This is day 7 of How to Live on One Income Guide. To read all the post in order start on Day 1 here.
The biggest saving in a family’s income can come from groceries. Work hard on not to throw food away from the fridge to reduce waste. Let’s face it throwing food away is like throwing money away. When down to one income every penny counts and food can be an easy savings on monthly expenses. Learning a few simple tricks can cut your grocery bill in half.
Coupons are like free printed money. Simply cut them out and take them to the store to save money on the grocery bill. Feel free to read my couponing 101 guide to learn the system and how coupons can save you tons each week. This really works. We were able to bring our $400 a month grocery bill down to $200. I was only spending $50 a week on groceries for a family of five and that included diapers. However, cutting coupons became too time consuming. I could no longer keep up with the cutting and filing each week. Digital coupons are a life saver. Simply download the store app to your phone and just click to load coupons to the store shopping card. They amount is taken off at the register when checking out. The best part is you don’t have to worry not bringing your paper coupons.
One of my biggest secrets is to only buy items on sale. Buying an item on sale is automatic savings. If there is a coupon to go along with the sale item, then the savings is even more. If the sale item more that 50% savings, then buy more. It is better to buy at the lower price and stock up. Then just shop from your pantry next time you want the item, instead of going to the store and paying full price. Buy produce in season when it is on sale and freeze fresh fruit or vegetables or can for later.
3. Meal Planning
For some people meal planning is a great way to save money at the store. Make a list of meals to prepare for the entire week. Then make out a shopping list of items to purchase for those meals. Stick just to the shopping list and make those meals throughout the week. More on meal planning coming up this week.
4. Make it Homemade
If you can’t afford to buy it, learn how to make it yourself. Buying just the bare ingredients and learning how to make your favorite snacks and meals at home will save you tons. Get the kids involved to help make breakfasts and dinners to teach them a necessary life skill. Learn how to make homemade recipes and have fun in the kitchen.
5. Gardening and Canning
Start a garden in your back yard, or a small herb garden in your window. If there are extras from the garden can or freeze the extra to eat all winter long. Herbs can be quite expensive. However most of the time the entire plant is less expensive than bottle of herbs. The plant will continue to grow and produce leaves for harvesting. It will produce more than you can even eat. You may be able to use the excess as gifts or barter for other things you may need.
[Go to day 8 of How to Live on One Income]