom Thumb and look for sales on things that I know I'll use and stock up on it. I love my food saver too. It's been worth every dime for buying in bulk and storing/freezing. As for produce and fruits, you can NOT beat Sprouts. I shop every other Wednesday. On Wednesday you get both the old ad and the new ads prices that come out on Wednesday. Their prices are GREAT! You cannot beat them anywhere!
You could also make out a weekly menu list (breakfast,lunch and dinner) with everything you will need for the week and shop just for those items.
As for the Grocery game, I tried it twice and I just ended up buying alot of things I never use. I know some that love it but it wasn't for me. Plus I'm not big on coupon cutting. ")
Also make sure that you are using the bare minimum on things you use around the house (laundry detergent, dish washing soap, stuff like that). Most of the time we use about half as much as we need. Use cold water for your wash instead of warm/hot and make sure your loads are full ones. Close the windows on the sunny sides and open the other side for light and then switch as the day progresses. Also adjust the A/C and keep those ceiling fans working for you! Sorry I got carried away! Hey we're all getting frugal now days!
Wish you the best,

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