Remember how I said that I enjoy grocery shopping? That’s thanks, in part, to the handy shopping list I make which streamlines everything. But I have an even bigger secret that saves more time and money than anything else.
Ready for it? Here it is: Don’t buy stuff.
I understand, this “tip” is kind of like saying “the best way to save on gas is just don’t drive.” Well, both tips are true. They seem a little obvious and anti-climatic, but they also happen to be the most effective. Until I took these things to heart by skipping the frozen food aisles (and walking to school when the weather was nice), I really wasn’t saving much money.
In the years since I began buying my own food, my grocery list has shrank gradually. There are three reasons for this:
1. We don’t eat as many processed foods
2. We buy ingredients rather than a finished product
3. We source some of our food elsewhere
To show you what I mean, I made a list of a few things we used to buy at the store but no longer. In parenthesis I’ve put what we use instead.
- grated/sliced cheese (a block of cheese can be grated or sliced as needed)
- yogurt (we make our own in the crock pot)
- milk (we have a herd share with a local dairy)
- coffee creamer (I use a splash of creamy raw milk!)
- canned soup (we make our own soup/broth)
- canned fruit (we usually just get fresh)
- canned vegetables (we eat fresh or frozen)
- salad dressing (make ourselves or do without)
- bread (make ourselves)
- bottled drinks (buy only as a treat)
- frozen pizza (make our own)
- pasta/pizza sauce (it’s cheaper to make your own with canned tomatoes and herbs and veggies of choice)
- processed food like waffles, hotpockets, etc (don’t need)
Crossing these items off my list allows me to cut out nearly half the aisles in the grocery store!