Forgo the fancy: make your own coffee at home. If you insist on fancy/seasonal coffee, check out Doc’s recipe for pumpkin spice flavoring at home in the free Halloween e-book. For the cost of two cups of the fancy stuff, you can buy a 5-pound can of coffee which means spending pennies – rather than dollars – to get your caffeine fix.
You’ve heard it before but believe it now: Do your grocery shopping with a list, and limit your trips to the store. Shopping every day absolutely will cost you more money in the long run. Watch for sales and specials and build up your pantry items – canned vegetables, soups, sauces, canned or dried beans, pastas, and rice –over time. You should be planning this shopping around coupons!
Do your meat shopping once or twice a week, buying in larger quantities whenever possible. Planning your weekly menus will save you not only money, but time, as well. If you don’t want to be locked into a meal, keep a short list of possible meals utilizing the ingredients you have on hand. Not using coupon’s? You should be!
Limit take-out meals to once a week or even less, and make it a habit to learn the daily or weekly specials at your favorite restaurants. If you’re ordering online, check for coupons — but don’t ever over-buy to meet a minimum purchase. Groupon deals can actually be a real money saver here!
Plan for leftovers and use your freezer efficiently. Most sauces and soups will freeze well, and so will meats. Trapped air is your enemy, so wrap pre-portioned meats tightly in plastic wrap or foil before freezing them and then add to a freezer bag. If you are freezing cooked meats, you can re-use the freezer bags as long as you wrapped the meat in foil or plastic first. Doc Frugal recommends immediately stashing these empty bags in the freezer door for easy access next time. A vacuum sealer is perfect for this as well. We use bags for long term storage, and plastic vacuum containers for shorter term, as there is no waste!