September 10, 2009, 5:00 am

4 Tricks to Save Money on Groceries: How to Cut Your Grocery Bills by 20% while being lazy

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Frugal
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food-in-bulkTired of gathering sales flyers to save money with coupons? Tired of going to 4 grocery stores weekly in hopes of reducing your grocery expenses? I have made a major effort to save money on food but I am still a bit lazy. I found a few tricks to cut my grocery bill without making much effort. Being frugal by being lazy; this is what I call working on the 20%! So here are 4 tricks to save money on your total grocery bill:

#1 Buy in bulk and cut your grocery bill

All right, don’t skip my first trick because it is too obvious that buying the 48 pounds of peanut butter at Costco will help you save money on your groceries over the long run, I have something different to offer!

One of my friends was telling me that he was able to save so much money on groceries that I wouldn’t even believe it: he spends about $100 a week to feed 2 adults and 2 children aged 5 and 3. How did he cut his expenses? He buys what is on sale at the grocery store… and multiplies the items by 10; adding them to his basket. You can’t save money on fruit or vegetables with this trick, but you can still save money on a lot of staples such as:

– Cereals

– Cans

– Pasta

– Meat and fish (put it in your freezer)

– Frozen food (meal, vegetables, fruits, etc.)

– Chips & chocolate (not recommended though 😉 )

– Household products

All you need is a big freezer in your basement and a place where you can stash the cans 😉 By buying 10 items at 40% rebate, you not only save money on your grocery bill immediately but chances are that the items will go on sale again before you run out of supplies. Grocers and other retailers run their specials and rebates on a regular cycle. At one point, half your grocery basket will be on sale every week!

#2 Buy bio food and save money on groceries

I have always thought that bio food from local farmers was quite expensive. In fact, I was 100% sure that I wouldn’t save money on my grocery bill while buying bio. Well I was wrong! There are 2 major reasons why you can save money on local fruit and vegetables fresh from the farm:

#1 You cut out the intermediaries (you don’t have to buy them at the grocery store since they now deliver food to your home or at the local distribution center).

#2 Your food lasts longer! How many times have you bought a basket of peaches and they rot within the first 3 days? It happened to me two weeks in a row this summer. I didn’t save much money by buying at the grocery store! One of my colleagues at work buys all her produce from local farmers and the items usually last 15 to 20 days… amazing!

#3 Save money on groceries by not wasting anything

Throwing your spoiled food in the garbage can is like putting a $20 bill in the shredder every Monday morning. If you are already using trick #2 to save money, you will have more time to eat everything hiding in your kitchen. However, you can use some other easy tricks to avoid wasting your food & cash:

– Make sure you rotate your fresh food (put the new fruit & vegetables in the back and bring the old ones to the front ensuring to eat them first).

– Make a list of what meals will be prepared this week (basic but it will help you save a lot of money!).

– Use “catch-all” recipes to use the maximum number of “older” items at the same time. Salads, soups, rice meals are good examples that will include lots of good stuff, like vegetables.

– Notice what you are throwing away. If it is always the same thing, simply cut your grocery bill by buying less of these items!

So why not eat all your food and use this $20 bill to buy lattes for the week instead??

#4 Cut your grocery bill by cutting out the junk food

Junk food is relatively cheap and we are under the impression that we save money when buying it on sale. In fact, junk food contains little or no nutrition, which is not only bad for your health but will also ensure you eat more. If you eat more, you will spend more on food! As a result, buying healthy food will help you save money and could prevent a heart attack at 52 😉

So I hope you save as much money as I do by using these 4 tricks! However, I must confess that I still have a major flaw: I buy my ice cream in bulk as well… and try to make it last 😉

image source: PetitPlat

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Interesting! For me, cooking is effortless meals everyday! Cooking is a good way to stay healthy and to save money. You can cut your grocery bill by cooking and baking instead of buying less frozen meals, patisseries, soft drinks and by going less to the restaurants, …

Don’t forget: “Pay now for delicious, healthy food or pay later for medical bills, illness, and suffering. “

We don’t buy any organic fruits and vegetables, because they rot and dry up in 3 days. Also, they do not taste/look good. Organic food offers no benefits over conventionally produced food in terms of nutrition…

I’ll add that many grocery chains will accept another’s coupons and flyer prices. Thus there is no need to go to four stores — just take your coupons to your favourite store.

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Love, love, love this post!

I recently learned and commented about in my blog about Treasure Box, a company that puts together a box for families that is supposed to be able to feed a whole family for one week on $30. Do you think that this is a good or flawed plan for families trying to save money?

I really appreciate you pointing out the fact that buying locally grown produce actually lasts longer without all the intermediaries.

Just a quick question, when you mentioned cutting back on junk food, I was just curious how you define what that is. We nutrition-conscious people throw that word around a lot, and I would like to know how you would decipher between junk food and what to look for on labels to make better grocery shopping decisions.

Thanks! 🙂

by: The Financial Blogger | September 30th, 2009 (4:52 pm)

I actually try to keep it pretty simple. I cut on:
– chips
– salsa
– any kind of deserts
– ice cream

with this small list I cover a lot of junk without having to read all the labels 😉

How about eating quesadillas and peanut butter sandwiches every night? Not the healthiest but defiantly frugal and lazy 🙂

Two other common ideas:

1) Cook more from scratch. Collect your favorite recipes from relatives and friends and try them out. If you cook more than you need for one meal, reheating the leftovers for later meals is very quick and easy.

2) Choose lower-cost options. If you like two things equally, choose the lower-cost option more often. For example, if you like spaghetti as much as steak, have spaghetti more often. Also look for lower-cost substitutions such as ground turkey for ground beef (I like to use half ground beef and half vegetable protein) and mustard for mayonnaise. Try cheaper brands (after checking the labels to make sure they’re not made of garbage).