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Looking for easy ways to save money each month on groceries? Here are 7 frugal habits that will 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. After you have your emergency fund created, you do not want to be tempted to use it for things like groceries. Instead, let’s find creative ways to save extra money and reach your financial goals. See how much you can save and add it up at the end of the month. Implementing some of these daily frugal habits can be the easiest way to spend less money at the grocery store.
Now read these great frugal habits and see which one of these new ways of saving money you can implement into your frugal lifestyle.
1. Water-Down – One good habit is to find ways to water down grocery or household items. Many times soaps and cleaning products that you buy at the grocery store 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 into 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. This is an easy way to get double the amount of dish soap for the same price and be sure to use even the last drop. 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! We also water down juice just a bit. It reduces the amount of sugar my kids get, and it also makes the amount of juice last a little bit longer.
2. Buy in Bulk – If you regularly shop at Costco, BJ’s, or Sam’s Club, then you know the financial benefits of shopping there. 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!). This is a great way to save money and have a bunch on hand at the same time. 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. If buying in bulk is too much for your size of family, consider splitting the cost with another family. For example, if you buy fresh produce and you know you won’t be able to use it up before it goes bad, split the cost and amount in half with friends or family who may not even have a membership to these stores!
Many people also create meal plans out of what they buy at these bulk club stores. Consider trying meal planning from one of these stores – the shopping list and recipes are included! In fact – I have a FREE menu plan you can download and print over here! You can also customize meal plans if you use the MyFreezEasy meal plan building app. Implementing meal planning is one of the best frugal habits because it is a huge time saver and will help reduce food waste.
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 spaghetti sauce jar! This is a fun way to create a new item made out of an old one.
I often head to the thrift store, consignment shop, or yard sale and find an outdated item, and turn it into something new. For example, look how I used $0.25 teacups from the thrift store and turned them into a fantastic frugal gift idea! Or see what I did here with an old lampshade that is now used in the kitchen! You can create some good quality home decor items by finding old and used items and giving them new life.
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 used often in your house. Double the amount you have by cutting them in half and it can save you a lot of money! 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!
5. Substitute – Next time you try a new recipe, see if there are any ingredients that you can substitute with what you already have on hand. Salad dressing for example is a common condiment that coupon users probably have multiples of in their stockpile shelf. Instead of just using this on salads – try using it as a marinade for roasted vegetables or meat dishes. Or, are you stuck on using just one brand in particular? Instead, try the cheaper store brand and you’ll avoid the extra cost of paying for the brand price. A lot of people will agree that using the store brand ingredient is just as good if not better than a more expensive branded item.
Another substitute is one I mentioned earlier – to use body wash in the hand soap dispenser. I tend to find great coupon deals on body wash more frequently than hand soap – and they both are great for washing hands!
6. Eat less meat – Do you have a bunch of vegetarian meals that you can use for a “meatless Monday” dinner each week? You don’t have to be a vegan or vegetarian to enjoy delicious vegetarian meals. Cutting out meat just once a week from your menu is a great frugal habit to help cut back on your grocery budget in the long run. Check out these 31 different Quinoa recipes for some inspiration!
7. Spending Freeze Week – Implement a Spending Freeze Week every few months where the rule for your family that week is that you may not spend any money unless it is for a budgeted monthly expense (like your electric bill) or on groceries like fresh produce or dairy products with a shorter shelf life. It is one of those thrifty habits that will force you to be more creative with your menu planning and you will use up and eat what you already have. Unless we force ourselves to use up what we have stocked in our homes, it will just keep sitting on our shelves and be a waste. By doing this, you may also create a new family favorite recipe. Necessity is the mother of invention! Plus it is guaranteed to save you big money that week on groceries! See this post for more info on implementing a spending freeze.
These are some of my favorite frugal living habits. What about you? What are your best frugal living tips? Other than clipping coupons, what are some of your favorite frugal habits that have really helped you save on your grocery bill? How have you found a way to find big savings in your monthly budget? Let’s all collaborate on our personal experience and ideas to help each other stretch that dollar, increase our cash flow, and achieve our long-term financial goals! Come join the conversation over here in our Budget Challenge Facebook Group!