Monday, February 10, 2014

How to Save on Your Grocery Bill



I'm a firm believer that you can save a few bucks on anything if you do your research. There are different times throughout the year when products from cars to electronics to housewares are offered at sale prices.

Now, what about food? We all need it to survive. So, I started wondering as to when would be the best time to buy groceries on sale. I did a google search and found through Lifehacker.com where Living Richly on a Budget blog has a printable version of when grocery items go on sale throughout the year. It includes the wide spectrum of brands and eats that people need and crave.

But personally, I cook from scratch and try to avoid processed foods as much as possible. Therefore, I need a list of raw and basic ingredients that I could purchase, and stock up if needed, when I know they are to go on sale.

I revamped the Living Richly on a Budget list to "my kind of items" (listed below; it may look a little screwed up but you get the idea) and put them in a spread sheet by month. Then I can see at a glance the whole year and plan accordingly. The items marked with an * can easily be grown and/or processed at home if you have access to the initial ingredients. This also applies to the majority of fruits and vegetables. And making your own in-ground root cellar allows you to keep root vegetables through the winter.

Doing a little research and learning to grow and process your own food can save you quite a bit on your grocery bill.

  J F M A M J J A S O N D Broth* - - - - - - - - x x x x Butter* - - - - - - x - - - x x
Canned goods* - - - - - - - - - x - -
Cheese* - - - x - x - - - - x x Coconut - - - x - - - - - - x - Coffee - - - - - - - - - - x - Cream - - - - - - - - - - - x Cream Cheese* - - - - - x - - - - - - Eggs* - - - x - x - - - - - - Evaporated milk - - - - - - - - - x x - Flour - - - - - - - - - - - x Fruit, canned* - x - - - - - - - - x x Fruit, dried* - - - - - - - - - x - - Meat: chicken, canned* - x - - - - - - - - - - Meat: grilling* - - - - x - - - - - - -
Meat: salmon, canned - x - - - - - - - - - - Meat: seafood - - - - - - - - - x - - Meat: tuna, canned - x - - - - - - - - - - Meat: turkey* - - - - - - - - - - x - Milk* - - - - - x - - - - - - Oatmeal x x - - - - - - - - x x Oils - - - - - - - - - - x - Organic foods* - - - x - - - - - - - - Peanut butter - - - - - - - x x - - - Pumpkin, canned* - - - - - - - - - x - - Salad greens* - - - - x - - - - - - - Spices - - - x - - - - - - - x Sugar - - - x - - - - - - - x Tea - - - - - - - - - - x - Vegetables, canned* - x - - - - - - - - x x Vegetables, frozen* - - x - - - - - - - - - Water chestnuts, canned - x - - - - - - - - - - Whipping cream - - - - - x - - - - - - Wine - - - - - - - - x - - - Yogurt* x - - - - x - - x - - -
J F M A M J J A S O N D Apples - - - - - - - - x x - - Apples, Gravenstein - - - - - - - x - - - - Apricots - - - - - x - - - - - - Artichoke - x x x x - - - x x - - Arugula - - - - - - - - - x - - Asparagus - x x x x - - - - - - - Avocado x x - - x - - - - - - - Avocado, Haas - - x x - - - x - - - x Beans - - - - - - - x x - - - Beans, green - - - - - - - x x - - - Beets - - - x x - - - - x x - Berries: Blackberries - - - - - x x - - - - - Berries: Blueberries - - - - - x - - - - - - Berries: Boysenberries - - - - - x - - - - - - Berries: Cranberries - - - - - - - - - x x - Berries: Raspberries - x - - x x - x - - - - Berries: Strawberries - x x - x x - - - - - - Bok Choy - - - - - - - - - - - x Broccoli x x x x - - - - - x x x Brussel Sprouts - - - - - - - - - x x x Cabbage x - x x - - - - - x x - Cabbage, Napa - - - - - - - - - - - x Cabbage, red - - - - - - - - - - - x Cabbage, Savoy - - - - - - - - - - - x Carrots x x x x x - - - - - x x Cauliflower x x x - - - - - - - - x Celery x x x - - - - - - - x x Chard x x x - - - - - - x - - Cherries - - - - - x - - - - - - Collards x x x - - - - - - - - - Corn - - - - - x x x - - - - Cucumber - - - - - x x x x - - - Dates - - - - - - - - - - - x Egglplant - - -   - - x x x x - - -
Fennel - - x - - - - - - - - - Figs - - - - - - x x - - - - Garlic - - - - - - x - - - - - Grapefruit x - - x - - - - - - - x Grapes - - - - - x x x x - - - Kale x x x - - - - - - - - x Kiwi x x - - - - - - - - x x Kumquats - - - - - - - - - - - x Leek - - x - - - - - - - - - Lemons - - x - - - - - - x x x Limes - - x - - - - - - - - - Melons, Honeydew - - - - - x - - - - - - Mushrooms - - x x - - - - - - - - Nectarines - - - - - x x - - - - - Nuts - - - - - - - - - - x - Nuts: Almonds - - - - - - - - - x - - Nuts: Chestnuts - - - - - - - - - x - - Onions - - - x - - - x x - - - Onions, red - - - - - x x - - - - - Onions, spring - - x - - - - - - - - - Onions, sweet Vidalia - - - - x x - - - - - - Oranges x - x - - - - - - - x x Oranges, valencia - - - - - - x - x - - - Parsnip - - - - - - - - - x - - Peaches - - - - - x x x - - - - Pears x - - - - - - - - x - - Pears, Anjou - - - - - - - - - - x x Pears, Asian - - - - - - x - x - - - Pears, Bartlett - - - - - - x x x - - - Pears, Bosc - - - - - - - - - - - x Pears, Comice - - - - - - - - - - x - Peas - - x x x - - - - - - - Pepper, Bell - - - - - - x x x - - - Peppers, Chili - - - - - - - - x - - - Plums - - - - - - x x - - - - Pomegranate - - - - - - - - x x - - Potatoes - x - - - x x - - x x - Potatoes, new - - - - x - - - - - - - Potatoes, sweet - - - - - - - - - x - x Potatoes, white - - - - - - - - - - - x Pumpkin - - - - - - - - - x - - Radishes - - x - - - - - - - - - Rhubarb - - x x - - - - - - - - Rutabaga - - - - - - - - - - - x Spinach x x x - - - - - - x - x Squash, summer - - - - - x x x - - - - Squash, winter - - - - - - - - x x x x Tangerines x - x - - - - - - - - - Tomatillo - - - - - - - x x - - - Tomatoes - - - - - x x x x - - - Turnips - - - - - - - - - x - x Watermelon - - - - - x x - x - - - Yams - - - - - - - - - x x x