Saving Money at the Grocery Store

With the cost of food rising each week, it’s time for a post on Saving Money at the Grocery Store. Here are the ways that I have been saving money each week, I hope something is useful for you! This may be basic ways to save money, but everyone has to start somewhere. Spending less each week will allow you to free up funds for other things.

We have been cutting out processed foods a little at a time for the last 10 years. It’s been a long process of learning how to make things from scratch so that I know what ingredients go into them. Going up and down each isle at the grocery store is a bad idea. Stick to what’s on sale and then see what you need to buy to complete the meal. Only buy those things.

Shop from home depending on what the sales are that week and what you need to complete meals with ingredients you already have. Always have a list.

If you really want to be sure you stick to your list and don’t have the impulse buys in your cart, do a pickup. It’s usually free over a certain amount, my store is $35. Some weeks I struggle to come up with $35 of the on-sale items to get the free pickup. It’s a wonderful problem to have when you need less than $35 of groceries in any given week but it is possible. Let’s get into it.

Use the Sale Ads to Your Advantage

You know those bags of sale flyers that come around once a week and litter up the driveways of your neighbors if they don’t pick them up? Those are the key to saving money at the grocery store. I look forward to those coming each week and sometimes they even have a pack of manufacturer’s coupons tucked in with them.

If you don’t get one of these delivered to your house, you can view the digital version of the weekly ad online or by using an app on your phone.

Scan over the sale ad for the store you like to shop at and see what the big sales are for the upcoming week. Plan on purchasing only the meat, produce and dairy that is selling at it’s cheapest.

Buy Only What is on Sale to Save Money

I only buy butter when they have a super sale. The regular price on the store brand butter is over $5 right now so when they put it on sale for $2.99, that’s a $2 savings on each pound of butter. Now buy the maximum amount you can while it is on sale, they limit us to 5 with a digital coupon. 5 x $2 is a total of $10 savings over the next few weeks while you enjoy your supply of butter in the freezer and wait for another sale. Then buy it again, only when it goes on another super sale.

Here is another example of using the sale ads to save money at the grocery store, this week, my store has pork loin on sale for $1.79 pound. If your family eats pork, this is a great cost effective way to feed your family. You can’t get a pound of lunch-meat for under $6.99 a pound right now.

Don’t let a big piece of meat scare you! If you shop inside the store during normal day hours, you can ask the butcher to slice a large loin into chops for you. Be sure to tell them how thick you want each one. I sometimes have them cut one at 1″ inch thick and one at 1/2 inch thick, or I just bring them home and cut them up myself. I may leave a 6 inch section intact to cook up as a roast in the crock-pot one day.

Make Pork Cutlets for Quick Meals

Sometimes, I will take the entire package of 1/2 inch think pork loin chops and cook them up. I just pound them out with my food chopper on both sides, using a piece of plastic wrap between the chopper and the pork loin. I will take them into a flour coating that is seasoned good with Spanish paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper before frying them up in Avocado oil.

Once browned on both sides and the temp is 160, I transfer them to a cooling rack where they can drain and cool. Once cooled, I will place them on a cookie sheet and transfer to the freezer to flash freeze before bagging them up in the serving sizes I need.

These reheat in the air fryer just like they were fresh cooked straight from the freezer. Forget to lay something out for dinner one night? No worries, we have prepared for this day!

It starts to Add Up

Now there is no way you are going to consume all of this meat this week, but you will have it in the freezer for many weeks to come. There will come a time when you have an abundance of food in your freezer or in your pantry that you purchased cheaper than it will ever be again in the future.

Using the sale ads method is the best way save money at the grocery store but it does take being vigilant in looking it over each week and sticking to eating what you already have or what is on sale that week.

Look For Reduced Produce

You might be thinking, eeewwww, no way, but here me out before deciding. My store has a special section where they put all the reduced produce.

Now just because it is in the reduced bin, doesn’t mean that something is wrong with it. Sometimes, a bag of apples will break open while they are stocking it. Instead of taping up the bag or putting it in a different bag, they will put 3-5 apples in a red mesh bag and charge 99 cents for the entire thing. You can often find bananas that maybe were a bunch of singles wrapped together for a 20-30 cent discount. I recently found these beautiful red, orange and green peppers. The price to buy these off the regular produce shelf was 2/$3 so $1.50 each. I was able to get 9 big, perfect peppers for the cost of 2. Here is a picture of them, and they have been in my fridge drawer for 6 days at this point and I’ve already ate one of them!

If you see any wrinkle or blemish on these peppers, I assure you it is from being in my trunk all day during a cold snap. I couldn’t resist a Sam’s Club run and thrifting with my daughter. I’m just glad she needed bread and we got to stop at the store first so we wouldn’t forget or run out of time.

I was happily surprised to see a brand new store had gone up in my old town. I think they had just opened and had too many peppers in a box to fit on the display so they bagged them up for reduced. 3 in a bag! WOW!! My local store will only bag 2 peppers together for the same 99 cents!

What do I do with all these peppers you ask?

Well, first I will start planning meals that use peppers. This involves pulling out sirloin steaks from the freezer to make stir-fry’s or steak fajitas. Whenever I get around to making this meal, I will plan extra time to chop up some of the peppers for the freezer. They keep well in an old cottage cheese container or in a ziploc baggie.

I utilize many different ways to save money at the grocery store but if I had to pick a favorite way to save, it would be by only shopping the weekly ads for the best deals and purchasing those items. For instance, I didn’t get to can my own salsa this year so I buy Picante Sauce from the store. With a digital coupon, I can get up to 5 jars of those for $1.49 each saving me $5 over the next few weeks. We are going to eat it. I am going to buy it. It’s never going to be any cheaper than this. The limit is 5 so I have to regularly scan the weekly ads for this deal when I start running low.

Reduced Meats

I’m not even going to mention looking at the reduced meat section. I will say that sometimes the stock person will mark a package or two down if it won’t fit in the normal display when they fill it. It doesn’t hurt to look.

Preserving Fresh Produce When in Season and on Sale

Choosing to buy when in season is a great way to save a few dollars when shopping for your produce. You can choose to can it in jars or utilize your freezer for saving produce when it is on sale.

Canning as a Way to Save Money at the Grocery Store

Watching those sale ads apples to fresh produce as well. Often you will find pineapples on sale for $1.50 each. This is the time that I will buy a few and can the pineapples in jars for my pantry shelf.

Canning pineapples in mason jars is easy and requires no special pressure canner to make them safely. You just need a pot big enough to submerse your jars in water and them be covered with one inch of water. Feel free to join my Canning and Cooking With It group on Facebook where we talk canning all day. There is always someone on standby waiting to help out fellow canners whether they are waterbathing (like with the pineapples) or pressure canning, like with this bean and ham soup I recently canned up. You can learn about the difference here.

Preserving Fresh Produce in the Freezer

If you eat smoothies and use frozen pineapples to sweeten them with, you can buy several fresh pineapples and cut them up yourself. It just takes a little time and a sweet lady I once knew always said, “All it takes is doing.”

To freeze pineapples, or anything really that you want to end up with individual chunks and not a clump you have to thaw completely to use, you will need a cookie sheet and a baking liner or wax paper. I simply lay the chunks out on a lined cookie sheet in a single layer and stick them in then freezer.

If you have more than one liner, you can layer them on the same cookie sheet or use wax paper in between your layers. It takes a few hours to overnight in the freezer for these to be froze enough to add them to a freezer storage container or a gallon sized zipper bag. I like this type of freezer container for chunks of food or liquids.

Please wear gloves if you do decide to cut up your own pineapples. If you don’t you will find each and every abrasion you never knew you had on your hands.

These are Just Some Ways that I am Saving Money at the Grocery Store

What’s your best tip for saving money when grocery shopping?

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