Our Newsletter: August, 2015
Easy Ways to Save $100 a Month or more on Groceries
By Richard Patrick of LazrWeb Services | August 1st, 2015
Forget Prepared Items
Forget choosing the already prepared fruit and vegetable items and select the fresh seasonable fruit and vegetables - that alone will help reduce your food costs.
It is expensive today to buy groceries. This is compounded by the fact that you may also have several other family members to shop for. It is even more to shop for healthy foods. The US Department of Agriculture recently reported that an average family of four spends up to $563 to almost $1,300 a month on groceries. While that is a lot, there are ways to cut those cost significantly.
Everyone knows that coupons are a great way to save money on groceries, but the down side is you have to purchase the items the coupons are for only. There are other ways to save considerable money on groceries that now only will allow you to eat good, but without having to cut back much on quality and taste. The following list shows ways to help you cut as much as $100 of your monthly grocery bill without much sweat.
Life is hectic. The ease of buying prepared items is alluring to say the least, save time, cooking, etc... Both food manufactures and the grocery stores know this and play on that premise. Ready-made items may save you some time, but they cost a lot more. Prepare the food yourself, save big-time.
We're referring to items like prepackaged dinners/side dishes, or pre-cut produce. Saving the time to prepare this food is convenience, but it comes at a premium, especially with the pre-cut produce. It's common to find a simple fruit plate at many grocery stores for as much as $15 to $20 or more when the given produce only costs several dollars at the most. Instead of opting for that container of pre-cut watermelon or pineapple, do the smart thing and purchase the whole fruit or vegetable for a fraction of the cost, and prepare it yourself. It is not that hard, and you probably do not need directions on how to do that.
Recognize What to Buy in Bulk
Shopping at warehouse stores like Sam's Club or Costco can be a great way to save money, if you know what items are a good deal to buy in bulk. Not every item they offer is worth buying in bulk. This is especially sad, and costly if you waste food that expires before you have had a chance to eat it.
Certain non-perishable items, like pasta or other foods that don't have a short time to expiration date make sense to buy in bulk as they typically have a longer shelf life. Other perishable meat items, like beef, chicken, veal and pork can also be more affordable when purchased in bulk. You'll need a deep freezer or a chest freezer that can freeze food down to "0" degrees making this a very effective method to prolong the life of your bulk purchases.
Take a Hard Look at What You Already Have
Consider the amount of food you currently throw away each week because it has expired and is no longer good. Everyone does it, and it's a shame and a waste of good money. The National Resources Defense Council states that we throw away 25 percent of the food we buy each year, that works out to about $200 a month or about $2,300 a year.
Knowing that, try shopping your family and freezer at least once a month. Go through your pantry and refrigerator and find the food items that are about to expire and add them into your current meals. This move not only saves you money but also keeps you from throwing good food out and replacing these food items and wasting money.
Leave Out the Beef
Ground beef has seen a dramatic price increase in the last few years. The average cost per pound of ground beef in March 2015 was $4.13. This cost can really add up fast if your consuming ground beef a few times a week. By changing up your menu a few times a week, going for an alternative instead of ground beef, you can save some real money. Just skipping ground beef twice a month can save as much as $25.00 to $40.00 bucks a month!
You don't have to come up short on flavor to save money, substituting healthy ground chicken or ground turkey, which tastes great, is $1. to $2 less than ground beef per pound. A nice cost effective alternative, saving you money and helps you avoid waste.
Know What is "In Season"
Fruits and vegetables are necessary to a healthy daily diet, but they add a considerable amount to your grocery bill. This is particularly true when you buy these food items out of season. Produce items that are out of season are for more expensive than food items in season.
- Asparagus – mid April until first few weeks of June
- Spinach – end of April to end of June
- Strawberries – mid May till end of June
- Peas – mid May till end of June
- Rhubarb – mid May till end of June
- Snap Peas – June until mid July
- Raspberries – mid June to mid July
- Blueberries – mid June to mid August
- Sweet Corn – end of June to first week September
- Peaches – end of June to mid September
- Apricots – month of July only
- Plums – July to mid August
- Tomatoes – June through mid September
- Blackberries – July to mid August
- Summer Apples – mid August to mid September
NOTE:Your local results may be slightly different and these dates are also subject to weather conditions.
If the items you like and purchase are going out of season, buy some extra and deep freeze them, if they freeze well, you can enjoy them later and you have saved a lot of money buying them "in season". Another smart alternative: start learning to grow your own fruits and vegetables to save a bushel of money.
These tips can and will save you money, with a little planning and forethought, you will be successful.
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