Bob recently posted a news broadcast from the Financial Bloggers Conference in Chicago. Several things stood out to me from that video. The first thing was Bob’s reply for a top money-saving tip. His outlook on contentment is awesome, and I feel privileged to work with someone whose views so closely match my own. The second thing to stand out was when Len Penzo said that he spent $10,000 per year on food. Because I spend less than $400 a month on food for a family of 6, I’m still trying to grasp how he manages to do that. Then, after reading the comments, I’m still trying to grasp the fact that I am probably in the minority. But since we’re all trying to find more ways to save money, I’m going to share with you my top three secrets for cutting our food bill. 1. Set a per pound cost. One of the most important aspects of saving money, whether you’re shopping for food or electronics, is to decide what you are willing to spend before the opportunity arises. Once you come up with that figure, stick with it. I used to stick to a $1/pound maximum for grocery items. This year I have found it almost impossible and am rapidly approaching $2/pound. Keep in mind, though, that doesn’t mean I cannot buy cheese that generally runs $4/pound. Since I also buy cabbage at 49 cents a pound, that evens out the total bill. This process involves reading labels and shelf tags; and doing the math. For someone like me, that involves using the calculator. I also use the calculator to figure what I am spending as I shop. For instance, input the total amount you are willing to spend. Then, each time something goes into your cart, deduct that amount. When you reach zero, you have to quit—even if you only made it through half the store. 2. Change your habits. As grocery prices have soared, I’ve quit buying certain items. Here are a few examples and why: Bacon —At $5.19/pound, I cannot justify buying a product that is so unhealthy. If I need to spend that much on meat, then I will buy meat without added salt and chemicals. Ice cream —Except for birthdays, I rarely buy ice cream. And when I do, I do not pay regular price for it. I recently weighed a carton of Breyers ice cream. This 1 ½ quart box weighed 2 pounds. Considering the regular price of $6.49 for the carton, that comes out to $3.75/pound. Since that is higher than my $2 limit, and it is not truly food, I have just quit buying it. Ice cream is a member of what I call “food imposters.” They get put into our grocery carts and added to the food allowance but they do not nourish our bodies. Most call them junk or snack foods. Don’t get me wrong; I like snacks just as much as the next gal. But I do not spend my precious food money on heavily salted, sugared, and fatted items on a regular basis . We bake from scratch and we eat popcorn—and not the microwave kind. Tuna fish —my husband only likes solid white albacore tuna. Currently, it runs about $1.89 a can. If you read that can closely, you will see that the 5 ounces enclosed is only 4 ounces of tuna and one ounce of water. Considering that four cans would make a pound, then tuna runs $7.56 a pound. There is no way I can balance that out with cabbage. 3. Cook from scratch. Buying ingredients is much less expensive than buying factory-made food. Not only that, it’s healthier, too. Consider a box of Rice A Roni. I absolutely love Rice A Roni. But I haven’t bought it in years. It includes many food additives that I have cut out of our family’s diet and it is expensive. (Close to $3/pound.) So, I’ve devised my own Rice A Roni substitute. It’s made with rice I buy in bulk at 50 cents a pound, it tastes great, and it’s good for you. What about you? Do you have any grocery-saving tips to share? Let us know in the comments below! Image by Kenneth V. Pilon / Shutterstock Related Articles: How Much Should You Spend on Groceries? How To Save Money On Groceries – 13 Tips Rising Food Prices: 8 Common Sense Ways to Fight Them! How to Invest in . . . Food? 7 Ways to Save Money Grocery Shopping Buying Organic Herbs & Spices In Bulk & Saving 90% 10 Things People Waste Money On The articles on this site are for entertainment purposes and should not be taken as financial advice. Please contact a financial professional for specific advice regarding your situation. Also, many of the CPF articles help us pay the bills by using affiliate relationships with Amazon, Google, eBay and others. Find out more here .
Lower Your Grocery Bill: 3 Secrets