Monday, March 13

praise the Lord and pass the pintos

My husband is a Mexican food fanatic. Thankfully, pinto beans are relatively inexpensive, so bean burritos are never out of style in the Muth household. However, I can only eat so many pintos before I dread the thought of another bite...but praise the Lord for a non-picky spouse!

I am always on the lookout for tips on saving money, especially on groceries and other consumables. I've found women in our church with semi-grown families to be a veritable treasure trove of knowlege on how and where to save.

I LOVE ALDI!! where else can you find canned goods for so small a price? I have my mother to thank for Aldi-awareness. Then, a few months ago with some help from my friend Sue, I discovered a scratch-and-dent food store that has great deals on easy-grab snacks (like 50 cents for a box of granola bars) and breakfast cereal (yum! my favorite). They also sell stuff that's slightly past the expiration date, and sometimes I can spring for that, depending on what it is. Expired yogurt? I'm not that brave. My favorite savings has to be Kroger's reoccuring sale on 2-cup bags of shredded cheese ($1/bag!!!).

In order to stick to our grocery budget, and avoid the "what to cook for supper" confusion, I try to do a quick pantry inventory and make a menu every 3 weeks or so with items that I've found on sale or that we have in our cupboards. I make a shopping list for the stuff I need, then try to stick to the list when I go shopping. Of course, if there's a fabulous sale...it's a little tricky for me to pass it up at times.

Coupons are great, too, but my problem is never having them when I have the time to run to the store right after work, or I clip them thinking I'm going to have time to organize them later, and life just gets crazy. So I'm looking for suggestions on how actually use those clipped coupons!

Anybody else have good money-saving techniques they want to share?

6 comments:

Katie said...

I love ALDI too! My mom always went in Green Bay when she was in the area.

I don't really use coupons a whole lot because we don't get the paper. I really should though. I find that the best way for me to save money (or at least stay in my budget) is to only use cash. We only started doing this in January. We are on an EXTREMELY tight budget right now, and this has REALLY helped us. :)

Alicia said...

Jenny,

We have an even cheaper version of Aldi out here in Ohio - Save-A-Lot. They even have produce! That scratch and dent place sounds terrific. What a find! Wish I had some new money saving ideas for you. I'm going to start a garden this spring so we can have fresh veggies and save a few bucks.

Alicia said...

jen,

forgot to ask you if you need any good mexican recipes since your hubby likes food from south of dee bordah. :) let me know. i've got great recipes for homemade tortillas, pico de gallo, guacamole, empanadas, and much more. sorry, i didn't feel like capitalizing this morning. :)

al

TwoMuths said...

Al,
I am ALWAYS looking for great Mexican recipes. Michael will be eternally grateful, and quickly promote you to "kitchen sainthood" I am sure!
Jen

Shannon said...

Jenny,
Sounds like you have already know how to save money! I learned a lot just in your post! :) I like to get deals, but more in the way of clothes and the home is what I am better at. I echo the cash solution that Katie uses. We do the same for those things that I would typically go over budget on and that helps tons. Do you have a Big Lots near you? I frequent there a lot for things they might be clearancing.

pamela s said...

I hear ya on the tight budget issue! I go shopping twice a month for our groceries and found I spent less than if I go weekly. A menu is a must. Something Mexican & something Italian is ALWAYS on our weekly menu due to the cheapness.
We do have an Aldi's near us, but it's so out of the way, I would be spending more on gas than I would be saving. But, I always go to Wal-Mart before going to the grocery store. In their 3 aisles of groceries, they have many of the basics for much cheaper than my grocery store's off brands. Milk, cereal, bread, flour, sugar, and even some meat. Plus, I get the paper products and shampoos, soaps, etc. there also.
We don't use coupons either. I tried, but our newspaper was costing more than the savings and many of the coupons did not apply to us (ex. pet supplies).
I also echo Big Lots. It's a fun store - always changing. Sorry this is so long.