Sunday, July 14, 2013

How to Save $4360.88 a Year on Groceries

saving on groceries
Saving Money on Groceries
When my family began to suffer from random pollution related allergies and stomach problems we began making some lifestyle changes that resulted in dropping several items from our grocery list and miscellaneous spending. As it turns out, we not only began to make greener lifestyle choices but we realized we were saving money too. We didn’t completely cut out all of these items, some of them we found alternatives to and others we cut back on. The savings is astonishing either way! As I sat down to write this post I realized just how much money we have started saving and I hope you can benefit from making some changes too.

Disposable Razor Blades

Use a rechargeable electric razor. I have to admit I didn’t use an electric razor until my second child was born because back in the day they didn’t shave that close, but I was pleasantly surprised by the efficiency of the new model electric rechargeable which I purchased at Target for under $30. My hubby uses an electric shaver too on his beard and to touch up in between haircuts. You can save an average of $162.88 per year by cutting razors and razor blade refills off your grocery list.

Water bottles and Soda Cans

Buy a refillable water bottle of any kind for $5 to $10 and stop buying bottled water at the store for $5 per 24 packs and save $240 per year. Cut soda out of your diet all together and opt for water or herbal tea, save yet another $240 assuming your buying 12 packs on sale. If you can’t kick the soda habit, switch from cans to two liter bottles.

OTC Medications

Over the course of adding local honey to our diet we found we were quickly able to eliminate OTC medications like Claritin and Pepcid. We still need an occasional dose of Benadryl for a random reaction, maybe a week of Flonase during high peak times but overall we have been able to save a large amount of money over what we used to have to spend on OTCs. We have saved approximately $960 per year over antacids and OTC allergy medicines.

Laundry Soaps

Many people save by making their own laundry soap or switching from using a dry cleaner to using dry cleaner sheets. We are still working on this one because most homemade laundry soaps are either powder or complicated to use. However, if you are willing to try one of these very popular options, you could save upwards of $168 per year. I do have a new recipe I am getting ready to try and if it is great, I will be posting about it, so check back for updates.

Cleaning Products and Air Fresheners

We do make some of our own air fresheners, cleaning products and candles saving at least $160 per year. This isn’t complicated to do, by simply mixing baking soda, vinegar and Dr. Bonner’s soaps you can make fragrant lavender scented cleaning solution. We also purchase beeswax from the honey farmer for $3 per pound and use an old crockpot to make inexpensive jar candles.

Cosmetics

I suffered from severe acne and rosacea for years until I found Dr. Bonner’s Peppermint Soap. Believe me, I know how much you can spend on expensive skincare and until I found this soap I needed those expensive skincare lines just to curb the painful breakouts. I don’t have perfect skin now, but I can go without makeup without embarrassment and I have saved over $360 a year on skincare. Dr. Bonners, Alba and Burt’s Bees offer organic, money saving alternatives.

Meat

Cut back on your meat; buy your meat in bulk and package it in a Food saver just under a pound. So if you normally use 2 pounds of hamburger and two pounds of chicken each week then you will save about a pound a week roughly $60 and then go meatless with one meal a week that is another $60 producing a total yearly savings of $120 per year.

Disposables

Stop buying disposable products like cups and plates. We were spending $5 every two weeks on disposable cups, which comes to $120 per year. Paper plates are another $5 per stack every two weeks for another $120. That is a total of $240 a year on paper! I was shocked how much paper products added up to. Save paper products for special occasions. Keep your old towels for cleaning instead of using paper towels and use washable napkins.

Frozen Foods

Learn to make your own frozen convenience foods and avoid the frozen food isle all together. Waffles and pancakes can be made ahead and frozen in gallon size freezer bags for quick reheating. You can do the same thing with chicken nuggets and they are healthier too. We figured out that for every item we bought in bulk in the frozen food isle we could add on average $7.50 to our grocery bill that week. So if you can make your own frozen foods and eliminate two items per week that will save you $15 per week totaling $390 a year.

Carry Out Pizza

Save $1560 a year on carryout pizza by keeping a ready crust in the refrigerator. If you don’t cook that much, then you can pick up a Pillsbury crust on sale for under $3. I prefer to make my own in the bread maker and then I wrap it in plastic. It is ready for whatever night we crave a pizza. We keep shredded cheese and pepperoni on hand, but pizza is versatile so don’t be afraid to use whatever ingredients you have in your pantry. However you choose to do it, kicking the weekly pizza habit and saving it for a special occasion can save you over a thousand dollars a year.

Finally, if it isn’t on sale don’t buy it. Sales are cyclical that means that if it isn’t on sale this month chances are it will be on sale next month or even next week. You can save upwards of 25% just by waiting until next week and making sure your grocery card is up to date.

How I became Considering frugal

Fueled by the growing list of pollution related allergies my family suffered from each day and inspired by my 97 year old grandmother who could recycle ANYTHING before recycling was cool, back in 2011, I decided (in the spirit of the Julie/Julia Project...) to embark on a journey to see just how much one family could do to change our planet. I did not consult any other parties before I launched this idea. Thankfully my husband, daughter and son are usually my biggest supporters. Here is the catch; as I am normally very thrifty (you can note from early blog posts), I was looking for ways that I could reduce our carbon footprint and make socially responsible purchases without increasing our spending. Mmmmmm. I did succeed in changing our habits a bit and finding ways to reduce our footprint. There were lots of fun epic fails alone the way too! But the biggest change we have made over the course of the last six years, was to move from the mega city of Phoenix to Wyoming where we are about to take an even bigger step and move out on a dirt road in the country where we can expand our hobby bees and more! You can read my full bio on my About Me page.

Legal Disclaimer

While it is true that I am working on a PHD in Psychology and very smart and frugal, I am not a medical doctor, criminal, personal or accident lawyer. I do not sell insurance nor am I an accountant or mortgage advisor. While some of my posts may offer good ideas on home, health and business solutions, I am not personally responsible nor is Considering frugal for any advice, ideas, recipes or menu plans that you decide to use. This blog is intended to be helpful and fun. Any products you purchase from my Amazon store or any other retailer advertised on my blog must be returned to them. I may sometimes endorse a product that I love. This is simply my opinion, you must try all products at your own risk. While I personally do not use tracking cookies or share information, my affiliates are third parties and they may do so. Please click, travel and purchase at your own risk.

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"...for your Father knows what you need before you ask." Matthew 6:8