Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Budget Saving Tips

Below are some tips that I found on a site I had enjoyed (the site is no longer available). I follow these tips and find them to be good advice.

  • Plan your meals (including desserts, if desired), make a list, and stick to it. Plan meals according to your grocery stores specials.
  • Plan on using leftovers (Mondays Pot Roast turns into Tuesdays Roast Beef Sandwiches).
    Incorporate at least one or two meatless meals a week into your menu.
  • Reduce the amount of meat in recipes and increase the amount of another less expensive filler such as rice, beans, or pasta.
  • Make your own cookies, cakes and breads instead of buying them premade (they're tastier this way, too).
  • Compare prices. You may be surprised to discover a sale item isn't always cheaper than another brand not on sale.
  • Browse through the discontinued and damaged items. They are still good, and a lot cheaper.
  • Stock up when you come across an unbelievable buy. Spending a few extra dollars one week will yield high rewards in the following weeks.
  • Never shop hungry. You'll find more wanders into your shopping cart than normal.
  • Use coupons. Better yet, couple them with an in-store special for an even bigger savings.

I use coupons rarely because I simply do not use name-brand items much. Even with coupons I find name-brands are not cheaper most of the time. When I do I wait for sales and/or use a coupon if at all possible.

Another tip I can offer is to take advantage of a store's meat department slicing meats free. For instance, beef stew meat costs $4 a pound or more on a normal basis. I cannot bring myself to pay that price. When beef roasts go on sale I pick up a few and have the butcher at the store cut them into stew meat for me. So instead of $4 a pound, I can buy it for $1.60 or less a pound. That is a huge savings. I make the meat department my first stop on those days so while my meat is being cut I can pick up other items on my list.

I do the same for ham steaks. Around Thanksgiving and Christmas as well as Easter hams go on sale. Again ham steaks are $4 a pound, but I have been able to buy a whole bone-in ham for $1 a pound. I have it sliced free into steaks. The end portion that is left is good for White Bean and Ham Soup. Pork Loin is the other meat I get slice free when it is on sale. The boneless loin chops are best on the grill especially with an Apple Barbecue Sauce. Mmmmm!

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