Saturday, April 9, 2011
meat, milk, produce...oh my!!
One of the questions I get asked the most is,
How do I save money on meat, produce and milk?
While coupons for these are not as easy to come by as say, a box of cereal, they are out there. Keep your eyes peeled!
Wasn't that helpful? No, ok let's talk about it a little bit more. (:
When you get your weekly grocery store ads (mine come on Tuesdays b/c my sales run Tues-Tues) there will be some really cheap prices on meat, produce and other items. These are called loss leaders. The store takes a hit on the prices of these items, because they are the items that get you in the store. Think of it this way...
Say for example your store puts a whole chicken on sale for .59 a lb. This is a great price. You see that and say "ok I am going to go in and get the chicken". However, while you are in there you say, "ok now since I am here I might as well get..."
They get you in there with one item (or a few) and hope you will spend the rest of your money there.
Resist the urge!!! While planning my lists I only get the loss leaders, sale items and anything else that would be a good deal after coupons. I don't just throw whatever in my cart.
This week at one of my stores, cucumbers, strawberries, grape tomatoes and pineapples are on sale. That is the produce I will buy this week. If apples aren't on sale, we aren't going to get them that week. We will eat strawberries and pineapples instead. That way I am still feeding my family good for you fruits & vegi's I am also getting a good price.
Same with meat. I only buy the loss leader and plan my menu that way. If ground beef is on sale, we will have meatloaf, tacos, enchiladas etc. Chicken divan wouldn't be on my menu that week, unless of course I have some chicken in my freezer.
Another way to save money on these items is to use catalinas towards them. If you recieve a catalina (those coupons that print off at the check out) for $3.00 off of your next order, use that towards your produce/meat/milk purchase.
Planting a garden, freezing produce when bought at a good price, canning, buying at farmers markets...all those are good ways to save also.
Meat & milk are usually great deals at warehouse stores. Generally that is where I get mine, unless I get a great deal at my stores that week.
When you find a great price on meat, STOCK UP! Don't buy what you need for a day, buy what you need for a month (or what YOUR budget can afford). Later when either make myit is not that great price...you can go to your freezer instead of the store.
For bread, I either make my own or buy from the bread outlet stores. We have a Hostess one and so I also like to get special treats like Twinkies, or those fruit pies that my hubby loves...
Remember also that when you are consistently saving money on your grocery bill, you can afford a few splurges. Here is your scenario:
Let's say you have a $100 budget for the week. Using your coupons and sales, you spend only $40. You now have $60 to work with. If you want to buy steak for a special dinner with your hubby, or that pint of your favorite ice cream...you will have that money left over!
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