The homemaker can save money on groceries by remembering
convenience is costly.
Doing more of the work will save money.
Purchase dry beans instead of canned varieties.
Rinse beans, cover with water 2 inches over the beans. Soak overnight. Drain and rinse. Place in the sleeve of a slow cooker, cover by 1/2″ – 1″ with fresh water. Cook on low until tender (about 6-8 hours). Cool completely, then bag in 2-cup (15-16 ounces by weight) portions, and freeze.
Blocks of beans frozen this way can be added to soups and stews without thawing. To use as a substitute for canned beans in a recipe, thaw in the refrigerator (about 24 hours) or in cool water, first.
4 pounds dry pinto beans = $3.82
1 pound yields about 54 ounces (by weight) cooked beans
cost = 1.8¢ per ounce
canned pinto beans cost = 4.7¢ per ounce
canned refried beans cost = 6.3¢ per ounce
Save over 60% on canned pinto beans. Use those frozen beans to make homemade refried beans and save over 70% on store-bought!
Cook your own flavored rice side dishes.
5 pounds long grain white rice = $2.98
cost = 3.7¢ per ounce
The least expensive Spanish-style yellow rice mix I can find is 14.7¢ per ounce. Save over 70% by cooking Spanish-style rice at home!
Buy seasoning bases instead of stock or broth.
I like the brand Better Than Bouillon. Just one jar makes the equivalent of 9.5 quarts of broth!
(These prices are from my local grocery store, which is more expensive than, say, Wal-Mart.)
1 jar = $5.25
cost = 55.3¢ per quart of broth made
1 quart Swanson brand broth = $2.39
Save over 75% on broth/stock!
Purchase refill sizes of condiments, cooking oils, and spices.
Keep smaller containers for ease of use, but buy larger containers. Just don’t buy more than the family will use before it spoils! That huge container of ketchup is not cheaper if half of it ends up in the garbage!
Buy cheese by the block.
Purchase cheese in blocks instead of shredded or sliced.
(Name-brand prices, from Wal-Mart. Prices are comparable to store-brand at my local grocery chain, which is in the Food Giant family.)
KRAFT 1 pound sharp cheddar = $4.96
KRAFT 8 ounces (2 cups) shredded sharp cheddar = $2.67
KRAFT 7 ounces (24 slices) “cracker cuts” = $2.67
A one-pound block of cheese will yield about 4 cups when shredded — save about 8%. Using the conversion of 7 ounces for 24 slices, then cutting the block of cheese saves about 18% over the “cracker cuts.”
My store frequently puts half-pound blocks of cheese on sale for 2 for $4. When this happens, I save about 25% over shredded cheese and about 33% over sliced cheese. I have not had success freezing cheese in blocks, but have not given up hope, yet. It would be wonderful to be able to stock the freezer with some cheeses when the prices are so good.
Comment below with your favorite way to save money on groceries. 🙂