Plan to make some meals on a budget with a tightwad grocery list.
Trim Your Grocery List
When your basic grocery list starts to exceed your budgeted funds, it's time to trim the list down. The foods you keep or add to your list might not be the most exotic or flavorful, but they will help you keep your pantry and refrigerator full until your next paycheck.
Purchase items in the absolute cheapest store brand or generic you can find. Unless you can combine a massive discount sale price with name brand coupons, you will usually save the most money by simply purchasing the cheapest brand available.
Add these items to your tightwad grocery list:
- Dried beans
- Canned beans
- Generic noodle packets with seasoning
- Canned vegetables, store or generic brands
- Plain quick oatmeal
- Dry milk
- Store brand/generic bread
- Russet potatoes
- Pasta, store or generic brands
- Pasta sauce, store or generic brands
- Store/generic brand tomato juice
If you want a little something extra, you might consider purchasing generic/store brand flavored gelatin mix or instant pudding mix for a treat.
Get Grocery Help
An extreme way to save money is to purchase the absolute bare minimum amount of food on this list and measure your portions carefully. However, this is not recommended for children, seniors or pregnant women, as the nutritional content is probably not up to standards. Only follow an extremely short grocery list for a short period of time, regardless of your age. You do not want to risk your overall health to save money on groceries.
If you find yourself near federal poverty level and unable to afford groceries, visit your local food bank or charity to find options for reduced or free groceries and meals.
Tightwad Grocery List Extras
Watching the sales circulars and flyers is especially important when preparing a tightwad grocery list. You can pick up items that will round out your shorter, more frugal list that help create budget friendly meals for yourself and your family.
Watch for all ready cheap produce to go on sale. You want to save money and stay healthy, so try to incorporate fresh produce when the season and price is right. Look for:
- Apples under 99 cents a pound
- Bananas under 79 cents a pound
- Celery under 99 cents a pound
- Cabbage under 59 cents a pound
- Iceberg head lettuce under 99 cents a pound
- Carrots below $1.29 per pound
Look for sales on generic or storebrand tuna to mix with pasta and a cheap cream soup. Keep an eye out for a good deal on chicken hindquarters, which can often be purchased in bulk for less than 99 cents per pound.
More Food Savings Tips
Figuring out how to save money at the grocery store is something you need to do in order to keep your household budget in check.
Follow these tips for saving big on your food:
- Shop warehouse stores where you bag your own groceries for rock bottom prices.
- Bring a calculator to the grocery store in order to figure out the price per serving.
- Keep a list of the lowest prices you have seen on your staples and favorites; set aside a little money and stock up when the price hovers low.
- Shop at stores that match competitor's prices for store brands as well as name brands.
- Split perishable bulk items with another person or family to reap the benefits of saving without having to store it, eat it all immediately or risk it going bad.
- Consider picking up a part-time job at a local grocery store that offers employee discounts in order to make and save money.
- Serve accurate portion sizes; not only will it keep your fridge and wallet fuller, but your waistline smaller.
- Follow your grandma's frugal recipes and meal plan in order to make the most of your groceries.
Being a tightwad helps you save money. Remember that your grocery list is flexible. Keeping it in check will help you keep your entire budget in line while still feeding yourself and your family, so you do not go into debt.