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What to Buy and Not to Buy Plus Other Tips to Save Money on Groceries

Posted by Shawn Ellis on 6/15/2012 to Best Ways to Save Money
What to Buy and Not to Buy, Plus Other Tips to Save on Groceries

Groceries to Buy To Save Money

Milk or Evaporated Milk
Thin Sliced Bread
Peanut Butter
Thin Sliced Cheese
Thin Sliced Lunch Meats
Oats (not packages of oatmeal but plain oats)
Kool Aid
8 inch flour tortillas (Can be used for many cheap meals like Quesadillas, Tacos, etc.)
canned corn, or fresh corn if cheaper than frozen
Dry beans
Dry pasta
Pasta sauce
Spaghetti noodles
Pasta Roni
Spaghetti sauce
Hot dogs (Recommend reduced fat, fat free, or turkey)
Bags of Frozen chicken breasts (usually cheaper than fresh cuts)
Cheapest, smallest portions of 93% less fat ground beef
Bagged Potatoes
Bagged Apples
Bagged Oranges
Frozen strawberries (if cheaper than frozen based on quantity per price)
Big, plain boxes of maccaroni and cheese
Frozen juice concentrate
Juice in Large Containers (You can then dilute them 1/3 to 1/2 with water to save money)
Fish or Whale Crackers
Fruit Snacks (Cheaper in Bulk usually)
Popcorn kernels (cheaper to make your own than to buy packages)
Pizza sauce
Thin Crust Lower Calorie Pizzas Under $5
Mozzarella cheese
Store Name Brand for most items, which are usually cheaper and comparable in quality
Ramen Noodles (You can use half of the seasoning packet to reduce sodium)
Buy non-squeezable condiments such as jelly instead of squeezable
Fruits in Season
Toilet Paper in Bulk
Whole Peanuts in Shell in a Bag

Groceries Not To Buy To Save Money
Diet Soda, Regular Soda, or other Canned or Bottled Beverage other than some juices (see below for tips on juice)
Water (Drink filtered water at home instead)
Ice Cream
Fresh Berries of any kind if it is cheaper to buy them frozen based on quantity per price (If berries are in season, they may be cheaper fresh than buying frozen)
Juice Boxes or Juice Pouches
Cherries (Expensive!)
Pot Roast Meat

Other Tips to Save Money on Groceries
Avoid using and buying a lot of paper towels and use and wash rags from cut up old t shirts or towels at home
Re-use fabric softener sheets up to 3 or 4 times before throwing away
Use 1/3 less clothes and dish detergent than what the bottles say
Find the cheapest grocery store in your area. Wal-Mart seems to be among the cheapest in my area
Buy store brand instead of named brand for most items, which are usually cheaper and comparable in quality
Don't go shopping with your kids (They might thrown things in your cart when you're not looking or whine until you get what they want)
Use Coupons
Don't go shopping on an empty stomach (You'll be more tempted to buy things not on your list)
Make a list either paper or one on your smart phone. There are free grocery list apps for cell phones such as Grocery Smart. This way you don't forget something and have to go back
Plan your meals in advance
Go through your pantry and fridge/freezer to see what you have and avoid buying more of it.
Buy non-squeezable condiments such as jelly instead of squeezable
Buy fruits when in season and don't buy them cut and pre-packaged. A whole watermelon is much cheaper when bought whole instead of cut up into pieces
Some staple items are much cheaper when bought in bulk or larger sizes. If you use a lot of certain items you can save money and also make less grocery trips by buying more of these staple items such as Toilet Paper. You may be able to save money by getting them from a wholesale discount store for these items.
Shop only once or twice a month. The more often you shop, the chances are the more you will spend
Stick to your budget for the month for groceries by using a cash envelope system. Set aside once or twice a month the budgeted money in the envelope to use for groceries
Always Make sure to use fresh produce in the first week in meals and snacks before it goes bad and then eat other planned meals not requiring fresh produce after the first week.
Juices can be much cheaper if you make them from frozen concentrate, or dilute juices by 1/3 to 1/2 water by pouring into separate pitchers or waiting until the juice container is 1/3 to 1/2 gone. Most kids and adults will not notice the taste difference and it will reduce the amount of sugar you consume. I actually think it tastes better this way.
Teach your kids to drink more of plain filtered water at home.
Either pour your young kids drinks into small cups or let them do it, instead of letting them pour it into large cups because they can pour a large glass full and then take one or two drinks.
Most nuts are expensive, but if you buy nuts in the shell they are usually less expensive and last longer because they take more time to open and eat. Peanuts are among the least expensive nuts.
Store your left overs in plastic containers and eat them the next day to avoid wasting food and spending more on groceries.
Start your own veggie/fruit garden slowly and spray with organic insecticide/fungicide spray made with Neem oil. See our other articles here for information on how to start a garden and save money with it.
If you have any more ideas on what groceries to buy or not to buy or other grocery savings tips, please feel free to list them below.

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