by Tawra Kellam & Jill Cooper
For many people, cutting back on their grocery budgets can be an overwhelming experience. They know they’re spending too much, but don’t know where to begin to cut. Often, they fear that they will deprive themselves and their children if they become frugal. The good news is that there are ways to have your cake, eat it and save money at the same time. The whole secret is to start slowly. There are countless ways you can cut, but if you need to, target just one thing at a time – you will still be saving money if you do only one thing. If you are a frugal beginner, try these simple suggestions from my cookbook, Not Just Beans, (www.notjustbeans.com) for saving on your food bill:
- Cooking frugally is like changing your diet. You need to learn gradually how to save money and cook frugally. Don’t expect that you will get your food bill down to $150 for four people in the first month if you are spending $600 a month right now.
- Try cutting just $25.00 or $50.00 a month. Even if you cut back only $50.00 a month, you will save $600.00 a year. If you save just $1.00 a day that is $365.00 a year. You can then apply that $365.00 a year to paying off your credit cards. At 21% interest, you will save over $70 a year. This will eventually cause a snowball effect since the more you pay off, the less you pay to interest. When you pay less to interest, you have more each month to apply to paying off your overall debt. This means that as you pay off the debt, the rate that you can pay it off increases.
- Before you shop, take a tour through your pantry and your refrigerator. Be organized! Don’t buy what’s already hiding in your kitchen.
- If you’re a fan of coupons, remember this: It’s not what you save, it’s what you spend. If you save 30 cents on something you wouldn’t ordinarily buy anyway, you haven’t really saved anything.
- A typical fruit item is significantly larger than one serving. Most people would be just as happy eating a small apple as eating a large one — so buy smaller fruits! You will save money by the pound.
- This month, try two meatless meals a week (or one, if you’re a diehard meat fan).
- Make simple meals. One-dish meals can contain your meat, your vegetable and your bread.
About the Author
If you would like free tips and recipes from Not Just Beans: 50 Years of Frugal Family Favorites, please visit our website at www.notjustbeans.com.
To order Not Just Beans, 50 Years of Frugal Family Favorites visit or send check or money order for $14.95 to: Not Just Beans, P.O. Box 4252, Wichita, KS 67204.
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