First Person: I Lowered My Monthly Grocery Bill by $51

Yahoo Contributor Network

When I'm planning my family's budget, I know that one of our biggest expenses is our food costs. It seems every time we visit the grocery store the total grows. After taking a long, hard look at what we were spending I was able to find ways to save. These are some of the ways I've found to save on our food costs.

Stew meat

My husband and I love to make stews and soups, but the cost of stew meat has gone up quite a bit. We used to pay about $5 for a package of stew meat. Now, they are as much as $11 or more. I can't afford to pay $11 for one package of meat, so we had to find another option. I found that I could buy a beef roast for around $6, and cut it into stew meat myself. Doing this saves me $5 a meal. If we do this four times a month we save $20 off our grocery bill.

Cheese

I love cheese. There aren't many things I can think of that I wouldn't want to have cheese with. However, cheese can be expensive. One package of sliced cheese can cost me as much as $5 a pack. When I was trying to figure out a way to save money on our cheese habit, I noticed that I could get more cheese for a cheaper price if I bought shredded cheese. I can get a large bag of shredded cheese for $4. I use this cheese on salads, baked potatoes, and on anything where the cheese is going to be melted. Supplementing shredded cheese for sliced cheese can easily save me $20 a month off my grocery bill.

Drinks

Sodas are one of my weaknesses. I drink way too much soda, and would even go as far as to say I'm addicted to them. On any given day I drink as many as six cans of soda. Sodas are sold in 12-packs for about $4, and that will last me two days. I drink about three and a half packs of soda a week, which costs me about $14 a week. To help reduce costs, I had to figure out a way to quench my thirst for less. To do this, I turned to another favorite of mine, iced tea. I can get a box of tea bags for $3, and a bag of sugar for around $2. With these I can make about eight gallons of tea, and one gallon of tea lasts me an entire day. Spending $5 on tea bags and sugar saves me $2 a day. That is an overall savings of $11 a month after the cost of the tea supplies.

Paying attention and being creative while grocery shopping saves me no less than $51. If you are willing to compromise and substitute what you are used to for something new, you can also save on your food costs.

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