How We Save Money On Groceries

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40% of groceries are thrown away every year. That’s $165 billion dollars just tossed in the garbage. The average family of four is spending between $625 and $1252 a month on their grocery bills. I’m ashamed to admit we were one of those families. A couple years ago I saw a flash sale on Amazon.com for a Food Saver Vacuum. We’d been wanting one for a while and I was able to get it for $70 originally $169. We order the bags off Amazon.com as well. We have been able to get our grocery bill under $400 a month and that’s eating steaks, roasts and big meals.

Every Sunday after church, I make a meal plan. I schedule Sunday through Friday. Saturdays are leftovers or going out. Then during nap time, I go to the grocery store and get everything we need for the week. I rarely buy meat from our grocery store. I’m not going to pay $5.99 a pound for a small sirloin steak. How ridiculous. I’m usually spending $60-$70 a week there on things. All of our meat comes from an old neighborhood butcher. Most cities have several. The meat is cheaper, fresher and the best quality you’ll find.

We buy things in bulk too in order to keep cost down and guarantee freshness. Our butcher has a deal where you can buy a bag of New York Strip steaks for $35. They cut the strip down and wrap each steak for you. The freezer paper works great so we don’t have to use a vacuum seal bag. We’ll end up with about two dozen steaks. There is a Cash & Carry here aka a wholesale grocer. There we’ll buy potatoes, onions and deli meats. We have a meat slicer, which you can find them at JC Penney for around $35 when they’re on sale. We’ll slice the meat up and package it into pound bags, then vacuum seal it. We spend up to $300 every few months on wholesale items. In total we’ll get bacon, deli turkey, deli ham, deli roast beef, NY Strips, beef, chicken, pork and a few random goodies.

Because Jake hunts, we also have a meat grinder. It was ridiculous how much it cost for him to take his deer to the butcher for sausages and pepperoni sticks; only to wait months to get it back. Now we can make our own and they taste so much better.

To help keep costs down, I will take money from our grocery envelope and add it to a bulk buys envelope. When we need to restock on the bulk items we buy, it’s not a shell shock to the credit card.

Something that I can’t emphasize enough when packaging food is to write details. Make sure you include the date it’s packaged and be descriptive of the food item. We were writing on the package but I’m not a fan of that. It wears off as it thaws and will make a mess.

Recently I received some Freezer Labels from http://www.freezerlabels.net to help with this problem. I love them. They’re thick, adorable and easy to write on. If you go to their site they have a section of free templates you can download.

When these run out, we will definitely be buying more of them. I plan on using them for canning as well.
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