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General Grocery Saving Tips

Save Money on Groceries: General Grocery Shopping Tips 
by Michelle Jones,

Learn how to save more money on groceries, with or without coupons!

Kids can be so funny.  One day I came home with a load of groceries from the store and looking at the bags one of our children said to their siblings, "Look, mom bought everything that was on sale!" Oh my!  Well, as I explained to them (trying to contain my laughter), "No, I didn't buy everything that was on sale, I just bought SOME of the things that were on sale; just the things that we needed."  I was tickled though; my children do know me well. ;o)

Here's some of my general tips for saving money at the grocery store, I hope they will help you Save, Save, Save!

Tip # 1 - Do not, I repeat, DO NOT shop without a list for exactly what you need!  Then do your best to stick to it and get out as quickly as you can!

Tip # 2 - As you go through the store pay attention to the helpful aisle banners above each row... avoid any row that doesn't have something on your list!

Tip # 3 - This should really be RULE #1, do not shop while you're hungry!  As a busy mother of 4, I often make this mistake - and I know better!  It's just not good for the waist line (because you'll buy foods you shouldn't!), or the family budget.  So don't do it!

Tip # 4 - Avoid last minute impulse purchases at the checkout for things like magazines and candy bars, and whatever else they're trying to sell you... including nail clippers, camera film and batteries. Unless they're on sale, you'll always do better at the discount stores for those items!

Tip # 5 - And if you have a magazine you tend to keep picking up each month (while you're at the GROCERY story), just subscribe to the darn thing and save yourself $20!   (Try to limit yourself to just one or two subscriptions per year.)

Tip # 6 - Do NOT be brand loyal, and try to buy only what's on sale.  Sometimes a name brand can even be on sale for the same price as the store brand, or less... so read those price labels!

Tip # 7 - Bigger does not always equal better!  Be careful of big "value size" packages.  Maybe it's because of sale items, but I often find that a smaller size product can be more cost effective than the larger size of the same product.  Sometimes they are packaged for price value, but often they are simply packaged only for convenience.  The store manufacturers must be thinking we'd rather save a trip to the store than save money... WRONG!!

Tip # 8 - There is no need to make a special trip (especially with gas prices being so high), but as you're shopping around town pay attention to the prices of items you buy on a regular basis.  I do this everywhere I go!  (And have been doing it for 20 years!!!)

Tip # 9 - Make a note!  As a busy working mom of 4, I don't have time to keep a price log but I make a mental note of items that are much cheaper at particular stores.  It's become such a habit that when we run out of something I know exactly which store I need to purchase it at for the best price.  That is of course, if it's not on sale somewhere else!

Tip # 10 - Grocery stores are becoming harder and harder to get out of quickly.  With the addition of greeting cards, books, hardware, pet supplies and even fancy gifts to purchase!  This tip goes along with my Tip #1 - shopping with a list and getting out quickly.  If you KNOW before you even get there, that every non-food item the grocery store has can be purchased much cheaper elsewhere, then don't even look at those items!  Just shop for the foods that are on your list and then get out!!!   (Of course stopping at the checkout to pay for your groceries first! ;-)

Tip # 11 - Here's a great idea from one of our featured "Tip of the Month" winners (subscribers to our free newsletter win cash and free grocery coupons for submitting the best money-saving tip of the month!) ... "While many people have their lists planned down to the ounce, often I find myself putting little extras in the cart as I shop. To avoid buying things that are not necessities, I always stop and survey my cart before I proceed to the check out. Does my family really need chips and pretzels this week? Three types of candy?  I try to allow a treat or two every time I go to the grocery, but sometimes I get carried away if things are on sale. By reviewing what is in my cart before I get to the check out, I can eliminate items that are 'wants' rather than 'needs.' (Returning items to their proper place in the store.) This tip would probably help beginners rather than the experienced grocery budgeter, but it has saved me a lot!" - submitted by Katie

Tip # 12 - Be careful when shopping at grocery stores that require a membership card to get items for their special 'SALE' price, which is just about most of them these days.  I've never had a problem before now but twice in the last 6 weeks I've had to ask the cashier to refigure my bill because the card didn't go through and they charged me full price for everything!  (This was especially bad since 75% or more of everything in my cart is usually on sale, not just one or two items.)  And yes, it is inconvenient to ask for the refunds and wait for the total to be figured, but both trips resulted in a membership card credit of about $17.00 each!  On the second trip, I had even asked the clerk to check the receipt because I saw an item wring up at full price, she checked it and said, "yes it's there."  But when I got home (always check your receipt before leaving the store, which I usually do!), I put the groceries away and was looking at the receipt and saw I had been charged full price for everything. Back to the store I went, I tried to be really nice and so did the store manager but I could tell she was not thrilled at having to refigure the bill and give me a credit.  I'll do whatever I can to make sure this doesn't happen again, and will never leave this particular grocery store without checking my receipt first, but good grief!  Super Wal-mart is looking better and better to me all the time, and they take coupons too!!!

Tip # 13 - Many people do not realize this (and the stores probably don't want everyone to know) but when a product is on sale, let's say for example "buy 4 for $10.00," you can almost always purchase just one of the items for the sale price (which in this case would be $2.50).  In other words, you do NOT have to purchase 4 items to get the sale price!  (However, if it's an item you use regularly it's a good idea to go ahead and purchase more than one, as long as you have the money to spare AND the room to store the extra items.)

Tip # 14 - This may be a surprise to you (it certainly was to me), but grocery clerks do not always know their own store's coupon guidelines!  Recently, I had some special store coupons I wanted to use with matching manufacturer's coupons.  Since I am fairly new to this store I stopped by the customer service desk first to make sure it was okay to do this.  With no employees attending the desk, a cashier happened to be walking by and asked if I needed assistance.  I asked her about the coupons and she said "No, you can only use one coupon per item!"  Later, as another cashier was ringing up my groceries I mentioned it to her and told her I thought it was okay to use a store coupon with a manufacturer's coupon, and she said "Yes, it is!"  And I would say in MOST cases it's going to be okay... a store coupon is not the same as a manufacturer's coupon, it's really just their own sale price!  However, if you want to make sure your store will honor both coupons at the same time before you try it, just be sure you speak directly to the manager!

Tip # 15 - Grocery stores must be REALLY working hard to compete with the discount store prices, or vice versa, and I'm impressed.  They've fooled me a few times with this smart marketing tactic but I've decided to consider it a learning experience so there's no hard feelings, at least on my end. ;-)  So anyhow, here's the scoop... let's say a certain product at the discount store costs $3.97.  You know the price well because after all, you're a bargain shopper!  But when you happen to be at another store (which shall remain nameless) and you see the same product (with the same brand name, same color, same approximate size, same flavor, scent, or whatever!) and the SAME PRICE, you go ahead and purchase such product because after all, they are the same!  However, upon returning home and placing the new product beside the old product (which is waiting to be recycled) you discover that it was all a hoax!  As it turns out, everything about the product is indeed the same, except the size and weight!  They just made it appear to be the same product by pricing it exactly the same as the larger size that is available at the discount store!

Tip # 16 - If you have time (or even if you don't) you can also create a price log in a small notebook to record the best price of your favorite products at each store, that way you'll always know if you're getting the same size or not!  Here's our FREE Printable Price Log to help you get started!

Tip # 17 - We often receive letters reminding us that stores like Wal-mart (since I evidently talk about them all the time, sorry, but I've been shopping at Wal-mart for over 20 years and I still love them!) not only do they take coupons but they also offer price matching as well.  So, I finally decided it was time to make a note of it on the site! :o)  And in fact, some of our readers even make a habit each week of taking all their sale flyers to a particular store and asking for the price matches (you guys rock!), but with the full load of groceries we buy for a family of 6 I think the cashiers would faint if I handed them a stack of store ads to match up! ;o)  However, although I do not do this each week, I have price matched and it really does work.  It's also a fantastic service to loyal customers that all stores should offer and can be a real gas saver too, especially if all of the stores are not close to your home.

Tip # 18 - Our local grocery stores annually run a food drive for our community food bank, it's a great opportunity to help those who are really in need.  Just with a few extra dollars each week (if you can afford it) you can provide several days worth of meals for a family who might otherwise do without.  If your grocery store doesn't run food drives you can simply buy a few non-perishable items (canned meat--like tuna or chicken when it's on sale, beans, rice, pasta, and canned vegetables) and deliver them to your local food bank yourself.  Being the savvy grocery shoppers that we are... when we find a really great deal we could probably stock them up!

Tip # 19 - One of the best ways to save money on groceries is to keep wasted food to a minimum. Use up leftovers quickly (keep a list on the fridge if necessary so you remember what’s inside) or freeze them for later use. If you’re cooking for just one or two, freeze leftovers in single-size portions, they’ll make quick and easy dinners on nights when you’re too busy or too tired to cook. Over the years, I’ve learned that using clear see-through storage containers for leftovers and keeping them on a special self in the fridge works best for our family. You can also keep items that the children might like (especially healthy after-school snacks like fruit, yogurt and cheese), on a lower shelf so they can reach them easily.

Tip # 20 - When items are on a buy-2 for one-price sale, such as 2 boxes of cereal for $4.00, it is usually not necessary to buy two to get the sale price. If you use the item regularly and will need to buy more before they go on sale again (possibly in just a few weeks) go ahead and buy as many as you need.  But if you only need one, then just buy one. The money you save by not purchasing that second item (just because it’s on sale) may be needed for something else that you might need more, such as milk, bread, produce, chicken, fish or meat.

Tip # 21 - If you're able to use coupons the same rule applies; sometimes it’s better to just buy one sale item instead of the two or more the store is hoping you’ll pick up. And if you have two coupons it’s okay to use both on a buy-2 for one-price sale, because you are purchasing two items!  It might even be worth purchasing an extra Sunday newspaper to get a duplicate set of coupons; if a certain week has a lot of great coupons for products that you use often!

Tip # 22 - And speaking of coupons, double coupon offers are great but in our local area we currently have only one store that offers double coupons--and only up to 65 cents--and, they are also one of the more expensive grocery stores.  The double coupons are nice, but then when you buy grocery items that generally do not have coupons (such as milk, bread, meat, produce, etc...) you will more than pay for that double coupon savings.  So, if your "double coupon" store is similar to ours (i.e. on the high-end) use the coupons on their sale items when you have time and purchase everything else at a lower priced store of your choice.

Tip # 23 - When grocery stores have a Grand Opening for a new location be sure to stop by and pick up their big sale items.  They usually have some really LOW, LOW, prices during the first week, or even the first month.  Also, register for prizes if they're being offered... I rarely ever win anything but I won $100 when my favorite store, Food Lion, opened up a new store!  And with a family of 6 that was certainly a welcomed gift!!! :o)

Tip # 24 - If you need a quick dinner for your family try your local grocery store for some great food instead of going to a restaurant.  You'll save a ton of money (especially if you have a large family like we do) and probably calories too!  Some quick ideas we've come up with include homemade deli sandwiches, spaghetti or other quick pasta dishes with your favorite jar of sauce, premade hamburger patties, and even broiled fish.  You can literally make a quick trip to the store, pick up these items and have them on the table in less time than it takes to drive to a restaurant, order your food, wait for the food, eat the food, and then pay for the food (saving time and money!)

Tip # 25 - When cooking a recipe that calls for expensive ingredients that you might need to buy at the store, switch things up and use what you already have on hand. Simple substitutions can often be made very easily; without hurting the taste, or your budget!

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Readers' Tips...

"Don't be afraid to ask for a rain check if the item you want is sold out!" - Teresa Wilson

"This is just an add on to tip #17 - price matching at Wal-Mart.  I price match all the time and to keep it simpler for the cashier (and myself as I am unloading and loading groceries with three kids), I make a list of the items I am matching, the price and the store that advertised and hand it to the cashier at the checkout.  This works well for me because I have my notebook with my list (the ad prices marked on my list so I don't have to carry all the ads with me) and I can just jot it down after I double check to see if store brands or the Wal-Mart price is not a better deal.  If I am only matching a couple of things I just put a sticky note with the info right on the item." Brenda

"In response to the Wal-Mart matching store products, some stores may not ask. But in our stores in the Midwest, you need to show the competitor's ads when you shop to get price matching at Wal-Mart." - Rose H.

(Editor's Note: Many stores across the country, not just in the Midwest, will ask to actually see the ads, Rose.  I believe Brenda is a very fortunate woman, too bad we can't all shop at her store! ;o)

"As soon as your children are old enough, buy them a calculator (discount stores have them for as low as a dollar for basic calculators). Have them help you figure how much an item costs per serving or ounce. Compare the prices together to find the best deal on several items. Not only does this teach them about bargain shopping, but they also get a good math review (I'm a teacher if you can't tell). Soon, they'll try to beat you on finding the best bargains!" - Angela R.

"After moving to a new suburb of Columbus, I was happy to find that I had several other choices in grocery stores near our new home. One grocery store that I frequent has a savings card program (but watch to make sure everything rings up at the "card" price) where you save $0.10 per gallon of gas at their gas station for every $50 you spend on groceries. They are also very competitive with a larger chain grocery store across the street, plus they have cheaper prescriptions on their antibiotics and cough/cold prescriptions. So at this one store I can get all the deals that the other store is getting, they double their coupons up to $0.99, I save on gas, and they price match! It truly helps to learn the differences and benefits that each store has to offer!" Jenny W.

"When preparing your shopping list for the week, list items in the same order as the stores aisle layout.  (usually not a problem when using the same grocery store weekly).  This will not only save you time but keep you from adding extra items to your cart you may accumulate going up and down every aisle." - Linda

"This may only be in Michigan, but we have the bounty hunter law which stipulates that if the item scans incorrectly, the consumer is entitled to receive both the difference between the scanned and advertised price plus a bounty of ten (10) times the difference up to $5.00 as a reward for catching the pricing error.  You almost always have to ask for it, although some Wal-Mart employees have just gone ahead and given it to me.  And since Wal-Mart regularly makes mistakes, it really saves you money on your grocery bill!  Many times, they are paying you to take the items home! For about a month, they had a six-pack of a brand of ice tea that was normally $3.00, marked down to $2.00 on the shelf.  It always rang up $3.00.  I would tell them about the problem - they obviously knew it was a problem because they gave me the $1.00 + $5 bounty, but they never fixed the problem.  For a month, I was eligible to get paid $4 to buy iced tea.  I didn't ask for the bounty every time because my conscience bothered me, but I was eligible for it, and they should have fixed the error." - Lori

"Don't forget about 99 cent only stores and The dollar tree. You can get their weekly add in the mail by subscribing on the internet or just checking the net when you have time. Paying $0.99 for a jar of brand name pasta sauce is better than paying $2.98 at your local store. Last week I went to the 99 cent store and purchased 1 box of noodles, 2 cans of pasta sauce, mustard, mayo, cinnamon, 2 doz. large eggs, a bag of shredded cheese, tomatoes(4), 1 head of lettuce, bag of potatoes, bell peppers(4), 1 pkg. of lunch meat, loaves of bread(3), 1 gallon of milk, 1 pkg. of sliced cheese.  I bought 2 lbs of ground turkey meat from my local store which was on sale for $3.00 and my grand total was $25 (this includes tax)  I had Friday's dinner...Saturday's breakfast...Saturday's lunch and the leftovers from Friday for dinner...then Sunday's that's a steal! (I HAVE A FAMILY OF 4 and a daycare of 4 extra children ages 5-13) 8 people total. And if I still wanted to push it...I had enough cheese and bread (I already had butter) to make grill cheese for Sunday's lunch." - C. Herrera

"Use a SMALLER cart, or the little basket. The bigger space you have to fill, the more you will buy. It's in your mind, but I've noticed that when I use a smaller space to fill, I buy less." - Donna

Q: "I recall reading something in the past about how most chain grocery stores usually put items from at least two aisles per sales period and rotate them. The writers idea was that in a given six to eight week period, by stocking up during these times you would save in the long run on essential items. Do most chains have any logical sales patterns and do you believe this may save money?" - Russ ... A: "Thanks Russ, I love this question! Stores definitely rotate sales on a regular basis and this is why it's usually not necessary to buy more than what you need. By the time you run out of the product, it should be on sale again. If you find it is not, the next time it goes on sale, buy the amount you need to get through the non-sale time period--if it's within your budget and you can afford to buy extra." - Michelle

"I buy a Barnes and Noble discount card every year. It costs $25 a year. I purchase a number of books each year for use in my business and receive discounts up to 40%. But the best part is that I receive almost monthly a 15% discount coupon that is in addition to the 10% I receive with my card. With that coupon, I buy a pound of Starbuck's coffee. With both discounts I pay $8 for a pound. Walmart sells 12 ounces of the same coffee of $7.89 and my regular grocery store sells 12 ounces for almost $9. Over a year, I recapture my annual fee almost twice." - Gene of Ormond Beach, FL

"I find a lot of my friends don't know that the price per unit is displayed on the tag. So although the 25 ft. of foil is on sale the 75 ft. that isn't on sale is cheaper because the price per square foot is cheaper. It's important to check on items that you use a lot of, or won't spoil, some people see sale and get all warm and fuzzy before they realize its not really cheaper! Or a lot of times the brand name is cheaper on sale per unit even though the generic has a cheaper total price. I rarely compare the total price, I look at the price per unit." - Melissa

(Editor's Note: Absolutely, Melissa, this has always been a must for maximum grocery savings!)

"Bike to the grocery store. You are then limited to what you can carry or load on your bike. You also get exercise, save gas, and promote a healthy environment." - Erik Hopkins, FSU

"Every household has different grocery needs. I made a list of everything I buy regularly, from produce to pet products. I post the list on the fridge with an attached pencil. When I run out, I check that item. I always have a current 'needs' list to take to the store with me. When I come home, I staple my grocery receipt to the list and toss it in a file, then print and post a new list. Without further work I can go back and check prices, and track those 'impulse buys' that weren't on the list in the first place." - Syn Ferguson

A reader's opinion on Walmart (Part One)... "Beware of overspending in Walmart, buying items that you don't need. The whole atmosphere is set up to get you to purchase other things, as you have to walk by the make up aisle to get toothpaste or dog food, walk by the ladies clothing three times as you turn the down the grocery lanes, walk past the dvds and cds to get to the shampoo or whatever. So BE CAREFUL. Walmart is also not always the cheapest place to purchase food. You have to be very careful not to get caught up in the whole Walmart thing. Meat is expensive in Wal-mart, it is much cheaper to purchase meat at local grocery stores when it is on sale and stick in the freezer for later use. Most of our local grocery stores are cheaper than Walmart on meat anyway even without a sale and the quality is much better than Walmart offers. Walmarts 'fresh' meat actually comes in frozen to the store and so do many of the bakery items. It is not healthy to freeze food twice, so I prefer to buy mine elsewhere. And believe it or not cleaning supplies are much higher than the local discount stores. So beware, Walmart might offer some of your normal purchases much cheaper but don't buy it all there or you will have wasted your time and money." - J.B.

Cont. from last month... Part Two of J.B.s opinion on Walmart (see Feb. issue for Part One):

"And if you are a busy working Mom like me, I just don't like the hassle of Walmart. It is time consuming from parking to shopping to checking out. In the amount of time I can go to Walmart and get out of there, I can run in the local grocery store and pick up the sale items, then run to the discount store and pick up whatever else I need and still be finished much quicker. And it is easier to avoid purchasing needless items like many people end up doing. It always takes forever to fill prescriptions and the whole idea is to get you shopping in the store, same for having your car worked on. Some people think it takes a long time at Walmart because they are so busy, not true. They make plenty of money to have lots and lots of employees there to get you in and out. This is truly part of their marketing scheme, you can just google it and find out. The reason why everything takes so long at Walmart is so that YOU WILL SHOP in the store and spend more money. Just beware and make sure you are getting the best end of the deal and not falling for the marketing scheme. I just choose to never go to Walmart period and I still feed my family of 5 on about a hundred dollars a week including all health and household items. I spend about an hour shopping each week. I run in two or three stores and purchase the sale items and pick up a few other needed items each week. I usually just plan to go when I am driving by that store for another reason, so I rarely ever waste gas by making a special trip. Just my two cents." - J.B.

(Editor's Note: Thank you for sharing your opinion with us J.B., I understand what you are saying and your points certainly are valid.  However, I still love Walmart.  I've been shopping at WM for 25 years, in every different state we have lived in.  When thinking about the future, I often wonder if Walmart will be the last surviving store on Earth, along with Taco Bell and AT&T. ;o)

"Getting tired of the same meals for dinner?  How about organizing a dinner swap group with your church or a few families in your neighborhood.  When you prepare a meal, make extra and freeze it and then swap it for a meal that a member of your group makes.  Not only are you getting to try new meals but you are saving time in preparing meals that you can spend with your family and in some cases you are even saving money!" - Dani Miller

A huge thank you to Claire King, who suggested the following grocery tips. Some you may know already, some you may not! :o)

"Check the grocery special at your local chain pharmacy.  I often find items such as cereal, Jello, nuts, coffee and crackers to be less expensive than the grocery chains.  Look for markets whose in store deli sells 'ends' of cheese or luncheon meat.  You can ask for specific cheese or meat and pay a reduced price for the unsliced ends.  I use the meat in lunch salads, and the cheese is great for lasagna, quiche, eggplant parmesan, etc.  Check the reduced fresh vegetables.  There are often terrific values.  Do some research on store brands.  Often they are packaged for the store by a known popular company.  I find it easier to keep track of the prices of 'sale' or coupon items by putting what I paid on the box and dating it.  This gives me an idea of what I hope to match when I replace it." - Claire King

"Walmart’s 100 % Arabica bean coffee in the red package (at $2.30) is great. It tastes just like McDonald’s premium coffee. Try it." - Darrene Harrison

"Make sure your shopping list is thorough. I find that if I put, for instance, pretzels (or some sort of snack) I can save more money. I know that I need a pm snack for the kids, but don't want to spend a lot of money- so I just get whatever is on sale at the time. I am really good about only getting what we need. But I'm the worst at spending more because I didn't get enough the first time, so I go back to the store and end up getting MORE stuff than I actually need that time. The LEAST amount of trips to the store, the CHEAPER!" - Cassandra

"Here are some tips our family of five has learned over the years: It's a myth that eating healthy is more costly. When preparing our menu, I'll include 2 meals that are quick (microwaveable). The rest of the week however, are meals made from scratch. When shopping stay away from dinners in a box meals and processed foods. Our grocery bill was cut in 1/2 and the meals are tastier too! - My husband and I like to treat ourselves to a fancy dinner once in a while. Try ordering an exotic dish and then find the recipe online. Nine times out of ten, the recipes at famous restaurants are online. We host a lot of guests and many are surprised by our exotic offerings. Recently we took a trip to Washington DC and our meals came to $50/ plate. After replicating the recipe, I'm able to fix it for a mere $20 for our family of 5.  Try to avoid taking your kids (and husband) grocery shopping. - Eliminate cokes and junk foods saves BIG! Learn to drink more water, ice tea and lemonade. - Reacquaint yourself with portion sizes. Most people eat WAY too much. A typical boneless, skinless chicken breast from Walmart is TWO servings! - Another tip, use smaller plates so your portions appear larger. Include 3 small snacks throughout the day and not only will you lose weight, but you'll cut your food budget too. (My son is a type 1 Diabetic, so we had to re-learn how to eat. Eating diabeticly friendly meals is actually cheaper.)" - J.O.

"Save those empty spice bottles and refill them with the loose bagged spices, so they will have an airtight container." - K. Henry

"When surveying your cart for 'extras' at the checkout, put a hand basket in your shopping cart when you start, then anything that is not on your list goes into the basket. This makes it easy to find the "extras" and evaluate the necessity of these items." - Sarah R.

"I do my monthly grocery shopping at the 99 Cent Only Store. I usually get 95% of my groceries there and 5% at Ralphs. If people would just give it a try and not be embarrassed, they will see there is almost everything you need on your shopping list there! My husband is sick and we are living on one income so this helps out tremendously!" - Jenny

"Aldi's can not be beat for some things. Their Costa Rican coffee beans are fantastic. Their instant coffee is cheap and just fine. Buy their iceberg lettuce, wash, slice into four pieces and pour their Tuscan blue cheese dressing on it and you have a salad to die for very fast, very cheap. Always buy their peppers, carrots, broccoli, celery and make regular “salad bar” trays in your refrigerator. Add a chopped banana to their fruit in a jar and you have an instant fruit salad. Grab a large vanilla yogurt and some nuts = four or more good servings. Grab a large cottage cheese and use it with drained canned peaches = four or more good servings. Get a big sour cream and make an “onion soup” dip for ruffled potato chips. Buy hummus and guacamole if you are having a party. Buy cold cuts and get the Italian bread and slice it to make deli sandwiches. Always keep a bag of onions on hand and some of the garlic in a jar." - Susan H.

"Love your website! Here's some ideas that my husband and I use: Buy good dish detergent like Dawn (econo size). When you get it home, pour 3/4 of it into another container and then add water back into the bottle to fill it up. You can make a bottle of good detergent last 3 times as long. You do need to buy the good stuff to begin with though. Recycle margarine containers into food storage containers. Recycle frozen pie pans and use to cook food in instead of foil. Works on the grill too. Wash your zip bags. Use really hot water and soap. Drain/Dry them over upside drinking glasses. Split a paper towel. If you hate paper towels as much as I do (I think they are wasteful!) - when you sit down to eat-tear one in half and share with whoever is sitting next to you. Buy the cheaper coffee that comes in the foil pouches. Keep it fresh by putting in a recycled plastic container of the more expensive brand you used to buy. Use cooking spray when making eggs in the morning. It's cheaper than margarine and butter: you use less per cooking session and it's cheaper to buy AND it's way better for you. If you smoke - roll your own cigarettes. A pack of name brands is up to $5. You'll smoke less and save money. (Or better yet, quit!) When you go out to eat - share a plate. Serving sizes are huge at restaurants - eat less, save money, feel better! Substitute Kool-Aid for sodas. Kool-Aid is 10 for $1." - Rachael King

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