Here are 7 frugal habits that if you start doing, will each over time help you save on your monthly grocery budget. Some of these ideas you may already do, and some may be new. It’s fun to go from room to room in your house and find a frugal action that you have done that has saved you and your family money. See which one of these you can implement into your lifestyle and applaud yourself for the ones you already do.
- Water-Down – Many times soaps and cleaning products can be watered down and still work just as well. Try dish soap for example. Next time you run out, keep the empty bottle. When you bring home a new bottle, pour half of the soap in the old, empty bottle. Now fill them both up to the top with water and gently shake. Try this, and I bet you will find that it cleans just as well and you get double the amount for the same price. Another tip is that if you are able to get a bunch of body wash cheap or free with coupons, save it up and use it as a refill for hand soap dispensers. Products can be used for more than just what they are advertised to do. Think outside the box a little on this one!
2. Buy in Bulk – If you regularly shop at Costco, BJ’s, or Sam’s club, then you know the financial benefits of buying in bulk. If there is a brand and product that you love and can’t live without, then be sure to buy in bulk (with a coupon if you can find one!). Don’t have a membership to Costco, BJ’s, or Sam’s Club? That’s ok! Sometimes grocery stores create “family packs” of items that can really help you save too – like on cereal or even produce! Be on the lookout for the generic store brand items packaged in bulk for the most savings. Consider trying a meal plan from one of these stores as well – the shopping list and recipes are included! (We will talk about meal planning in greater detail tomorrow.)
3. Re-purpose – This is one of my favorite frugal habits because of the creativity factor. Look around your house and see what items you can re-purpose that will put a few extra dollars in your pocket. For example, don’t spend money on fancy “chip clips” to keep your chips from going stale. Grab a pack of clothespins from a dollar store instead. They are way cheaper, and work just as well to keep chips, cereal, and other bagged food items fresh for less. Also, take a look in your recycling bin and look for ways to re-use items. Get your creative juices flowing for this one. One fun idea is to decorate your house using a speghetti sauce jar!
4. Cut in Half – Do you have any paper products around the house that you can literally cut in half? For example full size paper towels, paper napkins, disposable cloth dust wipes, dryer sheets, or disposable cloth eye make-up removers. Can you get the job done by using half of a sheet or cloth instead? This can really help you not waste a product that is probably one often used in your house. Cutting paper napkins in half sounds like a very tedious job. But if your kids are old enough to use scissors, this is a great chore for them to do!