photo facebook_zpse39062b3.png photo bloglovin_zps3408f98c.png photo email_zps4380b3c4.png photo google_zps9047e4ac.png photo pinterest_zps65847a58.png photo instagram_zpsf40cb705.png photo subscribe_zpsc0e0adf7.png photo twitterbird_zps52e1bc64.png

Find tutorials, recipes, and budgeting videos from me on my Youtube Channel!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half: Tips and Tricks

 Cut your grocery bill in half by following these tips and tricks - Blissful and Domestic - www.blissfulanddomestic.com

Blissful and Domestic is about saving money and living a frugal happy life. One way I do that is by going homemade. Going Homemade means less money spent at the store and more time and money saved. I get to spend more time with those red heads of mine, because less time is spent running errands for things I really don't need. Part of me being homemade is making things from scratch like my homemade garlic bread sticks and my homemade cleaners (full video tutorials).

By going homemade we have saved our family a ton of money. Since the beginning of this year, we have cut our grocery bill in half! That's right folks. In the past 2 months we have saved over $600 on groceries! Want to know our secret? Well I am sharing it with you today:)

Alright let's dive in with a little background info first.

Hubby served 5 years in the army. In 2010 we knew he would be coming home from Iraq, getting out of the army, and we would be decreasing our monthly income immensely. Hubby told me about this book he had heard about and suggested I read it. Let me just tell you that this book literally change my life. America's Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money: Your Guide to Living Better, Spending Less, and Cashing in on Your Dreams was the book. I requested it from the library and read it cover to cover. I loved all the money saving tips they talked about. They addressed everything we wanted to work on. We weren't in debt and had even saved $30,000, while the Hubbs was in Iraq. We knew we wanted to buy a house eventually and saved the cash for it. We were doing pretty good, but could do better. I was an avid Target shopper and actually wasn't re-purposing at that time. I had no clue what it was. I would soon find out a few months later.

This book started my family on a journey. A journey leading us to today. I have learned so much because of that book and I want to share it with all of you. You too can save money on groceries and still make yummy, healthy meals for your family. Meals that they will love and actually request. So here is how I shop for  a months worth of groceries. Now just like the Economides talk about in the book, you should work up to a month. Try a week first and then continue to increase it. Remember the more trips we take to the store, the more money we spend. Who just "runs" into the store and comes out with only the one thing they needed? We rarely do. Those impulse purchases are what add up. Shopping once a month saves us from those "splurge purchases".

When I am getting ready to start a new month I prepare and plan. I literally PLAN and PREPARE. It is a big venture to shop for my family of four for 1 whole month. That is 31 days folks! I take inventory of what we have on hand. We have 1 big pantry, 1 fridge/freezer combo, and a freezer chest. I literally write down everything we have. I then meal plan for the month. You can find my meal plans here. I post weekly meal plans for all your lovelies

Cut your grocery bill in half by following these tips and tricks - Blissful and Domestic - www.blissfulanddomestic.com

I have a shelf in my kitchen, which holds all my favorite cook books.Some meals make it to our menu every month. These are our family favorites, like Homemade Pizza, BBQ Hamburgers, Chicken Tacos, and Spaghetti with Homemade Sauce. I always ask my kids and Hubby what they would like to see on the menu. Usually these meals always make the list. Sometimes they will request new items we haven't had in a while. Then I fill in the blanks with new recipes I want to try and old ones that will use up what I already have on hand in my pantry and freezer.

Go to old cookbooks, Pinterest, blogs, etc for inspiration.
I even request cookbooks from the library or borrow cookbooks from my friends. I am always on the lookout for simple yummy recipes.

I  literally write it all down on a piece of paper. A month full of meals. Now we won't actually eat all 31 meals, but I plan for them. We usually end up having left over nights and breakfast for dinner a few times a month. These are done on days when I am too tired or lazy to cook. Remember it is cheaper and quicker to just scramble some eggs with sausage, then to drive down to get fast food and it is better for you!

Once my meal plan is ready to go, I look at the grocery store adds. I shop at Costco, Winco, and Wal-Mart. These stores all have THE BEST prices, in my opinion. I use Costco for all my baking supplies. They are very affordable when buying yeast, seasonings, flour and sugar. I go through so much flour, since I bake all our bread, buns, and rolls. Places like Costco only get expensive when you start buying their prepackaged frozen foods and snacks. I stay clear of these sections. They are way to tempting and always cost me way too much dinero. You can see here how I do Costco on a budget. I do cut coupons and use them along with sale prices, when they apply. I also use the lds cannery, when I purchase my dry beans. We purchase them in 25 lb. bags.

Once I have gone through the adds, I make my list. I look at what needs to be replaced in our pantry, freezer, and fridge. I stick to basics. I want to make sure that my canned goods can go in a lot of recipes. I have even started making a lot of my own canned foods. We are trying to get away from all those nasty preservatives, which are found in store bought things.I always shop my pantry first, before venturing out on my shopping trip. I want to make sure everything gets used in my pantry. I have great meal plans here for you to try out. Makes meal planning a whole lot easier.

Throughout the month I have this chalkboard on my fridge. I write down an item when we run out of it and then I know it needs to be replaced. This system works very well for my family and I. Hubby knows to write stuff down also. He is a great help when it comes to keeping our grocery bill down.

Also I do not buy prepackaged snacks. No fruit snacks, fruit roll ups, or anything like that. I do buy some crackers for the month and pretzels. My kids love them. We stay clear of all those "typical kid snacks". Not only are they unhealthy, but they cost a ton too. Taking these off of your grocery list will save you money like crazy. I promise! Also the less your kids snack, the better they will eat at meals. I try to keep snacks in between meals simple. Cut up fruit and veggies or yogurt with crackers. Remember we want our kids to actually be hungry for their meals, so they are filling up on good healthy meals, rather then sugar filled "kid snacks". Now the Hubbs and I have taught our kids this since they were little. Obviously toddlers and stuff need those little snacks in between meals, but I have a 8 year old and a 6 year old. They don't need all those little snacks. So go with what is best for your littles, but if your kids aren't eating their meals, they may be full on snacks. Just something to think about.

Once all the planning is done, I go shopping. I go by myself. This is the BIGGEST part to saving money. Those dang redheads are too hard to say no to, so I plan to go shopping when the Hubbs can be home with them. I can take my time and not worry about the begging and whining, which littles sometimes do. When I shop for a month I usually do it in one day. It usually takes about 4 hours. That may seem like a lot, but when you think about all the time saved it is so worth it. 4 hours a month spent on grocery shopping. Yes sign me up! That is way better than all those random trips to the store to just pick up a "few items".

Once the shopping is done, everything is brought in.
It basically takes over the house. We have the kitchen table covered, counters, etc.

Cut your grocery bill in half by following these tips and tricks - Blissful and Domestic - www.blissfulanddomestic.com

Cut your grocery bill in half by following these tips and tricks - Blissful and Domestic - www.blissfulanddomestic.com

See how we save on produce all month long

Cut your grocery bill in half by following these tips and tricks - Blissful and Domestic - www.blissfulanddomestic.com

I begin putting freezer food away first, while Hubby and the kids bring in everything else. Next I do the fridge. I always do the pantry stuff last. If I am tired, I save the pantry stuff for later. My kids love looking through and seeing everything. It is always fun for them to see if I found any "special treats" on sale. I always try to get them something fun. Love seeing those freckled smiles when I get home from shopping.

While putting away the food, I always divide things like tortillas into freezer bags. I separate them into stacks of 6. This is how many tortillas my family would use for 1 meal. It helps our food stay longer. I only thaw out what we will use that week. The rest stay in the freezer until I need it.

I also don't buy canned beans. I buy dried beans and then cook them in my pressure cooker. I cut up some veggies, so I can have fresh fruits and veggies all month long. I  freeze butter, yogurt, cream cheese, bread, shredded cheese, milk and lunch meat. Freezing these is essential to our month of shopping. I am able to freeze about 8 gallons of milk each month. They sit at the bottom of my freezer and we thaw them out when we need them. I also bake muffins, breads, cupcakes, cookies in big batches and freeze them. Then we have yummy baked goods, even when I don't feel like baking:)

I also use bountiful basket, so we have fresh produce each week. This is also how I am able to can our own fruits and veggies. This is also how I make purees, to give our recipes an extra nutritional boost.

The day I go grocery shopping we usually have a simple meal, like deli sandwiches and potato salad. Simple and still a crowd favorite. Making a sandwich is so much EASIER, QUICKER, and HEALTHIER then fast food. Can you tell I really don't like fast food? Every month I purchase a few boxes of Raisin Bran and Cheerios to have for breakfast. I buy the generic brand. We also make our own oatmeal. You can find some great breakfast and lunch ideas here.

I know this post was lengthy. Probably the longest post I have ever written, but there was just too much good stuff here. I still have loads to share on how we save money each month, but groceries is usually the biggest bill for most families. Over a year ago we would spend over $600-$700 on groceries every month. I used to go every week and spend about $125. Once I started implementing these tips I shared today, our grocery bill reduced. We now spend $400 dollars on groceries a month. I pay in cash, so I am more accountable for the money. I am quite proud of this number. It is a challenge, but one I welcome. I love finding those deals, I love cutting out coupons, I love making homemade, delicious recipes for my family. I am a mother and a wife and I love it!! This is the best job ever. Helping my family save money is something I enjoy doing. I hope you can use these tips to help your family. Pick one or two and try them out. You can't do it all at once. Baby steps.

I started out doing a little bit and now I can do a lot. I promise you that if you start to use these tips I suggested, your grocery bill can be cut in half. I can't wait to hear how your grocery shopping goes this month!

Want to learn how to we have fresh produce all month long? click HERE
See how my family lives on $14,000 a year! Click HERE

Don't forget to check out my How To videos on Youtube too!

Cut your grocery bill in half by following these tips and tricks - Blissful and Domestic - www.blissfulanddomestic.com



I have a great section of my blog, dedicated to showing you how to start saving with baby steps. Be sure to check that out after reading this post.

** Update 10/7/2012 **

I am now using Bountiful Baskets and we are buying less meat and eating more veggies. We are still saving money and eating healthier than ever!

-------------------------------------------------------------
Want to find out more ways to save money?
Check out some of my thrifty living section.


I also love these books for great money saving inspiration



288 comments:

  1. yep...my grocery shopping is my job!! i share many of your ideas...and our family gets the benefit of eating home cooked healtyh meals too. It is so worth the effort to figure out what you are buying before you shop....and it is an effort!!
    today we are having dunken donuts for my sons birthday...have to spurge sometimes!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a great post! I love your tips and I love the full pantry :-).
    Some months ago i also used to do freezer cooking and going shopping only once every two weeks, but after a while i stopped again. not actually sure why, your post is certainly very motivating to start again!
    have a wonderful day
    jutta

    ReplyDelete
  3. This was a GREAT post!... Its just my husband and myself and we are on a fixed income so I have always done my shopping for the month but, I was also spending close to 500 dollars a month until last month I finally sat down and started planning our meals by the week.. The end result? Last month it only cost us $290.00 for the ENTIRE MONTH!..I am going to bookmark this post because it has some really GREAT tips in it.. Thank you for posting this!! :)
    Robyn

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's a lot of money saved, great job! What about veggies though? Do you still do weekly shopping for the fresh stuff?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. check out my sidebar. I have a whole post dedicated to fresh produce

      Delete
  5. I love this post! We do a few things like you guys, but I can rarely use coupons. I shop mostly outside aisles and there are never coupons for that. I was wondering about fresh fruits and veggies. I shop once a week and usually have to go during that time to get more fresh stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was wondering the same thing. My family, and I do a mostly plant based, organic, and natural diet, which includes juicing almost daily. Shopping once a month would be impossible for us, especially since my kids live off of fresh berries ( frozen don't work, I've tried...)

      Delete
    2. We use tons of fresh as well and I go shopping usually once a week for my fresh fruits and veggies. My key to saving is price matching at Walmart. Saves me tons! There are also produce co-ops a lot of places that can save you tons as well. Although there aren't many coupons for fresh food, they are out there. I've gotten for coupons cherry tomatoes, avocados, pomegranates, berries, spinach, lettuce, pork, eggs, milk, butter cheese, etc.

      Delete
    3. check out your local farmers market. On delivery days/ close to closing times you can sometimes barter pricing. Or there is a website called bountiful basket where you pay $15 and go pick up fresh produce each week. (most is from local farms but they do get produce from outside the us too). The way it works is you choose the state you live in and it'll give you a listing of all the pick up sites they have in your area, then you pick up your food. its all done by volunteers. and they usually have an organic option for like $5 more.

      Delete
    4. I just wanted to say that your husband must be very happy that he has such a frugal wife. Especially these days.

      Delete
    5. I also shop like this but we grow a garden and can or freeze everything so I have it all winter. I also go to local farms where you can pick your own berries then freeze or make jam. The kids love going to pick berries with me and some of the farms you can eat as you pick. This saves hundreds of dollars too. The kids are at the point they don't want store bought veggies or jam. They also love to help plant the garden and tend to it. This makes them feel like they are doing their part to help. Last year my youngest sons teacher made a comment about him always having home made stuff, usually apple sauce his favorite. It's amazing how proud they are when they helped grow, pick and prepare the food

      Delete
    6. To those talking about not being able to do this organically, I do and here is a post about how I do. http://retrohousewifegoesgreen.com/2012/09/day-in-life-grocery-shopping/

      Delete
  6. I starting planning my meals each week... lots of saving!! I can just imagine doing a whole month!!! Thanks for all the tips..

    I am also curious about fresh fruits and veggies.

    Will you be sharing tips on meals that are great for freezing?

    Milk.. do you freeze milk bags?

    PLUS.. I would love it if you linked this up on my blog!!
    http://thediydreamer.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. absolutely I will and milk is frozen in the jugs

      Delete
    2. I have been freezing my milk for a long time now. However, as it is just me and my 2-year-old daughter, I freeze my milk in Tupperware bottles that are aprox 8-12 oz because we don't go through a gallon before it spoils. I have her whole milk labeled with an S and mine with M.

      Delete
  7. I am wondering about fresh fruits and veggies. Do you go back for those throughout the month?

    ReplyDelete
  8. That is a great post. I read every word....length doesn't matter when it is interesting. I spend way too much on food. I won't buy so many things because they cost too much but somehow, I justify food spending purchases. No planning involved. I try to get to the bottom of the freezer but it never quite happens. Anyway, thanks for sharing. Look forward to seeing your recipes.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Fantastic post! I would love to go once a month. I got every 10 days or so because I have a toddler who eats a lot of fresh fruit/vegetables. I find that to the be the main reason I go that often.

    ReplyDelete
  10. So much good info! I've always had a good handle on our grocery spending even when I had 9 to feed, but now there are only 2 of us. The Welding Man's Doc put him on a low sodium diet so I'll be making even more from scratch, it's the only way to get affordable, low salt meals. I hate losing canned soups from my recipes but I'll figure it out. Good post, keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should try looking up S.O.S. mix on pinterest. It has MANY different uses, including a healthier canned soup option (mainly for the Cream of ____ soups).

      Delete
  11. As I was reading this, I was thinking I could have written this post. I do almost all the same things you do. I plan out all my meals and I buy all my groceries one time a month. Isn't it so much nicer to get it done once than have to go back over and over to grab a "few" things?

    ReplyDelete
  12. New follower via gfc from a blog hop! Would love to have you follow me back! http://whatthismommythinks.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  13. You gave a lot of great tips here. Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing; I'm sure I will use a few of these.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow Wow and more Wow! I thought I was doing pretty good spending about $100/ week for a family of four. I would love to cut it even more. I can't wait to see what else you post this month! Thanks so much for sharing at Fabulous Friday!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh, my goodness! You are just wonderful. I rarely go to the grocery store without spending $100. and that's not a regular trip but a "quick" trip. I had company yesterday and went to the grocery store. Yup. Almost $100. Unreal. My mom never went to the store more than once a week and said the more you go, the more you spend. I've got to go through your post more closely and see what I can do... Bless you. Linda

    ReplyDelete
  16. I've started meal planning a few weeks ago and it really does save money, plus as I live alone it keeps me on track with eating good food, rather than being too lazy/tired to cook when I get in from work... living alone irt is too easy to be temoted by the (very) local takeaways!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wonderful post and good for you. I know you are well on your way to that home purchase. Our family has always lived on being paid only once a month so I learned early to stretch that paycheck and have used just the ideas you mention. Now that we are back to only the two of with the kids grown and retirement on the horizon the same plan will work for a fixed income.
    May I suggest that you purchase a Food Saver. It will pay for itself in no time by helping you divide bulk foods into manageable amounts and keeping it all fresh/no freezer burn. I make my own yogurt and bread and hang clothes to dry on a line. easy ways to save pennies that add up to dollars.
    Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Danielle! Great post! No offense to Patrica's recommendation of buying the Food Saver, but I thought I'd suggest my find. I use the Ziploc pump and the coordinating bags. The pump costs $3-5 and the bags are a few bucks a box, available in 2 sizes. I love it, check it out!

      Amy

      Delete
  18. Seriously impressive girl!!! I totally agree on shopping by yourself and prepackaged foods will kill the ole budget! great post! Thanks for sharing at Uncommon! Bonnie ;)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Ok, I really need to start doing some of these things!! Thanks so much for all of the great tips!! And thanks for linking up to Terrific Tuesday!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. What an informative post! Thank you so much for sharing at Mix it up Monday and I hope you'll stop back soon :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Those are so awesome tips!! I learned so much from you! Thanks for sharing at Thursday's Temptation.
    Jill

    ReplyDelete
  22. Great post & Great job!

    Mrs. Delightful
    www.ourdelightfulhome.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm very impressed! I shop every 2 weeks, but I often make a trip in the middle if Publix has good sales. I tell myself that my freezer doesn't have room for a month shopping. But honestly, I probably could do it. I just wouldn't have room to freeze milk.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Holy moly. I need to go get the book that you're talking about. I would love to be able to do this. Our life is chaotic right now though. Teacher mommy and student teacher by day daddy and working daddy by night. Crazy! Thank you so much for sharing this at Whimsy Wednesday at The NY Melrose Family.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I would love to live in your pantry! One of my goals this year is to keep a stocked fridge with healthy stuff and plan meals a week in advance. New to your blog and as a wife to be...I appreciate the tips:D

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thanks for sharing on Blog Stalking Thursday. Your link has been featured with this week's party! Please stop by and grab a featured button and wear it proudly. http://thecraftyblogstalker.blogspot.com/2012/03/blog-stalking-thursday-31_07.html

    ReplyDelete
  27. I have started doing a bunch of the tips you've implimented here. I"m struggling to find the coupon deals though...but I am starting to grocery shop once a month, it's just easier and yes cheaper.

    I realy loved the ideas you put out in this...thank you so much!

    I'm a new follower btw! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't do much couponing bc most that I find are for things that i wouldn't buy other wise such as "fun" kid foods, or they are for the name brand. It seems to be cheaper most of the time to buy generic that to buy the more experience brand, even with a coupon. Also, we have a Save A Lot store where I live a they have great prices on canned goods, and a few other things.

      Delete
  28. Great tips there Danielle - and congrats on saving so much on your groceries! I love seeing our pantry and fridges and freezers after a big shop - so nice to be all stocked up and prepared!!


    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thank you for such great tips Danielle! I need to do a whole month instead of a weekly menu. Im going to try it!

    Thank you for linking up.. you were one of the most viewed links! Check out your feature tomorrow :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thanks for this fantastic post!!!

    Featuring this today on Serenity Saturday link party!!!

    Natasha xxx

    www.serenityyou.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. Brilliant! We're trying to save money at the minute and so far, I have planned all our meals out so we *mostly* only have homemade things. I need to start buying all our food in one go. We have a massive freezer and tons of cupboard space so it is totally do-able, need to just get the motivation!

    Thanks for posting. I'm your new follower :)

    - Adele @ Mammy Made

    ReplyDelete
  32. Great idea to shop once for the whole month. I've done it for 2 weeks before but never a month. Something I might try. I definitely have this mentality when it comes to my other shopping. If I don't go to Target, Wal-mart etc more than once or twice a month I save a TON of money. Thanks for the great tips! Saw your link on Serenity You Saturday.

    ReplyDelete
  33. What a great post! Full of tips. :)
    My pantry looks like a who's who of Great Value products. :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Groceries can be a budget buster and you have lots of good advice! Thanks for sharing at the Rock 'N Share!

    ReplyDelete
  35. That's amazing! I was just talking to my husband about how we can reduce our grocery spending....as we spend $1,000 every month!! I buy certain organic fresh fruits/veggies...usually those from the dirty dozen list. I do cook every night and usually cook on the fly...and not planning my meals in advance. I take something out of the freezer in the morning and think about what I can make during the day. I am probably guilty of buying too many snacks and the cost of meats is outrageous...not sure how to cut back on that. I will only buy perdue when its half price and then add other meats into the mix during the week with whatever is on sale. Great tips...I will definitely try to plan my meals ahead of time...maybe this will help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try to find a local meat market. They are sometimes less expensive than the big grocery store.

      Delete
  36. What timing!! I have been entertaining the idea of once a month shopping....even happened across a book at our grocery store a few weeks back devoted to once a month shopping...got it for $2.00!!

    For our family of 7 we need to do all we can to save $$...your post is such an encouragement!!

    Gotta give it a try.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Would LOVE to hear how it is going for your family. I also have family of 7 and REALLY want to start once a month shopping. What have you learned since you started?

      Delete
  37. thanks for all the helpful tips. I look forward to reading more and checking out the book you mentioned. I have a question though, what about produce? I try to feed my fam a green salad 3-4 times a week. That would take additional trips to the store, unless you have a tip for that too? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm just a thought but if you're doing the salads just for nutrient value you could freeze your greens and just do "green smoothies" instead. Fruit, water, and greens and so tasty.

      Delete
  38. This is my first visit to your space and I loved the tips you shared in this post. I'm totally with you on the fast food. Making from scratch is the way to go. I usually make my mayo and salad dressings from scratch too after I realized how much I was paying for it.

    ReplyDelete
  39. We are a family of 7 and both my husband and I love to cook. Pair that with he works from home 9 months of the year and we homeschool our kids, that is alot of days where i am cooking 3 meals for 7 people. This is the year that I DECREASE our grocery bill!!!thanks for the tips. I have always meal planned but i need to do a better job about less trips and therefore less impulse buys. thanks for the motivation!

    ReplyDelete
  40. What wonderful tips! I am dying to try this out. My only question is how on earth do you do fresh produce? I mean, a garden is always an option for those who can, but sometime situations in life make a garden impossible. What would you suggest for produce buying? That is not really something you can buy a month in advance. I would love if you could email me back your thoughts on that. Amy@involuntarysmiles.com Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Six tortillas?! We live in deep south Texas and tortillas are a staple. :) great post, I just had to share that the tortilla part made me laugh!!!! We eat them like they are candy!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) I agree! We are in Texas too and 6 tortillas are nothing to my family. We save on making our own tortillas..yum yum!

      Delete
    2. I told my hubby and we are cracking up. I guess Texas is the place for tortillas:>

      Delete
    3. I, too, laughed at the tortilla count. We live in Alabama, but we LOVE tortillas. I am determined to learn to make good ones soon!

      Delete
    4. We live in Ohio, but being a Mexican family with 5 boys (4 of which are teenagers), we go through 2 dozen per meal. It's all relative, ya know? The process will be different for each family--but there are things that everyone can take from this post. I wish I could freeze milk--but I buy 6 to 7 gallons a week as it is--I simply would not have room to freeze all that we go through in a month. =0)

      Delete
    5. Holly Molly,7 gallons. I thought my 4 drank a Lot of milk. We are at about3 per week.

      Delete
  42. I feel like I could have written this post myself. I follow almost the exact same plan with dramatic results. I have several friends that have begged me to show them how I do it, but then shake their heads when I explain. It does take time and a good plan. This isn't something you can perfect right away. One of the things that I also do is I have the tiny post it notes and I stick 1or 2 in each square of a calendar with the name of the meals for that day. Usually breakfast (because we both work and kids are in school) and dinner. This way I know exactly what I'm making for dinner and can get things prepared the night before. I can easily move the post its around if plans change. I love this. Also-to anonymous above: I also live in Texas and laughed loudly to the 6 tortillas. I actually read it out loud to my family and we all laughed in amazement. I guess we are a different breed here. We are your standard family (3kids) and I have to budget for at least 4-5 packs of tortillas per month. Funny. Thankfully they are extremely cheap-at least here anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seriously such an awesome tip with the post-its. So great!

      Delete
  43. I feel like I could have written this post myself. I follow almost the exact same plan with dramatic results. I have several friends that have begged me to show them how I do it, but then shake their heads when I explain. It does take time and a good plan. This isn't something you can perfect right away. One of the things that I also do is I have the tiny post it notes and I stick 1or 2 in each square of a calendar with the name of the meals for that day. Usually breakfast (because we both work and kids are in school) and dinner. This way I know exactly what I'm making for dinner and can get things prepared the night before. I can easily move the post its around if plans change. I love this. Also-to anonymous above: I also live in Texas and laughed loudly to the 6 tortillas. I actually read it out loud to my family and we all laughed in amazement. I guess we are a different breed here. We are your standard family (3kids) and I have to budget for at least 4-5 packs of tortillas per month. Funny. Thankfully they are extremely cheap-at least here anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Your post here has inspired me so much! I'm getting married in about 3 weeks and as of right now, we will be living on one income until I find a job. In the mean time, I'm planning on saving us crazy amounts of money on groceries! I'm definitely going to try your tips and I already coupon like crazy. I'm also really excited because we will have a deep freezer so I can buy stuff in bulk and save it like you do. I've also just learned to can, which I think will be very helpful too. Keep up the great tips, I can't wait to read more! claire.mattox1010@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  45. I came across your blog through Pinterest. (Love that site!) I don't read blogs very often but I am def going to start reading yours now. This is a great post. Right now it is just the husband and I (and the dog) but I hate grocery shopping every other week I feel like I am wasting so much money. I really wish I had the freezer space that you do to freeze everything but I think I figure out a way to pick out what I can and can't freeze. Thank you for this awesome post. cupcaktwig@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  46. i have just recently come across your blog and started following ( im loving what i am reading.) I am a young mom (22) to one of my own ( just arrived) and two older (almost teens)step children...and finding easy non life shattering ways to live on a budget is a must as i am going back to school to further my nursing degree and it has cut our income. i am very into couponing and REFUSE with all of my being to buy ANYTHING EXTRA if its not free or next to nothing, however, i have issues with shopping just once a month. I try and try to do this and it seems I always end up having to go back for something and as we all know, you cant walk out with just that one item. So i was wondering if there was anyway you could send me what your monthly meal plans are and a few shopping list so i can see what all you purchase on a given month and see where i am going wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am working on a plan now. Hopefully it will be done soon

      Delete
  47. Love your tips! I have started making detailed lists of what I need or what is on sale and I take a calculator to the store with me. That helps me see how much I am spending and it also forces me to add in the little extras that I am prone to picking up "because they are only a dollar!". Those little things add up quickly! I am always asking myself, "Is this a need, or a want?" which is something I talk about with my 3rd grade students quite often! Thanks for the tips, am looking forward to saving more money and being better at using coupons too!

    ReplyDelete
  48. great ideas. have you thought about using cloth bags though?

    ReplyDelete
  49. great ideas, have you considered using cloth bags though? much better for the environment. and you can fit way more items in there, so less to bring into the house.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was wondering the same....thanks for asking! Not only good for the environment...but many grocery stores deduct money when patrons bring their own bags!!!! It's a win-win!!!!

      Delete
  50. Great Great post! I've been spending WAY too much $$ on groceries. I just plop whatever I want in the buggy and stock up on sales (some I don't need!) How DO you buy fresh fruits/veggies??? We eat a lot of them with a toddler and baby around and I really try to buy most organic. Thanks! kellyandcasey@hotmail.com.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Great Great post! I'm really trying to spend less $$ on groceries. I just plop anything in the buggy and stock up on sales (some I don't need!) How DO you buy fresh fruits/veggies??? We eat a lot of these at our house with a toddler and baby around and I try and buy most of the organic. Thanks! kellyandcasey@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  52. Great post, I admire your organisation and diligence. The only thing I worry about is budget food lines, like ones at Walmart, are crammed full of crap people, especially children, don't need. Sometimes they have the same ingredients as more expensive brand names, but if they don't I believe it's worth paying a bit more for the sake of your family's health. A balance needs to be made, I suppose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We always balance and make sure my kids are getting best. I don't buy the generic without checking labels first:>

      Delete
  53. what do you do about produce? i've seen a lot of people asking that question, but i don't think i've seen the answer from you. maybe i just accidentally skipped over it? fresh veggies are really important and i can't imagine buying veggies only once a month. they would go bad before being used and actually cost you money in the long run? so how do you do it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. look in my sidebar I have a whole post on it:>

      Delete
  54. I have enjoyed reading your posts today. My husband contracts himself out as a welder to different companies. He came home today so I had to be quiet since he's been working nights. I was looking at craft ideas when I came upon your site. My husband and I are both 50 years old. We've had a long time to save money and get things right. He like your husband is the saver in our household. He's saved up some money so we are kind of good there. I have a problem saving myself. I have enjoyed the tips you have given and am bound and determined that I too can start saving on my bills. We grow some of our food so that helps with the grocery bill. I really liked the tips on freezing the milk and cream cheese. We grow three varieties of peppers and we love them stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped in bacon and grilled. We have found that that can be an expensive meal. To save on charcoal we now start with wood that my husband has cut. It's a lot cheaper. After he gets a good bed of coals he adds the charcoal. It doesn't take near as much and your food has a wonderful flavor.Thank you for your tips. We all need some help somewhere when it comes to saving money. :)

    ReplyDelete
  55. Do you only post positive comments?

    ReplyDelete
  56. Loved reading this! I am now divorced, and about to start living on ss disability only, $1200 month. Have to pay rent, but i can do better on groceries, dont need cable (maybe just basic?), might even get rid of my car...know I will get some great tips from you! Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. to anonymous--instead of cable (even just basic) look into a ROKU box and getting HULU PLUS and NETFLIX. after the initial $!00 investment with the ROKU box, i pay $30 a month for TV, streaming, AND i splurged and get 2 dvd's at a time sent because my family uses them efficiently (one in the house and the other being mailed at all times)...just a thought :)

      Delete
  57. Great advice! Thanks so much for sharing. I'm impressed with what you've been able to do.

    Is there a chance that you've written about the fresh fruits and vegetables somewhere else on your blog? I'm new to it (thanks to Pinterest), so I haven't had a chance to look around a whole lot just yet. I noticed that on some of your other posts, you respond to comments and questions. However, the one about fruits and veggies hasn't been responded to on here.

    While I'm totally impressed by your preparations, I would love to see a "typical" menu for the month. (My apologies if this is something you've posted somewhere else...I'll keep looking.) With the photos, it looks as though there are sweet cereals, Top Ramen, and other items we typically try to avoid at our house. We eat a lot of salads, fresh fruits, veggies, and not much processed food. So, perhaps a peek at the month's menu would give us all a better view of what you're actually consuming during the 31 days.

    Thanks again for sharing! What a perfect goal for me to work towards. I thought I was doing good with 3 trips each month. I've got some work to do! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am workng on the meal planning post:>

      Delete
  58. Okay, after some searching, I found your recent post about fruits and veggies...thank you! (Feel free to ignore my previous comment.)

    For everyone else who has asked within the comments section here, this is the link to Danielle's tip/tricks for fruits and veggies:
    http://www.blissfulanddomestic.com/2012/07/fresh-produce-on-budget.html

    ReplyDelete
  59. Hi,
    My name is Rinnie, I found your blog through a link on Pinterest and I'm so glad I did! I wanted to ask how you start the monthly shop? My husband gets paid fortnightly and we are going from pay to pay with not much left over. How did you start?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just like in my post I plan a month of meals and what I will need to make them. I also look at what I already have on hand for meals It take a little bit to get use to but now I pretty much know what my family will eat in a month

      Delete
  60. If you join Amazon Prime you get free movie streaming! A lending library for you Kindle and free two day shipping on anything Prime. Amazon is often. Cheaper for many things depending on where you live. My friend in Chicago buys all of his razor blades on Amazon at a savings of $5 a pack.

    ReplyDelete
  61. I am thrilled to have stumbled upon this website. My family of 5 and I are moving to Chicago in a month and I will be staying at home while my husband goes to school full-time. Cinching the budget is a must! I really enjoyed this post about once a month shopping, however, I wondered if you have any tips for those with small housing. We will have a two bedroom apartment with no pantry and very little cabinet space. Certainly no room for 8 gallons of milk in the freezer! Would you suggest a regimented two week schedule? My email address is karliestory@gmail.com Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think planning is key, it could be a week, two weeks, etc. Just plan otu what can fit in your home and I know you will save

      Delete
  62. Let me just start by saying thank you for posting this and thank god i stumbled upon it cause i have been recently trying to wrack by brain on how to save time and money when it come to groceries. You are such an inspriation and i hope i can at least implement a few of your tips into my family lifestyle

    ReplyDelete
  63. I LOVE this! I shop every week because that is how my husband gets paid weekly. Planning is the key to keep those budgets in check. I plan meals as well and it keeps the guessing game to a minimum. Since I know what everyone in the house eats, I make the menu and do the shopping accordingly. I do have one question though. Do your kids take a lunch to school? If they do, do you have any suggestions to cut the cost of packing kids' lunches for school? That is my biggest expense during the school year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We homeschool so this is not a problem. I would look for sales and stuff and maybe get into bagging stuff yourself. I am going to work on a post addressing this

      Delete
    2. I already do both of those. I count goldfish, chips, and other snacks according to the serving size on the package. I am smart enough to know that prepackaged is more expensive. I didn't realize you homeschool your CHILDREN. (I hate the term "littles." It makes me think of an old cartoon) Since I have no intention of homeschooling my kids unless God Himself comes down in an audible voice and tells me to do so, I will deal with packing lunches.

      Delete
  64. What do you do when it comes to school supplies?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We do budget in a little bit at the begining fo the school year. I shop then, since the sales are so great. Aslo we homeschool and we use connections academy. They are na online charter school. THey send us all the curriculum for free and I teach ti to my munchkins. I also browse thrift stores and ebay for readers for my kids. I guess maybe a post is in order for how I save and homeschool ym littles:>

      Delete
  65. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  66. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Hello there,
    I found your blog last week via Pinterest and I can't stop reading it since then (which probably explains increased number of visitors :) ). Me and my boyfriend are PhD students in Bonn,Germany and as all PhD student couples we needed a budget control. Even though our lives are quite different I found great appliable tipps at your blog. Last week I made meal plan (since our small flat monthly plan is still not an option), went to Lidl and got all what we needed for a week for 35 euros (43$). It worked! Even with student caffeteria (which is now under construction) we were spending double more. I keep reading and applying! Thanks! :)

    ReplyDelete
  68. While it might not be practical for every family (I am very lucky, and can), I have completely cut out the traditional grocery store shopping. We live in a relatively small town, with just three grocery stores, Walmart, and a Gordon Food Services, which is a restaurant supply store, but open to the public, and sells in bulk.

    I feed anywhere from four to eight people, every night. I'm never 100% sure how many people will be at my table, so I cook for eight every night. Our food budget for eight for a month is $300. I know that seems insane.

    I shop solely at GFS, and the produce market and meat market. I buy meat once every eight weeks, and staples every month. Produce I buy as needed. I make all of our bread, I make all of our own sauces, and can as much as I can. We keep things in bulk, and while it *looks* like we might be crazy stockpile-for-the-apocalypse people, we aren't. I keep 25 pounds of bread flour on my counter. And rice. And dried beans and peas. We have cut out all junk foods, etc.

    It's amazing what you can do with a little if you put your mind to it. And we eat beautiful, amazing meals, that don't repeat through the month, and that are very healthy and good.

    Awesome-sauce.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How can we learn more? Please share somewhere! Are you on Pinterest?

      Delete
    2. I'd love to see your menu! I cook and bake from scratch, but my hubby is getting tired of our usual, and my kids are a bit picky.

      Delete
  69. Now that Walmart has started price matching, and we have so many different grocery stores (5 or more chains)in our area that compete with their sales, I am able to make one stop and get outrages prices on my produce and dairy products- just pricematching on the same stuff i normally get ( and getting far more fresh produce than ever before) I am saving $50-80; just for my hubby and me! Check your local store's policies. When I make my list i write the new price and store that's advertising it and take all my ads with me in case they need to check. as i check out I tell THEM the price of my food! Ha! I go about 2x a month just because we eat fresh produce for salads and they would go bad, but run out. and we live 30 miles from a store. I think i will start freezing dairy though. I had to start drinking milk due to osteomalacia and osteoarthritis (I'm 26!) but DH won't touch it. I typically get it on sale for $1.57 a gallon.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Love this!!! I've only recently put on my big girl undies and hot a Costco membership. Its a big chunk of change to come out if your pocket once a month, but it feels so awesome to know that you don't have to go to the store for another month. Plus I've noticed that the milk at Costco stay fresh longer than Walmarts or Safeway so I can actually store 4 gallons in my Fridge for almost a month! And I've found that keeping bread in the fridge will keep it fresh for a month... its easier to warm it up in the microwave for 10seconds then to have to buy it weekly. Once you look at how much groceries cost, you take it personal when something goes to waste!

    ReplyDelete
  71. Shopping once a month is something we use to do that we should probably revisit since we now live in the same town where we first started our family and relationship. With the nearest full size store being a 1/2 hour to 1 1/2 hours away from us. We don't have Costco up this way, but we do have Sam's and BJ's although I have never been to the later. Should probably check it out. I have taken many ideas from the Duggar family, America's Cheapest Family, and from the Tightwad gazette. I have been couponing for over 20 years so those weekly trips do add up in savings as well. We try to combine a shopping trip with another visit out near the stores so we can take advantage of sales while saving gas, as well as wear and tear on the vehicle. I look forward to keeping up with your blog. You have a good thing going. Well wishes to you on your journey.

    ReplyDelete
  72. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  73. An idea to save on bags when dividing tortillas-> Use one ziplock bag and divide your sets(6 tortillas) using wax paper. The wax paper will prevent sticking.

    TIp: A little tap and mine usually come right apart. Take out one set to thaw and save the wax paper in your bag for next time you go shopping.

    Tip: The wax paper trick also works with uncooked tortillas. You can pre-make all of your dough and then pull some out when desired. Let them thaw and then cook them. They taste like you just made them!!

    Tip: make sure the wax paper is cut into big squares, enough to cover the size of the tortillas. Parts that touch will freeze together.

    -anna

    ReplyDelete
  74. I live 45 minutes away from a Costco and Walmart so I try to only go grocery shopping 1 or twice a month. It is almost impossible to keep fruit and veggies fresh that long. What do to do about freash produce? Lauren.sievers@hotmail.co

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a post for it. You can find it below
      http://www.blissfulanddomestic.com/2012/07/fresh-produce-on-budget.html

      Delete
    2. If you rinse your fruit in a solution of 4 parts water to 1 part vinegar, they will last longer. I've had berries last up to two weeks.

      Delete
  75. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  76. Hey Darlin'
    Just wanted to share something I found on a blog called marathonmom.com. She has 8 (!) boys, and she makes homemade granola bars! I have made them and they are good. Then you don't have to purchase. I promise they are MUCH cheaper to make then to buy.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Hey darlin,
    On a blog I found called marathonmom.com, she gives a recipe for homemade granola bars. They are yummy, and cheap to make. :)

    ReplyDelete
  78. I found your blog through Pinterest and was interested to see your ideas. I have been shopping for 6 months at a time for about 6 years. I started by doing one month, then three months, and now I only shop twice a year. My husband usually has 2 months out of the year with 3 paychecks instead of two, so we use the extra check to shop. I do VERY basic meal planning, ie. I know we will eat spaghetti at least once a month, etc. But after doing this for so long I have a standard spring/summer list and fall/winter list. I buy everything I will need for holiday baking and meals, except the turkey, when I do my fall/winter shopping. We also purchase all of our toiletries and household supplies, basic needs like new socks, underware, dish towels, scrub brush, etc. at this time. By purchasing everything we can think will be needed for the next 6 months we stay out of tempting places like Target and Wal-Mart. Each Friday I decide what I will cook and bake the next week based on our schedule. I am able to determine if I need any fresh ingredients and also stock up on fresh fruit and milk if needed. I do not buy milk to freeze only because buying 6 months of food does not leave room in my freezer. When we go to the store on the weekend we take just enough cash for what is on our list. This prevents temptation. We have chosen to support a smaller local store for our weekly trips rather than the big box stores where we do the major shopping trip. This also eliminates temptation. We are a family of just two at home now, since our children are grown. We eat out two times a month, once each pay day and eat VERY well, healthy and fun, meals. We are not living on ramen noodles and beans. Our entire bill comes to right at $1200 every six months, with an additional $100 for the weekly shopping and meals out. So, we are spending approximately $1800 every 6 months. Remember this is EVERYTHING, not just food. I am doing inventory this week to prepare to shop next week. My plan is to make as many of my own household cleaners and detergents as possible this time and will be doing freezing of as much produce as possible to try to cut that $ amount even further. Thank you for inspiring others. Keep up the good work. And thank you to your husband for serving our country.

    ReplyDelete
  79. In our house we have 4 people; two adults and two munchkins.
    We have to keep our grocery budget to 150-200 a month. I found a lot of purchase in this blog. It's nice to see other families taking this seriously!! Our grocery budget also includes napkins (get at the dollar store and cheaper than paper towels), tp, diapers, wipes, and all the little extras needed. This has gotten a lot easier as our little ones have gotten older! :)
    We also shop once a month, as our pay comes only once a month. It was a difficult thing to adjust to, but I have found that we save a lot more shopping only once a month with a trip or two to the farmers market (its on my boyfriends way home from work)
    We've also adapted a routine of 'make ahead meals'. Our favorite has been breakfast burritos. For about 15 dollars we make enough of these for us all to eat them for a full month. Much tastier and healthier than the ones you buy at the store or fast food (and cheaper)!! We make our own flour and corn tortillas, and are now working on different breads. It's turned into fun for the whole family.
    I thrust myself into an odd situation at a young age. At 20 years old I became a mother to a one year old child I barely knew, and soon found myself expecting. It's taken these last 3 years to get into a routine that works for our family.
    But I can't stress enough to anyone that once you set your mind to these kinds of routines and find the ones that work for your family it helps on SO many levels!

    P.S.
    I am definitely going to bookmark this blog!

    ReplyDelete
  80. I read through this and had to smile. My grandparents raised me and my grandma taught me to grocery shop. These were people who grew up during The Great Depression. When I tell people this they think I'm nuts. Often I get, "What do you mean taught you to shop?" To be able to save money it is a learned process. A year ago I taught a friend to shop and last month i ran into her at the store. She proudly and very thankfully informed me that she was now feeding her family on less that $300 a month. Would love to speak with you about maybe guest writing/ swapping tips and ideas. You can email me, if you like, at ccollins2009@yahoo.com. Just let me know in the subject its you, please.

    ReplyDelete
  81. How do you make your bread? and are you willing to share such recipes?

    ReplyDelete
  82. Have enjoyed reading your post. I try to save as much as I can being on a limited income of $500 mo. I have tried freezing milk and it turned out terrible. It separated, the consistency was not good. I also want to make bread but for some reason, yeast and I are not getting along very well. Got any ideas?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sharon, I too had issues with yeast, I discovered that if you buy the jar of yeast (usually cheapest at a big box store ie. costco) and keep it in the fridge it stays better and last longer. Yeast breaks down quickly once exposed to air. Also when you use it make sure your mixing it with "really warm water" not cold or too hot, it rises better.
      As for milk it works best with fat free instead of whole milk and you will have less of an issue. For years I used powdered milk to mix up using warm water and then putting it in the fridge over night, since I always put it in a pitcher my kids never knew the difference and it was much cheaper. This is a good tip for those who do not have freezer space. Now we don't use milk at all (children with milk allergy) and cartons of soy milk don't need to be refridgerated until opened and the expiration is months away so I can store it in a cupboard.

      Delete
    2. I make most of our bread, using a bread machine to mix and knead enough dough for two loaves, then bake them the oven. I always keep yeast in the fridge and make sure to use by expiration date or shortly after. I buy jars of either bread machine yeast or quick yeast.

      Delete
  83. Sorry, forgot to send email add.
    bsp@spbaarmor.com

    Sharon

    ReplyDelete
  84. Thank you so much. I am ashamed to say that between groceries and eating out my family spends over $1,500 a month! No wonder I have worked 3 jobs and never knew where my money went (in our bellies or in the trash). I am due with twins (boy 3 and boy 4) and am becoming a stay at home mom. I am trying my darndest to become frugal and a betty homemaker to justify this lifestyle for more than the next year. I almost wonder if we will do better financially with me staying home. Our old life was lets grocery shop, go out to eat since its easier after working all day, and throw away spoiled food. Having a $300 grocery bill would keep our finances close to what they were before I quit working. Thank you for the motivation and tips!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congratulations on your twins, and good for you, cutting down your food bill. Cooking from scratch is a huge money-saver. There are lots of resources for learning how to freezer cook, too.

      I don't currently freeze a lot of meals, but I prep & freeze several things, to make meals easier. I chop and freeze bell peppers for using in deluxe nachos, chili, etc., I cook and freeze ground beef for using in nachos, chili, etc., I freeze my homemade pizza crusts for a quick & easy pizza, and I shred & freeze cheese for pizza, nachos, etc. I also make a lot more pancakes or waffles than we need, so I can freeze the leftovers for a quick breakfast that the kids love.

      Delete
  85. I spend about $1200 on food for my family of 6 (8 when my step kids are home with us) I can't wait to start shopping like you! Thank u for sharing! God bless you!

    ReplyDelete
  86. I was wondering if you have done the math on how much it cost to make bread BC at out discount wonder bread store I can get bread for 65¢ I freeze it I also being a kid on military pay schedule I grew up with commissary shopping once a month now that im married the Hubby is a teacher at a rural school and gets paid once a month im not the best meal planner this has spurred me on and the post its are a wonderful idea, one tip if you freeze bread stand it on its end with cardboard or papersack whereever it might touch the less touching the less freezer burned the bread store lady gave me that tip!! She said the best thing is a cigarette carton case box it holds 6/8 loaves of bread standing on end :)

    ReplyDelete
  87. Wow this sounds amazing! I am so motivated now from your great example!! We are also a family of 4 who needs to seriously manage our finances and groceries!! I have been reading several of your posts now and cant wait to start this! I just wish we had a freezer.. We have a sidebyside fridge/freezer that isnt very large and minimal cabinet space. But I have been reorganizing to make more cabinet room for the dry items.

    ReplyDelete
  88. I have found that I have saved my family a lot of money by buying some of our food locally. I buy a side of beef and a whole hog from a local organic rancher. I know where my meat comes from and what its been fed--yes it seems like a chunk of change up front, but I have a freezer full of the best tasting that lasts for at least a year and I end up saving a lot of money in the end. I buy whole chickens from another organic farmer and I get fresh vegetables and fruit from a CSA (community supported agriculture). I also have fresh organic milk delivered to me from a local dairy. I also use up every part of my cow and hog which means I have alot of broths and soups and I can alot of produce from my CSA so we have plenty to keep us through the winter. I only have to go to the store for a few staples as I bake our bread, oatmeal bars, etc... Shopping once a month and on a budget doesn't not mean that you have to have to succumb to Ramen noodles and your kids have to do without snacks...

    ReplyDelete
  89. I'm a mom of a 10yr old and 16month old. Between my husband and the little bit I shop weekly using Emeals.com 7 dinners under $100 but after I buy the filler meals and hone supplies I'm at $250-$350 a week. It's really leaving us with no money at all I saw your posts in pinterest a little nervous on the how of this but idk what else to do. I thought Emeals would help but idk
    Robindnorrell@gmail.com help

    ReplyDelete
  90. Hello. I think this is the best once a month shopping how-to I have seen. It interests me but I am still just a little hesitant. There are certain things that I wait to go on sale before I will buy, for example cheese, which is eaten all the time in our house. Is that something that you would spend the extra money on and buy full price when you went or is it something that you would go without at your house for a couple months until the sales aligned with your shopping week. Missing out on the good sales makes me nervous about cutting down to once a month shopping, despite the savings. -Shannon
    salter_sm@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  91. Have you thought about investing in a vacuum sealer?
    My father invested in one and buys the rolls of bags for it so he can "make his own." It usually lasts us about 3 months, as we don't continually use it as we should.
    Even at the young age of 19, I have found that it is always nice to have what I call "everyday" meats (ground beef, chicken breasts, etc.) on hand, but buying them individually in portions is ALWAYS more expensive. We have started to get these in greater pounds at the grocery store to come home and divide out and vacuum seal so they stay fresh longer.

    Be sure to tell your husband thank you from your reader from Texas for his service to this great nation. It really is heartwarming knowing another one is home.

    ReplyDelete
  92. I was wondering how much meat you bought, where you get the most for the money. Meat seems to be the most expensive thing we spend money on. I try to buy ground turkey instead of ground beef and buy a whole chicken as it's cheaper. Any tips?

    I'm going to try to start canning this fall for the entire year, so hopefully that will save money on canning certain fruits (such as peaches) when they're in season.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Have you thought about couponing? I haven't shopped except for fresh veggies, fruit, and some meat in about 3 months. You can save money not only on groceries including meats and fresh fruit and vegetables, but also on the other stuff like toiletries, paper products, cleaning supplies, baby supplies, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  94. I discovered your blog today via a link party. My husband and I have been married for a year and just got really serious about saving money; thanks so much for sharing your tips!

    ReplyDelete
  95. I found your blog from Pinterest today! What would you suggest for an apartment? all we have is a refrigerator and a small pantry. I would like to be able to freeze things, but the freezer part of the refrigerator is so small! Actually, the whole combo is about 4 and a half to 5 feet tall by about 3 feet wide. Any tips? LittleMissSunshine9109@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  96. I shop for our family of 7. I do once a week just because we use a lot of produce. I coupon and meal plan. I find that people give us extra produce and things and so I waste less if I can weekly assess what to make from what I ahve on hand. I might try the twice a month approach and see how that goes. I suppose if I plan something and I am given something I can just put that meal off until the next rotation. Any thoughts about that are appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  97. I appreciate all of your tips, but I'm not sure we could do it the way you do for your family. We eat too much fresh produce throughout the month, not cooked in everything. We have salads a few times a week for lunch and prefer to eat a lof of our vegetables raw and fresh, as well as fruits. Your suggestions are to make smoothies and cook with them after they are thawed from the freezer, but how do they come out thawed? Are they mushy? Do they retain their fresh taste and physical properties? If not I'm not sure it would work for us. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They couldn't be eaten raw again because they do not have that crispness, but we love them added to our meals. It is just like the frozen veggies or fruits you buy at the store

      Delete
  98. It's just my husband and I living together, but I used to spend about $400 a month on groceries! Some stuff I bought fresh would spoil, or we wouldn't use some stuff I bought. I actually went to the grocery store tonight, and spent $250 on groceries for this month. We didn't do a full 31 meals, we did 16 and then bought items for deli sandwiches, ramen...etc. I did not adjust meal plans, I bought ingredients for 4 people per meal though so I'm hoping it's enough. Going out to eat for lunch will also burn a hole in your pocket. I'm going to start taking leftovers for lunch, this will also cut down on my sodium intake. Unfortunately we don't have a huge freezer so what we are able to freeze is limited. I started buying more frozen fruits and veggies so they don't spoil so that will also help us save money. Thanks for the tips and ideas :)

    ReplyDelete
  99. I was inspired by you and how you budget your money. I go to the grocery store every two weeks and i spend in the high 300's to $400.00 and that's every two week's and it bother's me. About everything i buy is either name brand or just flat out expensive and i will buy it anyway. I have picky eater's in the house. I think alott of what runs my bill up is all the frezzer food that i buy plus snack's. I am defenitly going to make changes there is no need in paying that much for food when you can go cheaper and it being just as good. :) I will keep you posted! :) Thank you for sharing with us! :)

    ReplyDelete
  100. Hiya! Do you buy meats (chicken, steak, etc.) once a month also? Do you simply freeze them?

    ReplyDelete
  101. What do you do about fruits and veggies?

    ReplyDelete
  102. Just wanted to let you know that your blog has inspired me. I have been trying to spend no more then 400.00 a month on groceries and I only try to go twice a month since that is when we get paid. I love your ideas about snacking with children. My husband just deployed and so I am wanting to spend even less on groceries and this snacking thing with my two kids does get expensive. Thanks for the ideas. I have bookmarked your blog so I can read it and read it again. Thanks so much!!!

    ReplyDelete
  103. I am new to the board and haven't read through all this so if it has already been answered, Im sorry for the duplicate question.

    What do you do if you have a recipe that has a ton of ingredients and its not stuff you would use in another meal? I find that everything I want to make, has a ton of ingredients I don't have a home. I know that waste money at the grocery store. Do you ditch the recipe?

    ReplyDelete
  104. I am new to the board and haven't read through all this so if it has already been answered, Im sorry for the duplicate question.

    What do you do if you have a recipe that has a ton of ingredients and its not stuff you would use in another meal? I find that everything I want to make, has a ton of ingredients I don't have a home. I know that waste money at the grocery store. Do you ditch the recipe?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I can't modify it then yes I ditch it. I don't use recipes that call for ingredients I wouldn't normally use. All my recipes pull things from my pantry staple list. This saves money and leaves no wasted food.

      Delete
  105. Great Post! Really enjoyed reading this. I would love to adopt your tips and tricks. We have switched to organic foods (about 80% of the time), so I'm looking for ways to keep my costs down since that can add up. Currently, grocery shopping and cooking is my least favorite chore! AGHH! Thanks for the inspiration. Going to share this post with all my friends. I am looking forward to reading more money saving tips! Rachael@ FrugalFaye

    ReplyDelete
  106. Hi liked your post but wanted to know how you incorporate fresh fruits and veggies into your meals if you only shopping once a month ?

    ReplyDelete
  107. I absolutely loved this! I'm your typical broke college kid living with four boys (boyfriend and three friends). We are still in the process of moving into our new house and I am really looking forward to giving this a go. What would you suggest for someone who has little to no pantry space? For a four bedroom house, they did not plan well on accommodating that many people. We have one shelf on which to put all our pantry goods.

    ReplyDelete
  108. I absolutely loved this! I am your typical broke college student living with four boys (boyfriend and three friends). We are still in the process of moving into our new house but I am really looking forward to give this ago. What would you suggest for someone with little to no pantry space? For a four bedroom house, they did not plan well to accomadate this many people. We have one shelf in which to put all of our pantry goods.
    ashleedg92@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  109. I do this as well! I however have a family of 6 and have to spend more personally 6 tortillas wouldn't even last a minute with 2 teenagers. But the only thing I don't freeze is milk. I may have to start. I just worry about it changing the taste of the milk and boy do my kiddos LOVE milk!!! The other thing I freeze is bread and cheese. I can get it out in the morning and let it thaw and it really helps cut back on having to run out and get that " one item " that ends up being a cart full!!! I also have started making my own baby food and freezing it in ice cube trays and then moving them to baggies and thawing only what he will need for the meal the morning before. Great ideas and they really save on the money. I love knowing my kiddos are getting home cooked and healthy food that I totally control the ingredients of!!

    ReplyDelete
  110. Hey, great post. I come to you via Pinterest also! yay. Anyways...I'll be checking out the rest of your site soon. Looks like good stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  111. About 3 weeks ago I read your blog about living on $14,000/year. I found it very interesting and I had to get our small local library to order both of the Economides's books. While I was waiting for the books to come in I started listing all of our bills and keeping track of what we spend money on. When I got the books I read the first one in about 3 days! I am now working on "Cut Your Grocery Bill IN HALF". Thanks to your blog I discovered these GREAT books and I really believe that we will be debt FREE within 18 months and have money in the bank! I will keep reading your blog for the inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  112. You may have already answered this, but you say you freeze your yogurt. Does that do anything to the cultures? What about the consistency of the yogurt after you thaw it?

    ReplyDelete
  113. You should try making your own tortillas and pizza dough... Saves lots of money and they are way better then the stores!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was going to say the same about the canned soups and pasta sauces so much healthier and more frugal to make your own. I make large batches of soup with leftovers in the crockpot - it's that evenings main course along with some homemade bread and then the rest is canned for easy meals down the line. You can do the same with pasta sauce. I also have to say I was thrilled as I read the post about making everything homemade and keeping snacks to a minimum, then I looked at the pictures and saw spaghetti rings, whipped topping, frosting, jello pudding, mayo, etc. And then I was a little disappointed especially when it was none of those things listed as "treats".

      Delete
  114. I normally shop for 1 weeks worth of groceries (but I'm so sick of being at the store ALL THE TIME!!), so I'm trying something new for me...I just shopped for 2 weeks...baby steps here! I actually spent about $50 less than I would have spent if I had shopped like I normally do...weird, but awesome! Because I bought meat in bulk, I have extra meat that will take us into a third week. I imagine I may have to make a run for coffee and possibly a few other items. It's hard to figure out exactly how much your family consumes over a 2 week period...let alone a month! I have 2 small children, so I need lots of snacks here. I'm super excited about trying to shop for a month! I need to start planning out meals now. I have a food blog, so I try to not repeat recipes too much in our home so I always have something new to blog about...so that makes meal planning a little more of a challenge...But I'm totally up for the challenge. You have inspired me! Oh, and 2 weeks worth of food is a crazy amount of food...I couldn't imagine a months worth! Thanks for inspiring me to save money!!

    ReplyDelete
  115. One store that helps me is Aldi's, it's my stock up store for sure!

    ReplyDelete
  116. Wonderful post. Wanted to give you another idea that maybe you do already. My husband was laid off and unemployed for 14 months. We had to change our way off life completely. One thing I did was buy carrots and celery whole and peel and cut them myself. They I started thinking about all the waste I had from those peelings and ends that were cut off so i though I would freeze them to make chicken stock. This worked perfect! I save the peelings from onions, garlic, carrots and the ends of celery stock. They I use the chicken carcass from a roasted chicken and make my own stock. It makes about 8 cups and I freeze it in 1 cup portions. Sometimes I would cook the whole chicken in the stock and then use the cooked chicken to make chicken salad or enchiladas. Thanks for all of your wonderful ideas!

    ReplyDelete
  117. Bravo to all for planning ahead, shopping carefully/infrequently, & making everything from scratch. I found myself unexpectedly alone & self-supporting at age 40 (I'm now 79), working two jobs simultaneously to survive; I was determined to purchase/own a home of my own. I did (paying off a 30-year mortgage in just 18 years), and I did it by sewing my own clothes, driving an old car & cooking everything from scratch. One food source I find invaluable is Aldi, a German-owned chain of small stores; if there's one near you, try it. I just bought avocados there for 29¢ apiece (they were $1.79 each in our small-town grocery). I drive 17 miles about once a month to Aldi to load up on low-cost produce, excellent European cheeses, and great dairy products (about a 50% saving on every item, sometimes more). I never buy soda or prepared foods. During this hot, hot summer, I chilled homemade iced tea in glass bottles (saved from an earlier one-time purchase of high-dollar prepared iced tea) that I wash regularly in the dishwasher. I often make pizza with a homemade yeast crust (which will be wonderfully crisp on the bottom if it is baked on a cast-iron pancake griddle).

    ReplyDelete
  118. Great post, interesting information. Only thing I think would make it better: reusable bags. I know you're shopping at large chain stores, but a lot are starting to offer discounts or cash back for bringing your own. If we all end up going the way of CA, we'll have to pay for plastic too. My local Shop Rite gives me 5cents for each bag I bring. Aldi charges me for bags if I forget my own. That will add up for you for sure!

    ReplyDelete
  119. If you have Safeway, check out their online personalized deals and digital coupons. I started using them for a few months and the savings are dramatic. Based on the receipts' calculation of my savings, it used to read savings in the 20% range, now it's close to 40%. I love that you can get coupons for their generic brands and produce items, something that is not available in traditional coupons. The best deal I've gotten so far... $0.04 for a loaf of Open Nature Whole Wheat French bread. Gotten that deal twice so far!

    ReplyDelete
  120. Wow great job... very inspiring. We are an army family too and I've been trying to coupon here and there but I'm not very consistant. We spend probably a good $600 a month for our family of four and my goal is to bring it down to $400. It's hard but I'm interested in trying out your method. We're getting ready to move to Korea in 2 months so I need to see what our living situation will be like then but I'm secretly excited to be moving out of the country for the pure fact that the commissary allows you to use expired coupons out of country, hahaha.. I hope to be able to once a month shop while I'm there eventually and will be using your tips and guidelines, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  121. Hi, Danielle. I really enjoy your blog and I have a question about your grocery budget. Do you include non-food items in your budget or do you set a different budget for those items? If so, how much do you set aside for household items (toilet paper, paper towels, etc.). We're trying to trim our "Walmart" budget and can't seem to get it to where we need it to be. I appreciate any advice. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  122. Love this!!! I shop o.ce a month as well, and always have, because my husband gets paid amonth... question for you?, What do you do as far as produce when shopping once a month? I find that my produce doesn't always stay fresh until I need them. any tips?

    ReplyDelete
  123. What about case lot sales? I just got the annual September case lot sale ad from Smith's in the mail today. Does you family stock up on the items they offer. I am in the research phase of food budgeting. We are a family of 6 and I have been pretty good at making menus, but to only shop once a month would be heavenly! I would also like to get our grocery budget to $400 or $450 a month. Your blog is great! minettaslattery@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love case lot sales! Such a great way to stock up and save. Thanks for reminding me about those:>

      Delete
  124. You have A LOT of comments on this post so Im not sure if this has been mentioned but have you tried Once a month cooking? ITS AMAZING www.onceamonthmom.com is the blog I follow and I love it. Saves me insane amounts of time I can then spend with my kids and saves crazy money. I think you would enjoy it :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do a variation. I don't do all the cooking in one day because I love the whole aspect of making a meal from start to finish. It is like a little me time at the end of each day. I do freeze as much as I can though to make the "me time" a lot easier:> I am going to check out that site though. Thanks for sharing.

      Delete
  125. I appreciate this post! As a military wife, it's always nice to see someone else who is willing to share their money saving tips and tricks. We are a family of five and although I go shopping once a week, I still usually spend right at three hundred a month as well. I think the key to saving a lot of money in this area is the planning. I do the same as you when planning, making a meal plan and checking the pantry, fridge and freezer before shopping. Then when I go shopping I stick to the list and get NOTHING else...unless it's an extreme sale!

    ReplyDelete
  126. I have spent last 3 hours reading every last tid bit on your site. It started with 'how to save money on food shopping' and I was hooked. I love your posts, blogs, pictures, family ...ALL. I think your an amazing woman and person. Your ideas, honesty, strength and creativeness -I admire. You have truly inspired me && I will keep reading. Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  127. Danielle, do you have any Aldi or Save-A-Lot grocery stores near you? We LOVE shopping & saving money on groceries. We shop once a week and with many of the same ideas you have. Our family of 4 normally gets out around $80-$90 per week. Also, does your shopping trip include your paper products, tin foil, etc?

    ReplyDelete
  128. I have a computer program called Cook'n. I put all of our normal meals and favorite recipies into it and then go thru and choose which to make for the month. The program creates a menu to post on the fridge letting us know our options and also creates a combined grocery list. I then check off the things I already have and then go shopping for the month. It's a great resource for what you do and saves all the writing and researching!! Thanks for all the helpful hints :-)-Michelle

    ReplyDelete
  129. I'm very interested in everything you've posted and I definitely want to do something similar. Unfortunately, I feel like we kind of have to wait until we buy our next home (crossing fingers that's in the next 3-6 mo) because we lack storage space. Anyway, I wanted to ask you about coupons. I feel like SO often a lot of the coupons focus on things I would not choose to buy - sugary and fattening items. What are your thoughts about this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Since I try to make as much as I can from scratch, coupons don't always help. I always look to see what coupons are available, but I only use them if they apply to what I would normally buy.

      Delete
  130. I ran across your blog on pinterest and have been following since! I love all your ideas and recipes! The bisquick banana bread is a new favorite of my husband and I, and the homemade rolls were awesome! Thanks for sharing your tips and ideas :)

    ReplyDelete
  131. now we just need you to use reusable bags...

    ReplyDelete
  132. I have started little by little to cut out the pre made meals from the store and doing it myself. I started canning this year and started making my own peanut butter, well almond butter it tastes so much better than store bought. I started making my own potato chips as well, I know it takes some time but if I really want them then I will make it. I grew a small garden this year and canned or froze (love that seal a meal) what I didn't use right away. My grandson loves it he gotta help grow and pick from "his" garden, we are waiting on the pumpkin and squash now.

    ReplyDelete
  133. Save money then die of cancer. 90% of everything you bought is sugar and white flower. I seen maybe 1 healthy thing. Where's the fresh fruits, vegetables, the brown breads and brown pastas? I think I will stick to my shopping habits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sorry you feel that way, but if you read the post you will see we do buy produce and things that are healthy. You shouldn't just look at the pictures. I am sorry you don't agree with what I buy. I wasn't asking for confirmation. I just wanted to share how I save money on groceries. Thanks for stopping by:>

      Delete
  134. I just wanted to let you know that my daughter has saved 2/3 of her grocery bill a lot of times. Rarely does she save only 1/2. She shops at Publix for the most part. Publix allows you to use up to 3 coupons on 1 product, a Publix coupon, a printed coupon (from internet couponing site), and a manufacturer's coupon for the same product. She always tries to get those items while they are on sale as well. So she sometimes can even get money back for a product. Now that's couponing done right! Wouldn't you agree? I think you do great don't get me wrong. Justsayin'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is awesome for your daughter. I am not trying to compete though. I just want to share how I save money for my family. Everyone has there on way. This is just mine. Thanks so much for reading and stopping by. Wish you had left your e-mail so I could write ya back:>

      Delete
  135. Well finally someone who thinks as I do. I live by myself and for some years I have been spending $40 a week on groceries. No on can understand how I do it. But they're not willing to learn either. Your system is very different from mine. Mine works just as well. I only get as much produce as I will use in two or three days. I do make those 'runs' to the store for one or two things. But I also do get Just that and get right back out. No wandering the store 'looking'. I never buy things like cheese strings or 'baby carrots' . Pound for pound those things are a horrendous cost compared to the non-convenience sized. I almost never buy anything processed, prepared, pre-packaged precut, or convenience sized. You're just paying someone somewhere to do it for you. Lots more from me but enough. I'm taking too much time and space as it is. This is just food I'm talking about. Nothing else the grocery store sells.

    ReplyDelete
  136. Hunting can really decrease your meat budget. If u or hubby don't hunt then most processors have deer,etc that are brought in and people don't pick up. Just call and get on the list early before the hunting season. You can tell them what u want. I get one deer made into hamburger meat, round steaks, jerky meat, chili meat, sausage, etc. I pay the processing fee about $90 and I key at least 4 paper bags of meat, can't beat that price at the grocery store.

    ReplyDelete
  137. Hi one thing I forgot to say in my earlier post on $40 a week is, I NEVER buy juice, soda, or any other drinks. On $40 a week no way can I afford to drink my calories. $ for $ they don't have enough nutrition. Thanks Bgarrick53@ gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  138. Please do begin using re-useable bags. as someone posted earlier often times there is a discount if you do and a charge if you don't. Where I live lots of people give you the evil eye if you use store bags. It is a very eco-conscious area. It's worth bringing your own bags for soooo many reasons. All it takes is a little planning : ) We know you're good at that.

    ReplyDelete
  139. I can totally agree with and understand your distaste for fast food, but in looking at your grocery items, I'm seeing a ton of stuff that's just as bad. Ramen? Nutella? Canned soups? Go-Gurt? If I may suggest even more savings and less of the unhealthy stuff, reduced-sodium bouillon cubes are lifesavers- they even make the dried beans better. Also, the larger tubs of yogurt are fantastic. I purchase frozen mixed fruit for around $1.50 and a large tub of the light vanilla yogurt for just under $2 where I live, then mix them together and divide them into very small lidded containers for my kids. They do love them.

    Thanks for all of the extra ideas, too. This monthly shopping is a great concept.

    ReplyDelete
  140. Seasonal, yummy, CHEAP recipes on my blog every Wednesday, and TIPS! Please check it out and follow me too! :)
    (Family of five living on as little as we can!)

    www.stackedstonefarm.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  141. Thank you for this post, this is how I shop as well and it really is worth it. I was just curoius though, your $300 a month is that strictly for food because I include laundry detergent, dish soap, shampoo, toothpaste, cleaning supplies, toilet paper etc. in my grocery budge, do you?

    ReplyDelete
  142. Okay this is awesome and I can't wait to get this book. My husband and I have been wanting to make a budget for a while now and tomorrow we are sitting down and doing one. I go to the store all the time and spend way to much. I can't wait to sit down with the husband and plan our meals. Oh and I was wondering does your $400 a month include like paper towels, toilet paper and such. Or is that budgeted seperately

    ReplyDelete
  143. I think this post just changed my life :) I am also wondering if the $300 is strictly food or if it includes soaps, tp, cleaning supplies, foil, etc.? Maybe this is a silly question but you mentioned that you prefer to go shopping alone because its hard to say no to your children... Well how on earth do you fit all of that food in one grocery cart?

    ReplyDelete
  144. I love your blog and hubby and I are sitting down today to do a budget and get back on track. I was wondering in the $400 you spend a month would that include toilet paper, diapers, food storage, shampoo and such.

    ReplyDelete

Blissful and Domestic is a place for inspiration and encouragement. Please remember that when commenting. I read all your comments and am thankful for them :)

All comments are moderated. Your comment will appear soon. ;)

If you have a question make sure to leave your e-mail so I can write back. Thanks!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...