There used to be a day where we boasted of $600/month in grocery bills. We cannot make the same claim today, but we still out-save families that are 1/5 our size. Practice these principles and you’ll see how we do it.
I (Wendy) have gathered perhaps a couple hundred frugal tips over the years. I cover a lot of these in several of our books. Love in the House has an entire chapter on living frugally, and Love in the Kitchen Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, my cookbooks, have opening chapters on how to save hundreds of dollars every month on your grocery bill. Chris and I also present a talk called Cheaper by the Baker’s Dozen that really digs in deep into the ideas behind frugal living. We like to call our financial live “frugal and fruitful.”
This is one of the most common questions we get. Parents wrestle with finances when they bring children into the home. We, however, push back on the idea that finances are a barrier to having and loving children. Anything is possible with the love of God, and raising a family on a budget is hardly persecution. You can do it!
Here are some ideas that you could apply immediately to keep your budget down:
- Bring a calculator when you shop to pound out weight/cost conversions.
- If there is a generic substitute, get it. We rarely buy brand names.
- Buying bulk usually brings the price down, but do the math to make sure.
- Shop according to price per weight, not lowest overall price.
- Before buying a prepared meal ask, “Could this be cheaper if I make it myself?”
- Buy concentrated soaps and cleaning supplies, and make them stretch.
- Pour a couple more cups of water into your concentrated juice.
- Give up your organic diet. (Oh boy I’ll get some emails on that, I suppose. Sorry, but organic foods are extremely expensive.)
- Search out the day-old food. Produce and bakery are typically marked down considerably when there is excess.
- Search out sales on meat. Buy large quantities and freeze for future use.
- When you shop, prepare a shopping list ahead of time — then stick to it.
- Don’t go shopping hungry.
- Marry a guy who hunts.