Grocery store saving strategies

I can’t even believe how much my weekly grocery bill has risen in recent months. I scoffed at the rice run hysteria, but I think I may be jumping on the band wagon. I have noticed the price of dairy products, cheese in particular, elevating to new heights. Between the cost of gas and food, I am ready to call it a day and move my family to some self sustaining farm somewhere where we home school and grow our own food. Seeing as that scenario is not really appealing to my husband, in an effort to control how much we spend on food, I am using some strategies at the grocery store:

-Plan my family’s meals, make a list and stick to it. I avoid buying prepared frozen or refrigerated meals, which can also be costly.

 -Keep meals simple. Our weeknight dinners mainly consist of chicken, fish or turkey (I buy the club packs at the grocery store and separate and freeze into individual serving sizes when I get home), a vegetable (roasted asparagus, steamed broccoli or corn are regulars) and rice or pasta. Boring, yes, but inexpensive and nutritious.

-Go to the “shopper’s club” store (i.e., Sam’s Club or Costco) for specific items – a huge package of shredded cheese costs the same as a package one fourth the size. Plus, did you know you can freeze cheese? I also stick to buying things my family eats all the time – like multi packs of pasta, tuna and their favorite cereal. Even if the cost savings isn’t incredibly significant, it saves me a trip to the regular grocery store (where I can be tempted to buy things I don’t need) and I save a little bit of money.

-When something is on sale, I buy extra. Also, I take advantage of local produce that is always less expensive than the items shipped in from Chile.

-And of course never go to the store hungry. That’s when my cart is full of peanut M&Ms, ice cream and expensive cheese. 

Do you have any strategies for keeping the cost down at the grocery store?

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Rachael Ray