Thursday, August 9, 2012

Money Saving Tips

With a baby on the way, I've been in money saving mode! I've always been a bargain hunter. I hate paying full price for things and I can't justify spending a lot of money on groceries. Here are a few tips to save money in the kitchen! Also, in the next week, I'll be sharing some of my freezer meals and a lot of these tips were used in the making of those.

1. Canned beans vs. Dried beans. Do not let canned beans fool you. Sure, they look cheap because they are normally less than $1 a can. However, if you buy a bag of dried beans, it contains enough beans to fill about 8 cans and normally costs about $1.50. Now, I know how long it takes to cook dried beans. So to get to get the good deal and to have the convenience, buy a bag of dried beans and cook them all at once. Take the beans and divide them into portions that are right for you and put into small freezer bags. Then freeze them! They keep the same texture, no thawing needed, and its budget friendly! This can also be used with rice.

2. Pre-Shredded cheese vs. a Block of cheese. This is the same idea as the beans. It is much cheaper to buy your cheese in the block and shred it yourself! Also, doing this will save you some of the preservatives and "anti-clumping agents" the companies put into the pre-shredded cheese. If you want the convenience of pre-shredded cheese, shred the block of cheese all at once and store in a large zip top bag.

3. Check out discount grocery stores. There are some great discount grocery stores popping up in our area. We recently got an Aldi. It is amazing! I can't do all of my shopping there, but I have found amazing deals on things like tortillas, milk, sandwich meat, cereal, etc. We are paying about $100 less on groceries per month now-- and I was only shopping at Walmart/Sam's Club before!

4. Homemade Cleaning Supplies. It's no secret that laundry detergent, dishwasher soap, and other cleaning supplies are very expensive. They are also full of chemicals (and water!). One thing that I've started doing is making my own! It takes a little money to get started (about $30-40), but is so worth it. This blog has great recipes for all sorts of homemade supplies! They've all been great too. When you're looking at her recipes, make sure that there isn't an update to it! She updates the recipes from time to time to make them better.

5. Buy in bulk.  Don't go crazy and buy everything in bulk, but things that you use a lot of are smart to buy in bulk. We have a membership to a bulk store and love it. However, sometimes things are more expensive there. You just have to watch the prices. We buy all of our meats (HUGE savings-- if this was all we bought there, our membership would still be worth it), some cleaning supplies, fruit, almonds, peanut butter, and protein powder. I calculated that we save about $50 on those items alone. And those things are things we use all the time.

These are a few of my money saving tips. I hope that you find these useful. Do you have any money-saving strategies that you live by?

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