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"Getting money is like digging with a needle;
spending it is like water soaking into sand."

Japanese Proverb

Related Link -

Foods That Will Win the War and How to Cook Them - timeless advice from 1918




Tips for Saving Money on Food

When economic times are tough like they are now we can all cut back on luxuries items, but we still have to eat. Follow the tips below to save money on your food budget while still eating high nutrition foods.

1. Plan all of your meals in advance.

Get started by making a chart with four columns at the top for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Then list out along the side of the chart the number of days you want to plan. I try to do one week at a time, but I know some more ambitious families who plan a whole month in advance. If you have some picky eaters in the house, have them help with the planning to make sure you are making at least some of the foods they like.

2. Don't spend a lot of money on premium coffee.

A study by Consumer Reports found that Eight O'Clock coffee, a relatively inexpensive brand, won their taste test based on cost and price.

A Money Saving Tip from the Past -

"Many a dollar is foolishly spent for delicatessen foods. The retail cost of ready prepared foods includes a fraction of the salary of the cook and the fuel, as well as the regular percentage of profit. The food, also, is not so nourishing or flavorsome as if freshly cooked in the home kitchen."

From Foods That Will Win The War And How To Cook Them (1918), by C. Houston Goudiss and Alberta M. Goudiss.

3. Stockpile nonperishable food when it is on sale.

If you have the room, stock up on sale goods for nonperishable purchases on items you normally buy. It is hard to beat the rate of return you can get on some of the sales the grocery stores have to entice you to do your shopping with them.

For example, if you invest $1 in a money market account, at current interests rates at the end of the year you may have made a total of less than 2 cents, possibly less after taxes. If you buy a $1.00 item and get another one free on a two for one sales, then that is like getting 100 cents worth of goods for free, nontaxable. For goods on sale items at great prices, you can make a much greater return on your money by stocking up than you can by deferring the pruchase and investing the money instead.

4. Join a whloesale warehouse club like Costco or Sam's Club,

The prices are almost 40% cheaper than the regular retail supermarkets. Set up a schedule to go warehouse shopping based on your family size and food consumption. I try to stock up on non-perishables foods once a month at a warehouse places. However, for most perishable goods like fruit and vegetables, I find that the package sizes are often just to large for my family to consume before the produce gets old and moldy.

I buy some meats at the warehouse places, but again the package sizes are often so large that I usually have to freeze half the packages. I'll use frozen meats and others foods for my family when I'm short on time, but on a regular basis I think there are more vitamins and minerals in fresh meats and produce so I don't get too much that I have to freeze.

5. Save both time and money by using Sam's Club's Point and Click service.

With Point and Click, you order your groceries online on their web site, and they assemble it for you and send you an email when it is ready to be picked up. At the checkout, they just scan one SKU for your entire order. It is like haveing a personal shopper at warehouse prices. I'm surprised that more people do not take advantage of this free service.

6. Use coupons, especially when items are already on sale.

You can save money using coupons, but be aware of how much time you take to store, sort and decide which coupons to use. Only use coupons for products you know your family regularly consumes and look for products that aren't over-priced, processed convenience foods.

7. Compare costs per ounce on packages.

Usually smaller and individually wrapped packages cost more per ounce. However, on perishable goods, sometimes I find it is cheaper to buy smaller quantities rather than buying large packages where some of the food will go to waste. My kids only eat peanut butter on occassion, so I get the smallest continers of it I can find. otherwise I just end up throwing most of it away.

8. Add some convenience foods to your grocery list.

If you know you have some busy days ahead and won't have time for a lot of made from scratch meals, then buy some prepared meals to keep in your freezer. A stir fry meal made with frozen beef strips, frozen broccoli and and canned pineapple chunks with a side of instant rice is still cheaper and healthier than most fast food meals. Plus you can make a meal like this in the time it takes you to drive to McDonalds and back.

8. Shop when you are not hungry.

This helps to avoid making spur of the moment purchases.

9. If you have nonperishable food in your house that no one is likely to eat up, donate it to a food bank before it is past its expiration date.

It won't save you any money, but you will be doing a good deed by helping out a less fortunate family. Some of the things I buy from Costco or Sam's Club just don't turn out to be winners with my family, so I always donate what is left of any nonperishable items to the food bank bin at a local bank rather than have them go to waste.

man at grocery store with list
  Make your grocery list from your plan and shop with your list. Try to avoid buying anything that is not on your list, unless it is something on sale that you can stock up on.


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