30 Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill

Here is a collection of strategies and tips for cutting your grocery bill. Some of these ideas I use religiously, others I am working on or struggling with! I have gleaned some of these from books, frugal relatives and my own improvising. By far the best resources are any relatives you have who remember the Great Depression (or check out cookbooks and stories from/about that time period) and The Tightwad Gazette books, my favorites! !

Start with strategies that you can implement without causing major revolt in your family, moving gradually to a goal of a lower budget for food that is healthy, wholesome and homemade! If I have left some out, please email me with your hints and tips, I would be happy to include them here!

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Frugality 101: Getting Started

Ok, you want to save money and tighten your budget, but where do you begin? Lots of people know they need help, but where do you start? Here are some ideas to get you started:

Set Goals-What is it you want to achieve? It may be something simple, like not living paycheck to paycheck, which would mean you are working towards having money in your savings and checking accounts. In that case, you will need to cut some of your spending and put it in the bank as a cushion. What if you are spending more than you earn? Then your goal would be to avoid accumulating more debt and get out of the debt you have. You also need to cut expenses. Take a hard look at your bank balances, your bills and your spending habits.

Discuss your goals-especially with your spouse, kids are optional. You may find that your spouse is feeling the same way and you can make a team effort. Or you may encounter resistance, which means you will have to set the example until your other half gets a clue about money. The key is not to criticize or make money the issue. Set the example and be the leader.

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11 Frugal Strategies to Stretch Your Budget

Here are some of my favorite strategies for saving money. Since everyone’s situation and resources are different, you need to adapt these strategies to your own lifestyle. Remember, frugality is a tool that you can customize to the way your live. Use them as much or as little as you want, according to your need. You can enjoy living frugally!
1. Get it for Less– Find a cheaper source for things you already buy. There is always someone selling it cheaper. The challenge is to find new sources. Start by looking in your yellow pages, you may be surprised at the resources around you. Check online and offline sources: ebay, craigslist, local consignment and thrift shops, yard sales, etc.
2. Make it last longer– Stretch the life span of the items you use. How? First and foremost by taking better care of them, maintaining them (such as tools), and doing it yourself. Learn to do your own home and car maintenance and repairs. Fix only what is broken, not the whole thing! You can make “work” shoes last longer by having them reheeled instead of buying a brand new pair. There are many, many ways to lengthen the lifespan of the things you own. In fact, there are whole books on the subject! Visit your local library for more ideas. Also, ask older relatives (especially those who grew up in the Depression). Often they have some good advice about maintaining and making things last.

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If Not Now, Then When?

Why is it that we postpone what we want most in life? Why do we save the “good things” for a rainy day that never comes? Recently, several events in my life have jolted me to a startling conclusion: that I am not allowing myself to be as happy as I could be, that I am postponing my own joy.

I don’t know exactly what jolted me from my daily reverie- I’ve always thought of myself as a pretty happy person. Perhaps it was my parent’s talk of retirement. Could they really be old enough to retire? Or perhaps it was the realization that my time with my kids is flying by so quickly. There are so many things I’ve been planning to do with them, but I never get around to it. I find myself asking, “If not now, then when?” If I wait too much longer, it might be too late.

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