Here are a few more ways of you can save money on your grocery bill if you shop at stores like Aldi, Trader Joe's and Costco that don't accept coupons or you just don't want to clip them. Find less expensive substitutes when cooking, use your food before it spoils, and stretch your purchases into two or meals.
In a previous post, I highlight the savings by eliminating buttermilk from my shopping list. Below, I show cost of substituting milk in a recipe. I use a tablespoon of vinegar in a cup of milk and let set until the mixture thickens. Since you can make what the amount the recipe requires you don't have left over buttermilk in the refrigerator. When I bought it, the recipe I used to make pancakes needed 3 cups. Sadly, I wasted a lot of buttermilk over the years when I didn't use the remaining 1 cup. I triple the pancake recipe when I make them. So, the following is based on that calculation (3/4 cup x 3 = 2 1/4 cup of milk).
|Make at Home||Cost||Amount Used||Cost of Amount Used||Store Bought||Cost|
|Organinc Milk||$4.99||18 oz.||$0.70||32oz.||$1.99|
|Savings Per Recipe||$1.24|
|Yearly Savings (2 xs a mo.)||$29.76|
2. Canola OilThe price per tablespoon for canola oil is cheaper than butter. Since I bake bread and/or waffles every week, finding recipes that don't use as much butter is better for the budget! I do use butter for the pancake recipe I make.
|Product||Cost||Size||Cost per TBSP|
|Canola Oil||$1.85||48 oz.||$0.02|
3. Tomato PasteThin it with water and add your own seasoning to make a sauce for pizzas or tacos. For this example, I used the Shoprite brand current prices for a more accurate comparison. I have paid more for pizza sauce in the past and less for tomato paste with coupons so the savings can vary depending on what brand you buy.
|Tomato Paste||6 oz.||$0.59|
|Pizza Sauce||14 oz.||$0.99|
|Savings Per Pizza||$.40|
|Savings Per Year||$20.80|
The yearly savings is based on making homemade pizza weekly.
4. Bread CrumbsI toast the ends of a store bought loaf of bread then use a mini chopper to make the bread crumbs. Using your own bread, you can control how it is seasoned and avoid the added chemicals that are found in some store bought bread crumbs. For this price price comparison, I used the Kikkoman Panko Bread Crumbs because the ingredients were similar to what are found in the bread I use to make the bread crumbs. I had enough bread crumbs for 3 recipes.
|Product||Cost||Amount Used||Cost of Amount Used|
|Kikkoman Panko Bread Crumbs||$1.89||8 oz.||$1.89|
5. Crushed TomatoesI use cans of crushed tomatoes for an easy spaghetti sauce. I use frozen meatballs and a bit of basil and garlic to flavor the sauce. Since I buy the spices from Aldi and use a teaspoon the added cost is pennies. However, if you are chopping an onion or fresh garlic to make your sauce, the savings will not be as great. With sales and/or coupons the average price for a 28 oz. can I buy is between $0.50 and $0.60. For this example, I am using the price I paid last week without using the coupons.
|Product||Cost||Amount Used||Cost of Amount Used|
|Canned Tomatoes||$0.88||1 28 oz. can||$0.88|
|Ragu Pasta Sauce*||$1.49||24 oz.||$1.49|
|Savings Per Meal||$0.61|
*Both the canned tomatoes and the prepared pasta sauce was on sale. The totals for savings per meal and yearly savings may vary.
6. CrackersMy children love round crackers. By switching brands, I saved money. The Market Pantry Round Crackers at Target is a great price at $1.49. However, one of the complaints about this product is the broken crackers. I have had the same experience but instead of wasting the crumbs I use them in soups.
---------|---- | -----|---- |
Trader Joe's Store Brand|12 oz. box|$1.99|
Target - Market Pantry|16 oz.|$1.49
|Savings Per Box |||$0.50
|Savings Per Month (3 boxes) ||$1.50
|Yearly Savings ||$18.00
7. Salad Dressing: I use plain balsamic vinegar when I don't have salad dressing in the refrigerator.
8. Honey Mustard: Just add as much honey as you want to any mustard for a quick and easy honey mustard.
9. Honey Mustard Dressing: To equal parts honey and mustard I added a cap full of cider vinegar and canola oil. After mixing it, I thinned it with a small amount of water.
10. Aruguala/Baby Spinach: This mix at Aldi is $2.49. I purchase the mix out of habit but in the cold months the thought of eating a large salad makes me shiver. Not wanting to throw anything away, I sautee the arugula and spinach in a pan lightly coated with cooking spray.
11. Evaporated Milk: I found a can hiding in the cupboard from Christmas that I didn't use and did not want to throw it out. I am hoping we have moved by next Christmas, so the odds of the can going into the trash was high. I found 2 recipes, since both did not require the full amount. I decided to bake brownies and make pancakes.
12. Banana Bread: I have thrown away too many bananas because I don't use them or freeze them in time. I would tell myself that I'll use them tomorrow but that tomorrow, became the next day, until they ended up in the trash. Well, I am working hard to prevent food waste and I make the time to bake banana bread before the bananas spoil.
13. Tortilla Pizzas: Since I don't use the whole package of tortillas for a recipe, I often have left overs. Those extra tortillas are used to make pizzas for the kids.
14. Bran Cereal Muffin: I'm collecting the crumbs at the bottom of the Bran Flakes box to make muffins. I haven't found a recipe that I've used yet but will keep you posted.
15. Ground Beef: I cut down on how much meat I put in chili and pasta sauce. When making tacos I buy 1.25lbs. of beef. I use 1 pound for the tacos and 1/4lb. for a meat sauce or chili. I bought ground beef at Fresh Market on a Tuesday when it was $2.99/lb.. The cost of 2 meals worth of ground beef is $3.74 instead of $5.98. That's a $2.24 savings. I can save up to $26.88 annually if I made tacos and a meat sauce or chili each month.
16. Italian Sausage: Again, when we are having sausage and peppers, I take an additional 2 links and make a pasta sauce, leaving 4 links for dinner.
17. Tomato Sauce: I used one 15 oz. can for pizza sauce on Friday and tacos on Monday. The remaining sauce will be combined with a 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes for spaghetti and meatballs on Tuesday.