Friday, August 22, 2008

The Good Wife Guide . . . to saving money

There are several things that TGH and I are trying to do to save money. One of the areas where we try to save is our grocery bill. There are several things that you can do that are small efforts that produce big results.

~Buy in bulk, especially meat. Look for family packs of meat and separate the meat into smaller, easier to use packages. Also, if you want to go organic, you might be able to find a local farm that will sell you a whole or half cow. Visit to find a farm near you. We are lucky enough to live rurally and have beef, chicken, lamb, pork and buffalo farms near us where we can buy meat. Dollar for dollar, we usually come out a head or break even in terms of saving money on meat.

~Buy in bulk for as many things as you can. Something that will save you money is buying cheese in blocks and then shredding it on your own. Buying blocks of cheese and shredding it can save me up to $3 dollars for shredded cheese. You can freeze the cheese, up to six months, so stock up.

The Good Wife Tip: Make sure the cheese is very very cold, if not partially frozen, before you shred it. I used my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer with the shredder attachment to shred the cheese. The sharp cheddar became a little clumpy since the shredder had warmed. But I just unclumped it as best I could, stuck it in the freezer for an hour and then unclumped it again.

~Use coupons and look for stores that will double or triple the coupons. There are usually two, sometimes three, stores that I will go to every week. I try and go on Saturday morning since there are less crowds and it is usually the last day for sales. I check the ad to see what is on sale and then I check to see what coupons I have. There are some websites that do this for you (The Coupon Mom and The Grocery Game) so it might be the easiest way to start.

~Always have a grocery list with you when you shop. I like to sort my list by aisle (I have shopped at the same 2 stores long enough that I know what is in what aisle). I sort my list by aisle and then any item I have a coupon for, I star. I paperclip my coupons to the back of my list so I am ready to go when I get to the checkout.

~Meal plan. Using the coupons and the sales flyer, I try to come up with all the meals we will have that week. Most people and some shows (Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller) suggest that you eat the same kind of protein three different ways during the week but TGH and I would get burn out. So every day of the week we have a different protein: Monday - Beef, Tuesday - Pork, Wednesday - Chicken, Thursday - Pasta, Friday - Veggie/Seafood, Saturday - FREE(we usually eat out this night) and Sunday - Chicken. I find that this way helps to eliminate the feeling of eating the same thing all the time.

~The freezer is your friend. I am too scared to jar and can but freezing your veggies are a good way to save. Buy in bulk when summer produce is cheap and freeze the extras. Some good sites for more tips and hints to what you can freeze and how:


Ms. Foodie said...

I totally agree about buying cheese in bulk and shredding it yourself. Not only is it cheaper, it is also fresher than pre-shredded cheese.

The Good Wife said...

It just tastes better to me. Shredded cheese has a weird texture to me.