Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Saving Money on Groceries in 2011

One of my goals (okay, resolutions) for 2011 is to try to find ways to do so in ways that fit our family, not always ways that work for others or that I read about.

For instance, last summer, I really experimented with using grocery fliers and coupons everywhere I could find them to save as much as I could.

What I found was that I ended up with a ton of granola bars, cereal that hurt our tummies (too much fiber), cans of spaghetti sauce I still haven't touched, and overall, I realized that while I was certainly saving money off the regular cost of the coupon/sale items, these items were a lot of processed foods, not so healthy for us, and I didn't like that.

Sure, it took us through December to go through all the toilet paper, deodorant, and bath soap. That was good, and we used them. One plus.

I found also, that I would still use most of my budget to try to get all the savings I could, and sometimes feel that still, I didn't really have components to make meals I normally make, or would have wanted to make.

So, I started only collecting coupons for items we use all the time and didn't obsess about not having coupons for meals I wanted to make. I felt like I tried the obsessive system, and while there is a place for it, in my busy schedule, I want to know I have ingredients for meals and I'm feeding my family in a healthy way.

I've recently started doing Bountiful Baskets, and have loved, for the most part, what I get from that each week. It has its pluses and minuses too though and I'm wondering if I should continue.

Pluses? It seems like you save a lot on produce for the week. There are also some unique items which get you to be creative and try new things (like my persimmon cookies).

Minuses? I usually do my grocery shopping on Friday late afternoons. Bountiful baskets are picked up on Saturday mornings, and I never know what I'm going to get. This causes me to either wait to grocery shop, cutting into my weekend, or I end up going back to the grocery store again, to have things that are needed for the items I get.

I guess there are pluses and minuses for everything, but I'm curious, what are some methods that work for you for saving money on groceries? My ears/eyes are open to hear all kinds of suggestions I might not have tried yet.


  1. Bountiful Baskets has saved us a lot of money because we buy a LOT of produce. Also, Costco. We eat mostly chicken and buy the frozen chicken breasts. I think that is our #1 money saving move.

    Maybe you could shop for everything but produce on Friday afternoon, and produce on Sun?

  2. I think that a lot of saving money is mental. You have to set guidelines for yourself. Here is a plan I've used:

  3. I'm blog hopping and found your blog. Am now following. Would love for you to check out my blog and follow back! Happy New Year!

  4. I agree, you have to be careful not to buy things you won't use just because they're a good deal!

    Our food co-op store has a section where you scoop ingredients from the bin into a container you bring, and you pay by weight minus the weight of your container (which you remembered to weigh before filling--developing that habit took a little work!). I love it because I get to choose what kind of container best suits that food and choose the exact amount to buy. We keep a lot of foods in glass jars from nut butter, which keep them fresher than the bag or box the food would come in if you buy it packaged. Usually bulk foods are less expensive than packaged because you're not paying for the packaging. Some things, like spices, raisins, and oatmeal, are a huge bargain.

    I also go every couple of months to a "scratch & dent" store that sells groceries that have been discontinued or have harmless packaging flaws. Here's my review of Market Outlet in Pittsburgh; there are similar stores in most cities.

  5. I'm just starting to figure this all out, so I appreciate the hints! I agree that Bountiful Baskets is a huge savings, but see your point about having to hit the store twice. I'm a weekend shopper so the Saturday morning pick up works for me.
    I have no hints. ha!