Can a Freezer Lower the Cost of Your Groceries?

GroceriesSaving on groceries has become a very hot topic lately. With the rising cost of food and gas prices, families are faced with spending more. That extra money has to come from somewhere, so trimming the other areas of your budget becomes very important very quickly.

You probably already know purchasing large quantities of non-perishable items while they’re on sale will help you save on groceries. But, if you have a large enough freezer you can apply the same principle to more perishable food items. Here are just a few items that can be frozen and thawed as you are ready to use them.

Meat Products – As long as everything is sealed correctly, you can save meat for quite awhile. Pay special attention to sales on bacon, pre-packaged hamburgers, and chicken. I buy large packages of meat when they go on sale. Then I freeze the meat in smaller portions in freezer bags that I have labeled with the date.

Frozen Dinners – Although those little box dinners are pretty expensive, they are also very convenient. You can offset some of the expense by waiting until they are on sale and stocking up on them. They’ll stack nicely in your freezer and store easily. I’ve been able to stockpile a nice selection of Weight Watcher’s Meals during Target’s Buy 5 Get One Free sale.

Bread Products – Loaves of bread and buns freeze very well. If you leave plenty of time for them to thaw, you can make sandwiches and hot dogs much cheaper at your next family barbecue.

Food You’ve Prepared
– It’s often much easier to make a larger quantity of your favorite recipes than it is to make the recipe twice. So, if mozzarella cheese is on sale, make two or three pans of lasagna. You can freeze the extra pans and you only have to clean up the kitchen once. I usually have one or two bags of homemade burritos or pizza dough in my freezer at any given time.

Frozen Vegetables – Stock up on frozen vegetables when they’re at their cheapest. These versions of veggies often have less salt than their canned compatriots, so they’re much healthier for your family. Pull them out as you need them and enjoy them all year long.

Stocking up your frozen pantry can add up to real savings in your grocery expenses. And with an enormous bounty of food at your fingertips, you can also make fewer trips to the grocery store. You’ll save on food and gas all in one fell swoop.

5 Frugal Ways To Beat Food Price Inflation

Grocery CardIf you have been to the grocery store anytime over the course of past few months then you have definitely seen how food prices have escalated. Stores have been passing along increased prices to consumers who are feeling their income squeezed. At a time when gas prices are higher, you are paying more money for everything from milk and potato chips to paper towels. If you want to save yourself some money on food, here are a few things that you can start doing.

1. Use the combination approach

Everyone knows that using coupons can save you money when you are out grocery shopping. You may not know that you can save a lot more money by using grocery coupons when an item is already on sale. This is a way of getting double savings on many popular everyday items that you need. Check online and newspapers for coupons and find stores that are already offering discounted pricing.

2. Stock up on sales

Buying in bulk is an old principle that still works. Load up on meat, poultry, and fish items when they are on sale. Grocery stores will occasionally discount these expensive items in order to sell their inventory. You should buy as many pounds as possible to take advantage of lower costs per pound. Structure your meals around the savings that you have gained on these products. Store your excess inventory in your freezer so that you can make sure that it does not perish.

3. Grow your own garden

Growing your own fruits and vegetables can save you from having to purchase costly produce at your local grocery store. You can start an outdoor garden really cheaply by just buying some soil, a few gardening tools, and seeds. This is the perfect time of year to get started and your garden can be blooming by the summer. You can also grow your own spices outside your window sill and keep yourself from having to purchase spices to season your foods.

4. Shop wherever the deals are

Most grocery shoppers are lazy and go to the same store week after week regardless of higher prices. It is important to visit different grocery stores and shop wherever the best deals are for that week. Not getting too comfortable with your local grocery store will keep them from taking you for granted.

5. Start using rebates

Rebates are a great way to get cash back on many purchases that you get from your grocer. Stores offer rebates instead of discounts because they count on customers neglecting to fill out the form and mail the receipt to get a discount. Start taking the time to send in rebates. You can mail them in or submit them electronically online. Manufacturer rebates often give cash back or free items to shoppers that use them.

Do you have any strategies for beating food price inflation?