25 Ways to Save Money on Groceries

25 Ways to Save Money on Groceries

photo credit: MFinderup

We all want to find ways to save money on groceries. The good news is with a little savvy you can reduce your monthly grocery bill – giving you a little extra to go out and buy the latest cool cooking gadget.

  1. Buy non-brands. Branded products often cost a lot more for the same ingredients.
  2. Check to make sure your receipts are correct. Don’t get over charged.
  3. Garden. Create your own food. Seeds are cheap.
  4. Shop in local grocery stores rather than brand name grocery stores.
  5. Save your leftovers and either eat them or use them to cook up new dishes.
  6. Read newspapers and check magazines for discounts and coupons.
  7. Check the home page of your grocery store to see if they have discounts.
  8. Try online coupon sites. Sites like coupons.com often have coupons to help you save money.
  9. Ask your store to match a price if you can find it cheaper elsewhere.
  10. Send in your rebates. They total to a lot of money over time.
  11. Stop eating out! Cooking at home saves a lot of money. As an experiment, try tracking your eating out expenses for a month or two to really see how much it costs.
  12. Create a weekly budget for your weekly groceries. Don’t go over this budget.
  13. Keep a checklist of everything you need and check off what you have. Use this list to make sure you’re only buying what you need.
  14. Track your grocery expenses in a spreadsheet. Save your receipts and punch in what you spent into that spreadsheet at the end of every shopping trip.
  15. Frequent 2 stores instead of 1. Over time, you’ll start to get to know which items are cheaper in which store.
  16. Plan your grocery shopping weekly, then buy a lot at once. It saves time as well as money on transportation going back and forth to the store.
  17. Cook a lot at once. Bulk cooking will generally save you money.
  18. Don’t “emergency cook.” Plan so that you’re not going out to shop for then cook just one meal, as that’s often quite costly.
  19. Pack your own lunch for work or school. Check out Rachel Ray’s convertible meal carrier – great for adults and kids.
  20. Never buy frozen foods. Freeze your own cooked foods after cooking foods in bulk.
  21. Cut out sodas, donuts, etc. These can add a lot to your bottom line.
  22. Don’t shop when hungry – You’ll tend to over shop when you’re hungry.
  23. Cut out coffee if possible. A $3 cup of coffee daily costs $90 a month. Get a coffee machine if you absolutely must have caffeine.
  24. Buy produce in season. This will help you reduce the cost of your produce.
  25. Subscribe to Valpak and Penny Saver. They’ll often have coupons for groceries.
Saving Money on Groceries Tips

photo credit:carloszk

 

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Helpful Tips for a Successful Chocolate Fountain

Helpful Tips for a Successful Chocolate FountainChocolate fountains are beautiful and most can service a couple hundred people. However, there are some things you should know in order to have a “successful” chocolate fountain at your event.

1.      Buy good quality chocolate. Buying cheap chocolate will require you to add oil to it in order for it to flow properly. Ew!

2.      Choose food items to dip that won’t tear or break off. Nothing is grosser than having chunks of food floating in the chocolate, and food particles can clog the fountain…that would be a horrible mess!

3.      Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over the stove before placing it in the fountain. Very few fountains are capable of melting the chocolate well enough so that it flows properly.

4.      Choose the placement of the fountain carefully. Stay away from swinging doors, air conditioning ducts or anything that will interfere with the flow of the chocolate.

5.      Level the fountain before filling it with chocolate. Place the level across the lip of the bottom bowl and adjust the feet accordingly. Also make sure the fountain is placed on a sturdy table or counter that won’t tip over easily.

6.      Never use a chocolate fountain outside. If a gust of wind arises, it will blow chocolate all over your guests and everywhere.

7.      Wear an apron! Preparing your fountain might get a little messy.

8.      Never leave the fountain unattended. Assign someone responsible to keep an eye on the fountain…and the guests. They can be in charge of showing guests how to dip and in charge of turning off the fountain when something gets dropped in it.

9.      If a piece of food gets dropped in the fountain, turn it off, scoop out the food and turn it back on.

10.  If the fountain seems to stop flowing for no apparent reason, it probably has air bubbles. Simply turn it off, watch the bubbles escape, then turn it back on.

11.  If setting up the chocolate fountain at an event away from your home, take large garbage bags to bring the fountain home in. Empty the fountain first before placing it in the bags.

12.  Don’t leave the chocolate in the fountain when the event is over. The chocolate will harden and be much more difficult to clean up. If it does harden, don’t turn the augur on, but instead turn on the heating element to melt the chocolate first.