Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Money Saving Tips {No Coupons}

A while back I talked a bit about ways that we save money especially at the grocery store. I wanted to follow up with that again and just talk some other ways that we save money. This post will include several areas such as the grocery store, clothing and baby related items.

These are in completely RANDOM order. :)

--Matt and I LOVE pizza. We realized about two years ago that we were spending more on it each time we made it than we really wanted to. Our solution to this problem came from a friend. He invited us over for pizza and all of his meat and cheese ingredients were from the deli rather than prepackaged. GENIUS! We started doing this as well. Instead of paying $3 for a package of pepperoni, we now get 10-15 thin slices from the deli which costs us no more than $.75. The cheese is the same way unless you can get the shredded cheese on sale.

--Our grocery budget is small and because of that we don't do a lot of shopping for things we want, we shop for things we need and make our menu around that. I revolve my grocery trip around the necessities such as milk, eggs, bread, cheese and then I supplement the other items such as veggies, meats etc based on what's on sale. I really find that we get the best deals when we purchase BOGO and clearance.

--I've found that Bi-lo and Publix have the best BOGO deals for meats and cereals and often for cheeses and frozen items too. Usually when I see a meat on sale that is one that we eat often, I will purchase as much as the budget allows and I will freeze it. This works well for us because it allows me to have food on hand when needed without having to go to the grocery store.

--For clearance food items, I will look at Target. This is something I recently started doing and what I've found is that they will have some awesome clearance deals for food BUT you have to really look for them. For example, the Target in Spartanburg has two end caps that have clearance food items but they are down by the paper products so you've got to go out of your way to look. Also, in the refrigerator and freezer sections, they will have clearance items but again, you have to search for them! On a recent trip, we found colby jack cheese stick singles in the refrigerator section. They were regularly 44 cents and we got them for 30 cents each. That's a good deal and perfect for a snack!

--Another way to save money for meals is to incorporate dried beans into your meals. Beans have a TON of protein and are often a good substitution for meat. Dried beans are super easy to cook too. If you'd like some recipes, let me know and I'll share what I do.

--Matt is a big fan of Ramen. It's great for a quick lunch for him when he only has a short time for lunch at work. Ramen with a full seasoning packet has a lot of sodium so we only use about half of the packet and the flavor is still good. Recently, we started incorporating ramen into other meals such as a pasta with vegetables such as beans or zucchini/squash. Ramen is less than 20 cents a packet at our grocery store and the noodles are good for a quick meal.

--For clothes, we always try to look at the clearance racks at any store and even look at thrift stores too. Again, one of the best places to look for clearance clothing items is Target. Matt is often needing new short sleeve, three button shirts for work. They get messy, dusty and even painted on at times. Because of that, we don't like to spend much money on those shirts. Target will often have shirts from the passing season's styles on super clearance and the best part is: they are usually perfectly normal shirts without pattern etc. WIN WIN! This past week, we got 2 shirts for $1.66 and 2 for $4.48. WOO!

--For Mason's clothes since he grows so quickly right now, I don't want to spend a lot of money for items for him but I do want the clothes to be nice so that we can reuse them for future children or be able to give them to other friends with babies one day. For us, the best way to do this is by shopping at TJ Maxx, Target clearance and consignment sales. TJ Maxx will often have great name brand items for a fraction of the cost. Target will have clearance items often which are still for the current season. Consignment sales will have items of nearly any size for any season for CHEAP!

Those are my thoughts for now, though not comprehensive, probably plenty enough information for now! :)

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