In 2012 I predicted that food prices would explode due to widespread drought conditions across much of the midwest growing regions. Unless you don’t do the grocery shopping for your household, you’ve might have noticed that you’re paying more at the register to purchase the same food. A simple glance at beef prices should send your eyebrows upwards.
What’s a girl to do when food prices are rising, you have to feed your family and you’re trying to live on a tiny budget? You get sneaky-sneaky in your efforts to save money and I’m sharing those tips with you.
Remember that somewhat rotund character that would burst through a wall when kids were thirsty with a juice drink in hand? I’ve turned into that character when it comes to quenching my family’s thirst for sugary juice drinks. No one wants to admit that their families drink the stuff in the refrigerated section of the supermarket shoved up close to the orange juice, but I’m throwing shame to the wind. My family would put IV drips of the stuff into their arms if they could, but I’ve been secretly cutting their sugar addiction and putting money back into my pockets. How, you ask? I lie to them.
I invested into a lovely pitcher where I now pour half of the box of juice drink into the pitcher and fill the balance with water. Finish with a squirt of lemon juice and I’ve just cut my juice cost and their sugar consumption nearly in half. Now when we go out, if they order a juice drink they notice how overly sweet everything is. I’m not telling.
I Lie A Little More
Okay, we’ve established that I’m not above guilt by omission. I’m also not above out-and-out deception either. La Familia notoriously loves brand name goods, including food. No matter how much I tell them that they’re often the very same things, they refuse to try some foods if they are not the national brands. How do I get around that? I simply buy the store or generic brand and drop them into an old container for the national brand and get rid of the store brand box. Booyah!
The box of Cap’n Crunch Crunch Berries sitting on the top of the fridge hasn’t been the national brand in months. Come to think of the spaghetti, sugar, and peanut butter are all swaps too. Sometimes I have to pat myself on the back for this one.
I Take Advantage of Awesome Online Deals
There are two grocery stores within a 10 block radius of my home. Yet, I’ve ordered groceries online through Peapod. It wasn’t because they had better quality goods; it was because they offered a deal on groceries ordered through their delivery service. Peapod had and still has coupon codes of $15 off your first order. I combined that with a day when the delivery fee was $2.00 and netted an instant $13 off my order. Do you know how many coupons you would have to clip to get an instant $13 off your groceries? Way too many for me. Since they also accept coupons when they deliver your groceries, I actually had the coupons available to get even more discounts. Normally I clip coupons then spend time in aisle 3 berating myself for forgetting the coupons at home.
You can find deals online for lots of major grocery stores online. If you can, consider using Save1 for coupon codes when shopping online. Every time you use a coupon code that they provide, the company donates money to pay for one meal for someone else. I get to eat cheaper and someone else gets to eat, period.
I Make Gardening Fun
Spring is in the air! It won’t be long until the last frost period is over and the days are longer and warmer. This is the perfect opportunity to grow something outdoors. I’m a cheap gardener which means that I get 99 cent seed packets from my local discount stores instead of buying starter plants later in the year for more money. If you have a tiny plot of land or even a little window sill in an urban jungle, you can grow something. This way you know exactly what was sprayed onto your plants.
I took it a little further than that by buying a greenhouse and putting together an aquaponics systems so that I could grow vegetables and fish all year round. This makes it interesting for my family which makes it more likely that they will eat the produce coming out of the back yard.
I Take The SNAP Challenge
The SNAP program, formerly known as food stamps, aims to feed people in need as cheaply as possible. We have covered how difficult it can be to eat on the average benefit of $132.98 per person per month, but some months I aim to do just that. Yes, it’s hard, but as Forest has shown us, it is entirely possible to eat on a food stamp budget without resorting to ramen noodles. It all involves COOKING YOUR MEALS and shopping your own pantry. I’ve been doing that for the past month and am bumping into things that I had totally forgotten was there. What’s hiding in the back of your pantry right now?
Do you have some sneaky tips for how you’re saving grocery money? Please share!