I’m always looking for great dollar stretcher tips for our grocery budget and thought I’d share some of my favorites with you. These are great ways to make simple grocery items go further, therefore saving you money on your grocery budget. I love being able to feed my family great meals they love, but still stay on budget and meet our financial goals. 🙂
Dollar Stretcher Tips For Grocery Budgets
Add powdered milk to your milk.
If you’re feeling more adventurous this idea may be for you! (However, you may find you get used to the taste pretty quickly.) Split your 4L jug of milk into two cartons. Prepare a gallon of powdered milk and divide between the two now half gallons of milk. Mix together and use as normal. Powdered milk is much less expensive and mixing like this will still taste the same while saving you money on one of the most often purchased and used items for a family budget.
Add beans to more than just soups and chili.
Dry beans are always super cheap and easy to cook in a slow cooker or Instant Pot. I love making large batches of pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans and garbanzo beans then putting them in 2-cup portion bags to use in everything from soups and chili, to mashing into my ground meat for spaghetti, tacos or casseroles. They take on most flavors they are seasoned with, and their texture is great for all kinds of dishes. This can make one pound of ground meat go twice as far in a casserole or soup!
Don’t fear using carbohydrates.
Starches and carbohydrates tend to have a bad reputation, but as long as you are including a lot of great nutrient-dense vegetables into your diet as well it’s not a bad thing to include things like rice and potatoes as a base for casseroles. Rice and potatoes are a great dollar stretcher for almost any meal. In fact, roasted potatoes, green beans, and roasted chicken is one of the easiest and cheapest meals you can make for your family. It’s healthy, satisfying and easy to manage. The potatoes add bulk to the meal without being high fat or unhealthy, and they are so cheap it makes your meal very affordable.
Batch cook your meals.
You may wonder how or why this can be considered a dollar stretcher for your grocery budget, but it really is a great way to save. When you buy larger quantities of meats and produce, you often save a significant amount of money. Next time you find chicken, pork or beef on sale in large “family sized” packages don’t hesitate to grab them, then cook in simple ways and portion to freeze. Chicken can be roasted and cubed for everything from salads and soups to casseroles or fajitas. Pork shoulders can be roasted and pulled for use in BBQ, casseroles or tacos. Batch cooking meats, produce and even whole meals and freezing for future use saves you time, money and tons of frustration each evening when you need to throw a simple meal together fast.
These are great dollar stretcher ideas for your grocery budget. Just a few simple changes can save you hundreds of dollars in grocery expenses over the course of a year.
How do you make ordinary grocery items stretch further? Let us know in the comments below!
These cleaning tips are meant to help you stay on budget easily no matter how busy you are. Moms who work outside the home, or even stay at home moms with multiple children may find themselves struggling with those regular daily chores. Instead of giving in to the desire to hire help, check these tips first to make the most of your budget and time.
Budget Cleaning Tips For Busy Moms
Create a chore chart for yourself that is divided by day and times.
When you’re busy, it’s hard to find enough time to get everything done. Your to-do list of chores can seem very overwhelming. When you take the time to create a list of all of your chores, you can easily create a chart that will break things down into small increments each day that make it more manageable.
Break down your chore list by daily, weekly and monthly tasks. Things like trash, dishes and general pickup can be done daily. Weekly chores might be vacuuming, dusting or cleaning bathrooms. Monthly tasks can include things like deep cleaning (baseboards and walls), ceiling fans, light fixtures and similar items.
Make your own homemade cleaning products.
There is a lot of savings in making your own homemade cleaning products. You also will always have what you need on hand and won’t have to worry about having to run out to grab more in the midst of a cleaning project. Laundry detergents, fabric softeners, dish soap, sanitizing spray, bleach spray and even shower and bathroom cleaner can all be made with basic ingredients like vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, borax and essential oils.
Related: Here’s how I clean my whole house without harsh chemicals.
Stick to multi-purpose cleaning products.
Instead of buying a different product for each task, find cleaning agents that work on multiple surfaces. This saves you both time and money. Homemade cleaners are a great way to do this, but there are many quality multi-purpose cleaners on the market to choose from if making your own isn’t something you care to do.
Get the kids involved with some chores.
Children are often much better at chores than you initially think. Assign them a few simple daily chores and hold them responsible for basic things like cleaning their room, sorting their laundry and feeding their pets. They need to learn responsibility for their possessions and you need the help around the house. This is a win-win solution.
Recycle when at all possible.
There are tons of great ways to recycle (or upcycle) that are also excellent cleaning tips for around your home. Things like using old sheets and towels to create cleaning rags, or even using old laundry detergent containers to make your own homemade versions. Recycle when possible to keep your costs low. The bonus is that recycling like this is great for the environment and helps you teach your kids about responsibility in another area of their life.
These cleaning tips are ideal for busy moms on a budget. Think outside the box to get your family involved so keeping house isn’t as huge of a chore when you’re busy with other things in life. Grab supplies and make large batches of homemade cleaners and watch as your home stays clean and your budget in tact.
Those early days of with a newborn often mean the baby schedule is out of whack and days and nights are confused. Depending on when your child was born, it can be tough to regulate their sleeping habits. Then mix in the idea of breastfeeding around the clock, siblings, your own need for sleep, work and potential pain post-delivery and you have a frustrating and overwhelming time when you arrive home. These ways to help create a baby schedule for better sleep are meant to encourage you and your child to rest better early on in their life.
7 Ways To Create A Baby Schedule For Better Sleep
Don’t wake your baby to change diapers. This is one thing that many new moms do because they are told to check the baby diaper regularly. A baby schedule works when you stick to it, but moving your soundly sleeping baby around to change a diaper is something that can only interrupt their sleep and make them struggle to settle back down later. If the diaper is truly dirty it will wake them. A slightly damp diaper won’t usually wake them and can be okay to leave on your baby long enough to continue their nap.
Don’t always wake your baby to feed them. There are some times when you should definitely wake your baby to make sure they eat, but in general it will not hurt your baby to go for a 4-6 hour stretch getting quality sleep. When they are newborns you can expect them to wake every 3-4 hours at least for food, but if they happen to sleep a solid 5-6 hours in the first month of life that is okay. Follow your doctors recommendations for a premature or underweight baby since those are times when this rule would not apply. Otherwise, if your baby sleeps 5-6 hours at a time don’t wake them to eat. If they are sleeping 8-10 hours right away however, you will want to talk to your pediatrician and make sure something else isn’t going on. Most babies will sleep in 3-4 hour stretches for at least the first 6-8 weeks of life. After that point, they may begin sleeping longer periods of time.
Co-sleep if breastfeeding. One of the best ways to create a baby schedule for better sleep is simply to co-sleep. While this doesn’t work for everyone, and some believe is a health risk, it can be beneficial especially when breastfeeding. I like having my babies beside me in a playpen or bassinet.
Utilize white noise at nap times. Your baby has been inside your womb for many months and the sounds of your heart are white noise for them. Sometimes the quiet in your home may make it difficult for them to sleep easily. Invest in a womb bear that plays womb sounds, or utilize a sound machine or fan for white noise.
Use blackout curtains. Sometimes even babies require darkness to rest better. Blackout curtains in the nursery or bedroom can keep sunlight out and help them to stay asleep easier and longer.
Feed more prior to nap times. Sometimes it may be hunger that wakes your baby earlier than you would like. Feeding extra prior to nap times may work well. You don’t want to over feed your baby, but you may want to adjust your schedule so their nap time comes right after your regular feedings so they are warm, full and content prior to naps or bedtime.
Be consistent with nap times. A schedule for your baby to nap and go to bed at night is really important. Consistency helps them to learn to not fight sleep. While some things can happen where naps don’t happen right when you want them to, overall you’ll see they sleep better when you are consistent. This means planning errands and events around the baby schedule instead of the baby around them.
These tips to create a baby schedule for better sleep will help your first months with your new child to be much easier to manage since you won’t be as sleep deprived.
Grocery shopping on a budget doesn’t have to mean you only eat rice and beans each day. You can have a wonderful well rounded diet of fruits, vegetables, meats and great sides when you plan accordingly. While I always recommend you menu plan to help stay on top of your pantry and freezer supplies as well as your shopping list, these tips are really where the savings come into play.
7 Tips For Grocery Shopping On A Budget
Make a list before you shop.
Going into a grocery store without a list is setting yourself up for failure in the biggest way. A list is vital to making sure you are grocery shopping within your budget. Divide your list by aisles and categories. If you know approximate or sale prices on items, list those to the side so you can easily track your expenses while you shop and verify prices are as stated in sale advertisements.
Keep a calculator on hand while you shop.
As mentioned before, sale prices are important when grocery shopping on a budget. Make note of what is suppose to be on sale and watch not only for that price to be reflected on store shelves, but also at the checkout counter. (If the price is wrong at the checkout, you may be eligible to use the Scanning Code of Practice.) For all other items on your list, use the calculator you have on hand to make sure you aren’t going over budget. Make notes as you add things to your cart and add up your purchases as you go so you know when you may need to choose a different size or brand because you are nearing your budget limits.
Utilize coupons as much as possible.
Using coupons is a pretty obvious suggestion coming from Simply Frugal. But while using coupons is a great way to save money, it can also cause you to spend more when you are buying things you don’t need or won’t use. Use coupons only on items you would normally buy, and always verify pricing on generic equivalents to make sure you are getting the ultimate best deal possible.
Related: Cash-Back apps are a great way to save too!
Shop sales and loss leaders when applicable.
Sales are a great way to save money on big purchases like meats and of course produce. There are things called loss leaders often in sales. These items are usually far below regular price and are designed to entice you to make a purchase in a store. They believe if they entice you with a low price on one item you are more likely to purchase additional items. These can often be great prices to stock up your pantry for things like pasta, sauces, soups and other pantry staples. Also consider stocking up on seasonal sale prices of meat and produce to freeze or can for off seasons.
Stick to the outside rim of the store.
It is commonly known that the outer rim of the grocery store is usually the healthiest and cheapest. These areas will include fresh produce, fruits, dairy, meats and similar items. Interior aisles will have pantry staples, but also unnecessary expenses like candies, cookies and chips.
Sign up for rewards clubs and programs.
Many grocery stores offer reward programs and club promotions. These can give you high value coupons specifically for their store, points that you can redeem for free products, great VIP day discounts and insight on upcoming sales. They are a great way to be in the know and get rewarded for shopping at a favorite store.
Buy in bulk when possible.
Bulk purchases are often a great way to manage grocery shopping on a budget. Just make sure to check the unit prices to make sure they really are cheaper to buy in large quantities versus individual packages. Read here to learn how to buy in bulk to actually save money.
These tips for grocery shopping on a budget are great reminders for how to make the most of your money in the grocery store.
I’d love to hear your biggest tip for saving money at the grocery store. Let us know in the comments below!
Finding free grocery coupons can be tough in Canada, but not impossible. While pricing and coupon values are all vastly different in Canada versus the US, it isn’t impossible to save. In fact, it is easy to find great deals and save money using coupons on a regular basis. You simply have to know where to find the coupons. This list of ways to get free grocery coupons is just the beginning. Think outside the box to find great coupons available for everything from restaurants to your cat food purchases.
5 Easy Ways To Get Free Grocery Coupons
Contact the manufacturer. Most brands are more than happy to send you coupons when you send them a letter or email them about their products. It’s never a waste of your time to send a simple note to Canadian companies telling them why you like their product and asking if they distribute coupons to Canadian residents. You can check the back of packages for mailing addresses, or websites for a contact form or email.
Print coupons online. There are many coupons available to print online. As soon as I discover a new coupon of any sort, I post about it here on Simply Frugal. Printing coupons is a great option that can easily give you significant savings on your purchases. Just make sure to know your store coupon policy since many don’t accept all printed coupons.
Ask grocery stores and markets. Many chain grocery stores provide you with coupons or digital coupons when you sign up for their reward programs or email programs. You may also ask at their customer service desk to see if they have extra coupons on hand. You would be surprised at how many coupons are left behind by manufacturers for customers to use.
Newspaper coupon inserts. While this isn’t totally free if you are paying for the newspaper, it is a great way to get coupons. To get them for free, ask friends, neighbors and family members who already receive the newspaper to save you the Smartsource and Redplum inserts that come out regularly. To find out when to expect new coupons, you can check out the post about the Canadian Coupon Insert Schedule for this year.
Watch on social media. Facebook has become one of the best places to grab coupons from brands. Follow your favorite brands on social media, and double check to see if they have a Canadian specific page. This is often a great way to grab free grocery coupons with little to no effort. A simple like of a page and email address on a form can often leave you with some high value printable coupons from brands you love.
If you’re looking for free grocery coupons, this list is a great place to start for Canadian residents. You can also consider asking your friends and family, checking with local store bulletin boards or joining online coupon groups that offer coupon swaps to help increase the number of free grocery coupons you are able to acquire.