One way to keep your grocery bill under control is to budget in a daily or per-meal dollar limit. If you can plan just $5 or $10 per dinner and become a coupon guru when buying staples you can see some pretty big savings.
One of the problems with eating cheap, traditionally, has been quality and nutrition. The lack there of, that is. Our children are grown so it’s just me and my wife at home now so we can easily eat every night on ten dollars or less but we want to eat healthy too. In fact, a local pizza place has been offering two medium, two item pizzas for 10 bucks for a very long time. They have great pizza but that’s not exactly a healthy diet.
You can see from the picture above that even Meijer grocery store has taken notice of the per-dinner budgeting trend and used it in their marketing this week. They used the trend in a two page spread in their ad paper.
Two of my Twitter friends offer daily help for those wanting to learn about per meal dinner budgeting. Both do an awesome job and you should follow both pros.
Renae with 10BuckDinners.com: Well balanced meals for a family of 4 for ten dollars or less! Every day. Every recipe. Not to mention, much healthier than fast food.
Erin Chase with 5DollarDinners.com: Erin makes dinner for her family every night for $5 or less! She’ll show you how to prepare healthy meals using natural and wholesome ingredients!
Any per day or per meal planning grocery tips? We’d love to hear them.
In our house, one of our Sunday morning rituals is sitting down with the Sunday newspaper (print version) and planning our shopping circle. (More on the shopping circle in a later post – don’t forget to subscribe).
Personally, I find very little value in the actual paper itself. I get the news on TV, my phone and on the web much faster. I do feel good about how full it makes my recycle bin look – after I keep some for packaging and cleanup.
Our local Sunday newspaper, the Detroit Free Press, is just like every other newspaper in America – stuffed full of flyers, ads and coupons. The picture above is the actual newspaper we used last Sunday. We look at all the best values in our area using the fliers, matched with our shopping list that we built with <a title=”Save Money Grocery Shopping And Stop Over Spending With E-Mealz” href=”http://hotmoneytips.com/save-with-emealz”>e-mealz* and select our stores.
The Shopping System
Once we have our grocery list and stores picked we get to the fun part – coupon clipping. Along with the electronic coupons, (again, subscribe for that future post) we find coupons for as many items as we can that are already on our shopping list.
I know many people will make their list from the coupons they find but that doesn’t work for us. I’m not an expert but we don’t want the marketing of coupons to dictate our grocery list.
The Coupon Savings
We will save a little by deciding which stores to shop and even more from the coupons. We try to use both manufacture and store coupons. In last Sunday’s Detroit Free Press there was a total of $339 of coupon savings. Of course we use only a fraction of that but we save enough to make the $1.50 expense a no-brainer.
Do You Clip The Coupons?
Are you a coupon clipping nut too? Are you taking advantage of the Sunday coupons? What’s your system? Comment below.
My brother-in-law is getting married in April (Congratulations Shawn and Tina) and I’m going to need a tux. We’re renting them through The Men’s Wearhouse, Inc. and by registering online I’m saving an instant $30.
Legal stuff: I am not currently an affiliate and no affiliate links were used in this blog post but I do use them throughout the site with other products and programs not related to The Men’s Wearhouse.
A member of our family is losing their home soon and their situation gave me an idea. There may be a little hope for those in similar situations if my guess is right.
Ok, real quick; they don’t make a lot of money. They haven’t made a house payment in over a year and the bank just listed their home for sale. BUT, they haven’t been officially foreclosed on or evicted yet.
The bank said they could continue to live there, without making payments, until the house sold. Even then they will have plenty of time to move out – up to six months!
Why would the bank be so generous? I am sure it’s in the bank’s best interest. I know the banks have taken it hard and dry lately with the ‘revenge’ damage and vandalism involved with evictions and vacant homes. I imagine it’s better to keep someone living there, even free, which will take care of the place. That way the house is less likely to be broken into and little things like the utilities remaining on must be a big plus for the banks.
It might sound farfetched but what if people in that position made a proposal to the banks that they would ‘house sit’ on foreclosed and vacant property? I don’t know if it’s been done before but it sounds like a win-win for both the family and the bank.
It would be rough moving every year, or even more often, but that’s a great trade off – living somewhere free.
Could this be a huge business idea for the right person? Imagine a professional ‘house sitting’ service with a client list full of large banks? Am I crazy or just a freakin’ genius?
We’ve been using the *E-Mealz menu planning system; for about a year now so I decided to finally blog about it. E-Mealz has literally saved us hundreds of dollars on our grocery bills. It saves us money, it frees up time, we eat healthier and we now have a wider range of dinner options than ever before. How’s that for an endorsement? I can’t think of a single negative thing to say about E-mealz. Oh yeah, did I mention it’s only $5 a month! (Subscribe to our newsletter for subscriber only tips and savings to save even more).
Getting The Most From E-Mealz:
When you combine E-mealz with coupons the savings can be huge. With weekly meal planning to this degree you can also search for and plan other savings such as sale items and coupons. To me, it’s the organized meal planning that makes this system the best available. The time saving alone is worth the small $5/month investment.
Now let me brag about my wife Kim for a second. She is absolutely hands down the best cook I’ve ever seen. She can take almost anything out of the kitchen and turn it into the best meal you’ve ever eaten. But we all have limitations. She has a very large list of ‘regular meals’ she use to make but… we’ve been married for over 27 years and that’s a lot of cycles. What E-Mealz has done for us is help that list of menu options grow to an unlimited number. It’s actually pretty exciting to try new meals every week while eating healthy and inexpensive dinners.
Tip – Mixing It Up
My wife and I don’t always use the exact menu every week. We have been members for a long time so we have a bunch of previous menus stored on our computer. If we see something with broccoli (yuck!), for example, we simply go into our past menus and pick a different meal to replace that day’s dinner.
E-Mealz offers a wide variety of options for stores and menus.
Current store options for E-Mealz menus are Aldi, Kroger, PublixU, Walmart, Ralphs as well as an ‘any store’ option.
Meal menu options for E-Mealz are regular menu, the Points System Meal Plan, Low-Carb, Low Fat and even Vegetarian.
You can plan your weekly meals with either a Family Meal Plan or a Meal Plan for two.
E-Mealz also has holiday dinner and vacation menu options.
This morning, Christmas Eve, I decided I wanted a little corporate gift from the utility Santa. I thought a little experiment was in order and it was just a matter of a few phone calls.
First I called my energy company, DTE, and asked for a Christmas gift. It turns out DTE isn’t in the cheery Christmas mood because they wouldn’t budge. No worries, only a few minutes of time wasted.
Next on the list was AT&T. Jackpot! With almost no haggling and only three transfers I got a $50 credit on our next bill. Merry Christmas AT&T!
Next was our satellite company, Direct TV. Not exactly a jackpot but I did walk away with free Showtime and HBO for three months with the purchase of Cinemax for twelve bucks. Not bad, three premium channels for 90 days at just $36. Thanks Direct TV but you just get a Happy Holidays.
I’m not finished yet, I still have a couple calls to make but I was so excited I just had to get this posted. So give it a try, call your utility companies and ask for a Christmas gift, you just may be surprised at the response.
The One Pot Chef’s top ten list to saving money in the household budget.
See what David aka ‘The One Pot Chef‘ from the The One Pot Chef Show has to contribute when it comes to saving money in the kitchen. The One Pot Chef Show has been sharing the best traditional and classic recipes with us since 2007. In this video The One Pot Chef has put together his top ten money saving tips.
Tip One – Make a list of EVERYTHING in your kitchen cupboards.
Tip Two – Make a “Food Planner” diary.
Tip Three – Do grocery shopping at night.
Tip Four – Buy in bulk.
Tip Five – Reuse and recycle.
Tip Six – Get a slow cooker or crock pot.
Tip Seven – Change the way you eat.
Tip Eight – Start saving coins.
Tip Nine – Change your light bulbs.
Tip Ten – Ask for discounts.