Win $500 from Libby’s!!!

libbys-cans.jpgLibby’s wants to save you money in the grocery aisle and help get your family back to the dinner table!

Last night, Jennifer and I were talking about the “good old days.” Both of us married over a decade ago when we were young (read: poor) and lived on so much less money.

Back then, Phil and I had a combined salary that was less than half of what we live on now, (and trust me – we still are living on a tight budget,) but we were able to make ends meet.

Even though it was only a decade+ ago, it seems like a different era.

It cost only eighteen dollars each for us to fill up our two-door, second hand cars. And our grocery bills were a fraction of what they are today. Granted we now have kids and all the costs that go along with raising hungry, growing monkeys, whom we shuttle around in a minivan. But seriously – things are getting crazy!

Honestly, I feel like a financial failure most days. I look around and wonder, how is everyone else doing it? What is wrong with me? Why can’t we live on less? Why can’t I get my grocery bills down? How can I cut back even more on our driving?

But the truth is – it just costs more to live now. Gas, milk, eggs, chicken… everything costs more. And with incomes not raising to match these inflating prices, many of us are stuck looking at a budget that doesn’t add up.

Libby’s is responding to people’s concerns with their new campaign, Get Back to the Table. With a helpful website that gives cost-and time saving tips, Libby’s wants to save you money in the grocery aisle and help get your family back to the dinner table!


Get Back to the Table
features:

  • A recipe database featuring nutritious and tasty recipes that take just ten minutes to make for under $10 or less to prepare for a family of four
  • Downloadable tools for managing grocery budgets and planning out the week’s meals
  • Expert advice from Hannah Keeley, mother of seven and author of The Total Mom Makeover: The Six Week Plan to Completely Transform Your Home, Health, Family and Life, whom we featured here at 5 Minutes for Mom last year.

What about you?

Do you have any tips or tricks that help to keep your family on budget despite life’s soaring costs or help you to get your family to spend time around the dinner table?

One of Susan and my survival tactics is to team up for dinner time. (Yes – Susan and I team up a lot in life!) Since we are both busy WAHM’s on tight budgets, dinner time can be a stress both financially and time wise. So once or twice a week, we crash dinner time at each other’s houses. We get the benefit of pooling our resources, and the kids get the added fun of having dinner time together. Granted in our small houses, it is loud and chaotic – and at Susan’s house there are not even enough chairs to go around – but it is fun and it saves us time and money!

Share one of your family’s tips – or simply hang out with the rest of us trying to scrape by (misery loves company right?) – in the comments below, and we will draw one lucky winner who will receive $500 courtesy of Libby’s to help ease their family’s budget pains.

We will draw the winner July 18th. (So sorry to our fellow Canadians, we have to limit this contest to US shipping addresses.)

Comments

  1. Sarah Galbraith says

    the biggest thing that saves us money is meal planning…if I don’t plan well, I end up WAY overspending!! I am so excited about this giveaway…this is something that would help a lot of people!! thank you~thank you.

  2. says

    I agree that menu planning is a must. It helps me stay on track and not spend money on eating out. I also have learned how to save time by cooking extra on one night in order to do a quick meal on another.

  3. Celeste says

    Yep, meal planning here too. And I only plan a week in advance, so I can base it all on that week’s sales.

  4. says

    We live a block away from my parents and my mom loves ordering food in and cooking for us so we’re there a lot. They have a pool, too, so it makes it even more fun in the summertime!

  5. says

    I menu plan and coupon in order to save us money. It helps a lot-that way I’m not buying everything that looks good at the grcoery store!!

  6. says

    we have stopped driving, joined a csa, are growing our own food and eat rice sand beans three times a week. saves a boatload

  7. says

    We share meals with friends…at least once a week, we have another family over (usually after church) for lunch….they bring what’s available, we bring what’s available, and we always end up with a great throw-together meal! Better than the food, though, is the opportunity our families get to interact with other adults and kids older than them….we all sit at the table and discuss politics, church, hobbies, etc.

  8. says

    I remake leftovers rather than letting them go bad in the refrigerator. Rice with fish, then leftover rice in a casserole, stirfry, or added to refried beans and meat for burritos… Cook it once, use it several times!

  9. says

    What a great giveaway!

    We always menu plan, and stick to it! When we don’t stick to it, we regret it because food ends up going to waste! So, we plan a menu based around sales, stick to it, and most of meals are very cheap!

    Another thing that we have started doing is eating more vegetarian dishes. It is healthy and much cheaper!

  10. says

    We shop sales, clip coupons, and buy our beef (1/2 to a 1/4 at a time) from a local farmer–that saves tons of money when it comes to groceries.

    I also plan leftover days in my meal plan.

  11. says

    I just started looking at cost of our grocery bill and discover we spend way to much. I started cutting back by making things homemade. Menu planning is always a big help too.

  12. says

    Buying whole fryer chickens is one of my favorite ways to stretch my grocery dollar. In my area, you can usually find them for less than $1 per pound–I just bought some on sale today for .58 cents per pound! I roast them one night, and our family of 4 usually eats at least half the meat that night. I pick all the leftover chicken off the bones and use the cooked chicken meat for a second meal, like chicken enchiladas or chicken stir-fry, the second night. I even use the bones by stewing them with vegetables and seasonings to make delicious home-made chicken broth. It’s a really good bang for your buck.

  13. says

    I only “big” shop once a month.
    I then only go for produce, bread and milk, etc. about bi-monthly.
    I buy as much in bulk as I can (canned goods, powdered milk, canned juices, condiments, baking supplies, canned meats, pastas, soups, etc), I cook large quantities at one time and prepare meals to freeze. I have found that buying lots of what is on sale and just having a marathon cooking day saves me both time and money. I can just pop a frozen meal in to heat up and add a side salad or bread and we are set. I think it also saves energy since I am only heating the stove and oven one major cooking/baking day. With summer here, that is less time to over work the air conditioning as well.

    I also stock pile. For instance, with the Iowa floods, I anticipated corn products going up so I stocked up on as many corn related items as I could before the prices sky rocketed. I have cases of canned corn, bags of cornmeal, boxes of corn muffin mix, oil, etc. I have a large utility room and have two floor to ceiling shelf units that are almost full of stocked canned and dry goods that I rotate and restock. Most were bought on sale. I also have a small second refrigerator that is full of dry goods wrapped in plastic wrap to keep out pests and maintain freshness. I also use a small chest freezer for shrink wrapped meats that go on sale.
    My sister gives me home canned produce and it is added to the inventory.
    Every little bit helps!

  14. says

    Stocking up when you run across that great deal is the best tip I have. We try to plan our menus based on what we already have in stock that was bought mostly at sale prices.

  15. says

    shop the circular that comes in the paper for the sale items. prepared foods and frozen is always more expensive – unless you can get a great deal on bulk. do less trips to save gas.

    monica

  16. says

    I try to have a meatless dinner one night a week, featuring baked potatoes or beans. We also have breakfast food one night a week, such as eggs, pancakes, etc. Soup is also a big staple at our house, especially in winter. A little meat goes a long way in soup!

  17. says

    Saving left over hamburger from tacos or meatloaf. Most people would throw it out. I am talking like half cup or less left overs. Simply save it in sandwich bags and throw it in the freezer. Now you have a great add in for soup, mac and cheese, stew. I do it all the time. Plus it’s already cooked when your running late.

  18. says

    well,the things we do are use coupons, buy in bulk when possible, and buy the generic brand when possible. Problem is- I was doing those things before the cost of everything increased. So….I am not sure what to do now to help even more. I could give up eating I guess- that would help my weight loss goal too ;) That doesn’t work for the kids though.

  19. Sarah VM says

    I really try to buy things when they are on sale. I hate for food to go to waste so I try to really use up everything in my fridge.
    I wish I had more money saving tips!

    This is a great giveaway! It will really help with the grocery bill!

  20. says

    I like to buy a lot of fresh foods but find that half of it goes bad before I can use it, so my tip is, just buy what you need for that week. Make detailed shopping lists and stick to it so your not overbuying, overspending, and then wasting food.

    I just wish I could follow my own advice more often.

  21. says

    I only shop once a month so I MUST buy in bulk. I try to use Sams and I always use coupons. A dollar, a dollar there saves a bundle in the end!

    What an awesome thing Libby’s is doing. Everybody could use this the way the economy is right now. Good luck to all:)

  22. says

    I’m a big believer in coupon clipping, sale watching & buying items at places that offer “bonus bucks” or money off your next purchase (i.e., CVS). You really can save A LOT of money that way.

    Another way that I save money is not spending coins. I always break bills (even if the total is only $5.01) and put the coins in a jar. One year, I rolled over $500 in coins. You never miss the change and at the end of the year, you’ve got Christmas shopping money or whatever you want to use it for. I’d love to win this AWESOME giveaway & appreciate the chance.

    Have a great weekend!

  23. Lachelle says

    I joined a local produce co-op that allows us fresh vegeables and fruit in our home every other week at a fraction of the cost. Then I carefully plan out my meals and a list and combine it with coupons. We eat a couple of meatless meals each week and that helps a ton also!

  24. says

    I have a few suggestions that I like to do. FIrst I make a big pot of bean maybe several pots of diferent kinds and freeze them into individual serving in bags, it really helps.

    I also love to shop the sales or fruit or produce that is in season!

  25. Kel says

    One of our big savers is having a family garden. Not only do we enjoy fresh fruits and veggies, we get to spend a lot of time together taking care of it. I also love to fix brown rice with a lot of my meals – inexpensive and healthy.

  26. says

    We split the purchase of a side of beef with a few other families. We purchase the cow from a local farmer then pay the butcher fees and get to select how we want the meat sliced or prepared. Then what %fat we want the ground beef to be.

    We all stock our freezers with a variety of beef and it pretty much lasts the entire year. It might not be overall cheaper because we end up with steaks, etc whereas if I watched the sales ads I would just be buying whatever is cheapest. But it’s quality and it’s a good price if we were planning on buying steaks, roasts, etc anyhow.

    “Fresh” beef…One of the benefits of living in Iowa.

  27. says

    We do plenty of meal sharing in our house with frequent neighborhood BBQs and smaller parties. I don’t think it is a big saver for us, however, since we seem to do most of the cooking. It’s plenty of fun though!

    We always freeze our leftovers though so that saves us money down the road. And meat is still relatively inexpensive here in TX (Brisket, Pork, etc) so it pays off.

  28. ~Lana B~ says

    About a year ago I decided to replace any light bulbs that blew out w/ the new compact flouresent bulbs. So far I’ve managed to lower our monthly electric bill by a consistent $31.50 !!!!!!!!! An additional $500 would ROCK!
    ~Lana~

  29. says

    Still trying to figure out how to save money in our house. With a picky toddler in the house I feel like we waste so much food. Any ideas?

  30. says

    If you have an Aldi nearby, get all the groceries you can from there. Then teach yourself to play the CVS drugstore game for everything else you need.

  31. says

    I try to meal plan as well and have breakfast for dinner once a week. We limit the eating out to maybe 1 time every two weeks. If we want pizza we make it at home. Everyone gets to make the kind they want. I make the my own pizza dough and use whole wheat flour as well. The kids never miss a beat and love having pizza that they made themselves.

  32. says

    I have a million tips but my best one is to plan and plan well. Act as if the grocery store is 100 miles away. It is all of that “running to the store” that does you in, because you are tempted in every trip to get things you don’t realy need.

    pick me please!

    blessings, Penny Raine
    http://www.pennyraine.com/blog

  33. says

    Awesome!

    We’re working on incorporating more beans into our diet, because they’re inexpensive, they’re full of nutrients like protein and fiber and everything else good, and they taste pretty okay, too, with enough barbecue sauce. :)

    Thanks for the chance!

    Amy @ http://prettybabies.blogspot.com

  34. says

    With the price of essential items going up we have really cut back on the non-essentials like candy and pop. We know how much we have to spend on groceries and we don’t allow ourselves to go over it, even if it means passing on a treat we’ve been wanting (hard for a preggo lol!). And we have a rotating monthly menu of easy, cheap meals so we always know what we need to buy each week which helps with just buying whatever sounds good. That has been the main money saver for us.

  35. says

    Aldi’s has to be the best grocery store simply because everything is cheap. You can buy a ton of food and it will cost half of what you spend in a regular grocery store. Also use coupons and look for buy one get what ever free deals at your stores.

  36. says

    Menu planning from my stocked pantry is what helps save us money. I stock my pantry as I find good deals and from our local club store. I vacuum seal & freeze meat I buy in bulk so it can last longer. I try to only shop weekly for perishables & fresh produce. I also have a strict budget…if I am over I am done & figure out a new meal if I missed something. Same with my gas budget I only put so much in a week and don’t fill up until the next week.

    Thanks for this opportunity. Please pick me! :)

  37. says

    We’ve been going to a local butcher’s (actually in Amish Country where the meat is all natural) and buying whole chickens (dead) for $4 each. We coat them in oil and seasoning, wrap in foil and grill until done, then slice up for cheap and tasty lunch meat throughout the week. To mix it up a bit, I found marinated turkey breasts at Aldi’s for $5 (for 2 lbs), baked them then sliced for a change of lunch meat.

    We’re actually big fans of Libby’s brand veggies at our house. Our picky eater won’t do other brands!

  38. says

    I car pool with my sister-in-law to grocery shop and we also trade dinner nights. One night a week I’ll cook, and another night she’ll cook.

  39. linda says

    Buy multiple Sunday papers. Visit the many coupon sites out there and read up on your stores policy. Wait until stores run their loss leaders and stock up on the items you need in conjunction with your coupons. I save a ton of money

  40. Cathy R says

    My tip would be, when buying almost anything, look at the sticker marking the price on the shelf. On that sticker is a break down of the price into how much you are paying per a standard unit of measure. This allows you to compare across multiple brands and sizes. Often it will tell you the price per ounce, which is a very common unit of measure on most food staples. Sometimes you can save quite a bit that way.

  41. says

    I love my supper swapping girls. I cook 12-15 servings of food (1 very large meal) once a week and then split it 3 ways. I keep one and give 2 away. Then, they do the same for me each week. I save lots of money by buying in bulk, and I get to share food and not have to worry about “what’s for dinner?”!!

  42. says

    I am fortunate enough to have a basement where my wonderful husband built a lot of shelves for storage. We also have an extra fridge and a chest freezer. I try to purchase items when they are on sale, as well as buy our meat in bulk, and then divide it up into smaller packages. It isn’t easy keeping costs low these days.

  43. Louise Brouillette says

    Buying whole chickens is really a menu-stretcher. Buy them when they’re on sale, and you can get at least two meals out of them.

  44. says

    I make sure to re-use any leftovers we have either immediately or by freezing them and using them later. Also I don’t buy packaged meals – we do things from scratch around here!

  45. says

    We try to buy almost everything when it is on sale…especially meat and toiletries. We also have at least one “bean” meal a week. Dried beans are so cheap and so good for us! In the winter we eat a lot of soup too, which is very economical.

    The most expensive thing we do is eat out too much…so we’re trying to cut waaay back on that.

  46. says

    We go grocery shopping once every 2 weeks(when we get paid) I plan meals for 14 days.
    Also we use coupons online and from the paper. Compare ads, etc etc….

  47. Bob says

    What we do in my house is we cook big pots of food so it lasts almost a week! just take it out of the fridge and put it on the stove. Sometimes we will add things to it, and it changes the whole entire meal!
    haha I love my household :) Hope this helps!

  48. Elizabeth says

    I have 3 teens in my household. A couple of years ago, I bought a huge slow-cooker/crockpot and challenged each of them to create a dinner once a week using the little recipe pamphlet that came in the box. No surprise, they became really competitive with one another, trying to outdo one another in their culinary skills. It’s brought us all together for family dinner around the table….and they’ve moved on from the crockpot to more adventuresome meals.

  49. Amie says

    First off let me say I ask myself the same questions most days. Glad that I am not the only one. I use coupons along with weekly sales. Our town also doubles the coupons, so if it is 50 cents then it really is a dollar on top of a sale item, it can really save me money. Thanks Libby’s for offering us mom’s some relief on our grocery bill!!

  50. says

    One of the best tips I have is that I sit down and take the time to plan out a menu for the month based on the calendar of events (you know taking into account meetings, events, etc…).

    With the cost of produce and groceries in general I also plan those meals so that if I need a 1/2 an onion on Monday night’s meal, I plan a meal on Tuesday night that uses the other half. We have virtually NO waste!

    I also keep a ziploc bag in the freezer for meat scraps, you know not enough to feed the family with, but after a couple times enough to make soup out of.

    I also take and clean out the vegetable drawer and puree anything wilted to throw in the freezer as a soup base.

  51. Cheryl N says

    I coupon & buy in bulk to save on groceries. I divide the meats into freezer bags. Things that cost more like grated cheese, I buy the blocks & grate them myself. Left over meats are saved for pasta & taco nights. Left over produce is used as stir fry or to go with other meats or stews & soups. Salad night loaded with fresh veggies & then a fruit desert helps the budget. Libby is a brand I love & this sweeps is great.

  52. David Guss says

    I use coupons, buy from whats on sale, and shop at several grocery stores to save money. I also use the shopping bags in my garbage cans, instead of buying bags. I shop at garage sales 3 days each week and am amazed at all the NEW stuff I find. (I haven’t had to pay more than .50 for a bag of vaccuum bags since I started going to garage sales. We bought all our decorative curtaing rods, new in package, for under $2.00 ea! If you go to a few sales and there’s nothing good, keep trying-you WILL find great buys!

  53. says

    We’ve made a game of getting the lowest price per item at the end of a shopping trip. For example $100 divided by 20 items or $100 divided by 50 items- my husband and I compete to see who does the best. Even trips where we only buy one or two things count. This really helps when we want to splurge because then we buy cheap on the rest of the items to keep our price per item down so we don’t lose the competition.

  54. Rozie H. says

    I definitely shop the sale papers and usually plan our meals around items that are in the buy 1, get 1 free sales for the week. I also use coupons when I can, and I’ve even started hitting the really cheap grocery store and buying what I can there. It definitely makes shopping more of a chore, but with prices going up the way they are – I don’t really have much choice. :)

  55. Margaret Smith says

    I love reading all these tips. We too can sure use help with the soaring prices. Over the past 5-6 months, we learned this trick by accident. Instead of doing food shopping weekly for our family of four, we now go bi-weekly. The only thing that we pick up fresh each week is Milk. We do not even look at the sales paper unless it’s the week to go shopping. In addition, we always use coupons and a list and we do not buy anything that’s not on the list. We’re fortunate to have a freezer, which we freeze our breads and meats in, so they last for a few weeks.
    We not only are saving a bit of money, but we’re also saving time and fuel.

  56. says

    We eat a lot of beans. Lentils and split peas do not even have to be soaked overnight. Just put a one pound bag in crock pot with 8 cups water, some salt, and cook on low for 8 hours. White beans or black beans must soak overnight, but can also be cooked in 8 hours in the crock pot the next day. Not that it is soup season, but I do have some good recipes on my site! :)

  57. says

    I’m a big believer in coupons and scoping out grocery store flyers for the best deals. I have a hard time with menu planning, but I agree that it definitely works! $500 would work pretty well too.

  58. JRG says

    My wife is a master at cooking and making the right portions – that’s key, too. On the other hand, we purposely make more of items that we can eat for leftovers, such as lasagna or rice dishes. Two cans of soup, potatoes, some meat, and an onion make a huge pot of soup that will last a couple of days.

  59. klm says

    I buy cheap cuts of meat and then cook them in the crockpot for 10 hours. It saves money and they come out delicious!

  60. Amanda D. says

    I must say that I am struggling with this BIG TIME! But have started menu planning, and I try to base my meals on what’s on sale at the store.

  61. says

    I pick and choose 4 snack foods (Goldfish, string cheese) a month that the kids can get. When those four packages are gone, then need to make due with less snacking.

  62. sue w says

    I keep a tentative menu plan on hand before I go shopping–that way I am flexible if an in-store special comes to my attention, I can replace a meal or two and bump them to the next week. Also many grocery stores discount their meats and deli-whole chickens substantially in the evening. I’ve have picked up chickens for as little as $2.50! They are great shredded on salads, wrapped in tortillas or as chicken salad combined with inexpensive sides.

  63. Krispy_Kremer says

    I make a meal do double-duty (sometimes triple!) . . . like my roast chicken dinner one night becomes fajitas the next night, and chicken soup the next!

  64. Kim says

    I wait for really good sales and then stock up like crazy. I also serve a lot of pasta and rice dishes. You can find so many great recipes online, so pasta never really gets boring.

  65. says

    My main thing is to “never pay full price.” Except for milk (which I do still always buy at the cheaper 2/$too much) price, I only buy what is on sale. One of our best investments a few years ago is an upright refrigerator that I use to store extra meat, some convenience meals and lots of bread. I have a threshold price for all of the items we use most often and will stock up (buy 4-6) of those items when they’re at the low prices, so I always have them on hand even when they aren’t on sale. And like Margaret, there are weeks that I don’t need to shop at all (which I love!).

  66. Barbara H. says

    What a generous contest! I don’t know that I have any tips — I need to work on saving in the kitchen. I tend to love convenience, which costs extra. But I did have a post on creative ways to use leftovers here. That does help to makes plans for them rather than letting them grow mold.

    By the way, something is wrong with the space to put my url above. Whenever I try to, it takes me back to the place to put my e-mail.

  67. Rita A. says

    Cook once eat thrice. Yes 3 times from the same meal. We cook enough to last for 3 meals usually a different way.

  68. Bailey's Leaf says

    I’ve switched my grocery shopping to once every two weeks. I try to make meals that stretch over two nights. We only go places if we can make a few trips out of going (unless it is right up the street.) We’ve found that we need a lot less of that extraneous stuff that we would pick up. Oh, things on the clearance rack . . . We didn’t need it, but it was cheap and wasn’t it so cute?! Well, we’ve cut much of that out!

    Thanks Libby!

  69. Kelly N. says

    Great idea of sharing tips!! I can’t wait to read them all!

    I menu plan a week in advance and it seems to really help out. By doing this I can buy and use large containers of things by planning meals that take a common ingredient over several nights.

    I try and always cook double batches of everything to have left overs the second and sometimes third night. When serving the leftovers one night I’ll add a special type of roll the next I might add a jello salad etc… A little something to make it different.

    I always have on hand a night of easy cook up food in case something last minute pops up that leaves no time for cooking but still lets us avoid the high cost of take out food.

    Creativity goes a long way in the kitchen. It’s amazing how good something tastes by throwing a few items together in a pot and letting them simmer.

    I cook a lot with noodles they are great for bulk and inexpensive.

    I love making homemade pot pies from leftovers which is funny because no one notices that the pot pies are leftovers they think mom worked hours in the kitchen on them. :)

    I never throw away those last two pieces of bread in the bag they become delicious stuffing.

    Thank you for the great giveaway!

    fluegas5(at)gmail(dot)com

  70. says

    I used to get groceries once a week, then every two weeks, & now I get groceries once a MONTH.
    But that’s not what matters. What matters in order to stay in the budget, is to have a meal plan. For the weekly, the bi-weekly, or monthly shopper shopper, this is so important!

    Also, on pizza night, instead of spending $40 on 2 large or extra large pizzas, I make our own. It may take a while to find the right recipe for you that’s pizzaria quality, but once you do, it means spending UNDER $10 for two extra large, extra cheese, supreme, loaded pizzas!

    Oh! I hope I win the $500!

  71. says

    buy easy premade frozen dinners.

    this is a blessing, i hope i win. i have 3 kids and me and my hubby are both out of work right now. we are at the bottom of the food chain. we could really use this

  72. says

    Like so many others, the biggest thing that saves me money is meal planning…and then forcing myself to STICK to the plan I made. Which is never as easy as making the plan in the first place…

  73. Melissa Reeder says

    The best way to get my family to spend time together around the dinner table is letting my little girls be involved in planning and food preparation as much as possible. The most successful meals are the ones where my little girls participated in choosing the menu, prepping the ingredients, and cooking the food.
    Thanks for the fun giveaway!

  74. says

    Times are tight. My DH is self employed and I have had to get creative with our grocery budget. We like to eat as healthy as we can and sometimes that can be expensive.
    I sit down with the local grocery store papers and compare their sales with coupons I have. I then plan out meals each week.
    Blogging about coupons and deals has become pretty popular, so I like to read other blogs and how they are saving money.
    Thanks for the chance on easying our budget with Libby! Thank Libby for us!

  75. Misty says

    I am trying to do meal planning. I do great for dinners but am still struggling with the rest of the menu!

  76. Angie says

    I try to plan our meals weekly and not eat out. We save money that way. I’m currently looking into a foodcorp.

  77. Charlsie Swadley says

    I try to stretch our meals by using a bit less meat and a filler like a veggie or something!

  78. Dawn Kasper says

    Changed the family diet from meat and potatoes to rice and beans.

    Don’t know what we will do if the cost of living keeps going up – stop living I guess.

    Libby’s is a great product.

    Thank you 5minutesformom.com for the giveaway.

    Loved reading other posters tips.

  79. says

    It’s only hubby and I at home. Over the last few years we have cut down massively on going out to eat and instead make healthy meals at home. Hubby is the one who cooks everything but we have a good time cooking together many times.

    We actually go to the grocery store almost every week for fresh veggies and fruits because if we have them any longer than that they go bad and it’s a total waste.

    Thanks for the opportunity to enter.

  80. says

    We make a meal we can stretch into another meal. A ham dinner for one night is a ham bone used for red beans and rice for the next night and also gives about two more meals that can be frozen.

  81. says

    Menu planning, coupons, eating out WAY less.

    We eat a lot of chicken, and I find the pre-frozen chicken costs a lot less, and tastes just as good in recipes.

  82. says

    We try shopping now like the “Europeans” — trying to buy only what we need for the week or even a few days at a time. (Luckily we live pretty close to grocery stores so it doesn’t waste gas making more trips.) Otherwise, we tend to not use everything and have to throw away a lot before we even get to it.

  83. says

    Like others have mentioned:

    * plan menus,
    * have a list, try not to buy stuff not on the list
    but… by the same token,
    * stock up on staples when they are on sale
    * have at least one meat-free meal a week (we have some veggie favorites like black beans & rice)
    * use up what we have in the fridge

  84. says

    I buy in bulk when I can, and actually eat leftovers now! Sometimes I see what’s on sale at the grocery, and make meals according to that. Groceries are so expensive right now!

    Would love to be considered for this give away, what a blessing that would be!

  85. says

    I plan my meals ahead and look for meal ideas that I can cook once and eat twice. I also try to be realistic with the amount of food that I need by planning out just one week’s worth of food and preparing “casual meals” like sandwiches or breakfast for dinner. I try to prepare meals with basic ingredients that are not gourmet (expensive) or hard to locate.

    We eat a lot of breakfast foods. Even though the cost of some items has gone up, a dozen eggs are still considerably cheaper than a steak dinner.

  86. says

    I buy meat in bulk when it’s on sale, and then divide it up into packages that contain what we need for one meal. Our freezer is usually stocked!

    Also, when possible, I make a double batch of something we like when ingredients are on sale and then freeze half of it.

  87. MaryAnn says

    We try to stick to only one “big” meal a day–usually lunch–and eat less at the other 2 meals. It’s also better for our health, but definitely helps the budget.

  88. danielle spires says

    I can’t believe how much food costs nowadays. After getting laid off and taking a job with half my original salary, I’ve had to do some serious improvising. I find healthy foods that are very filling in supermarkets on sale, and stock up. Whenever yogurts or veggies are on sale, I stock up since everyone can have 1-2 a day. And to keep the veggies fresh up to a week later, I buy those ‘Green Bags’, which keep food seriously fresh! I am so happy I found those bags. $10 for 20 reusable bags, and I put everything in them!

  89. JOAN KAAIHUE says

    As a grandmother I can only say that the years when you can have all your children around a table are precious memories and all too short. I know you have heard it before and you brush it off but some day when your children are trying to gather their own children around the dinner table they won’t have the time for you. It’s understandable because in today’s economy they have to work twice as hard for what the dollar bought just a few years ago. It’s hard to fit in a possible Sunday dinner with the folks afterall weekends are when they can catch up on the laundry and all the other chores around the house and all the errands. So hold on tight to these years and if you can try to remember to have a possible sit down dinner with your parents.

  90. Barbara says

    We like to save money by finding “budget fun”
    during the summer months.
    Summer’s time for our library’s free reading
    program. The children really enjoy the reading
    challenges and especially the prizes ~ free to
    us and fun for them! Some of the prizes
    involve treats or even things like pizza as
    well as a free pool party at the end of summer.
    We like it that they are having fun learning as
    well as saving our family treat & fun money, too!

  91. says

    I’m trying to use the websites that combine coupons and specials to get things practically free, but it’s a lot of work and half the time the store doesn’t actually have the special, so it’s hard work to save just a little money!

  92. says

    I only shop twice a month and plan a very detailed menu. I’ve also been trying to buy more staple items and less prepared foods; cooking from scratch is healthier, cheaper, and it opens up a lot more options when just have a variety of ingredients on hand.

  93. says

    We rarely go out to eat, those kinds of outings can quickly cut into a tight budget.
    And . . . I avoid the mall like the plague, I cannot go there without spending money on stuff I want, but don’t need, so now I just stay away altogether. If I simply HAVE to get something at the mall, I take my husband along because he loathes shopping an dthis way I know we’ll be in and out of there as fast as possible!

  94. Lindsay says

    With the rising cost of gas, going on a family vacation is out of the question this Summer. However, just because you can’t afford to go to an amusement park doesn’t mean you can’t find fun locally. Our Zoo is only $6 per person, a local museum is only $3, swim time at the YMCA is CHEAP!
    You can find many area attractions to keep your kids happy, without breaking the bank.

  95. says

    My fiance owns a convenience store. He looks through all of the sales papers to find the sales for things he needs at the store (He can get it cheaper this way than he can get it through his suppliers-crazy…and what we need at home. He also clips coupons. He finds all of the bargains this way. He is already going to his store so he goes shopping often-depending on when the sales are. We are also very careful while shopping in that we look at the the price breakdown to see what it costs per unit. We buy in bulk when there is a great sale. We also eat leftovers. I use my discount cards at all of the stores too.

    This is a wonderful giveaway! You gals rock!

  96. content sasso says

    The ice cream man is so expensive!!! What I do is let the kids pick out what they what at the store and when the kids see the cream man I tell them to go to the fridge!!! But on Fridays we get buy from him!!!

  97. Ally says

    I pre-shop. I plan my meals around our weekly ad and coupons I sit down with my cook books and the lap top and figure everything out. BEFORE I go to the grocery store and I type up a list on the computer that includes prices.. I know aprox. how much I am going to spend on groceries before I walk out of the house. I usually spend around $50-70 per week on our family of 4 and I usually save as much as I spend, so If I spend $50 I am usually getting around $100 worth of groceries (because I saved $50).
    I actually have turned a chore I used to hate into a game to see how much I can save. Grocery shopping is fun now.

    Thanks for entering me :)

  98. Theresa Shafer says

    I started 1 month ago with coupons. I get the Sunday paper, match sales with coupons and now get 17% always to a whopping 85% off.
    So coupons and matching the sales.
    main stores:
    Publix,
    Walgreens
    CVS

  99. toasters says

    I keep a pricebook for all grocery and household items, so I know exactly what is or isn’t a good sale price, and I stock up accordingly. One more tip: always pay attention to expiration dates and always use the closest-to-expiration products first.

  100. Virginia Murr says

    The most important thing is to have a true budget — one that includes your monthly income and expenses. This budget should include an emergency fund, which can be built up pennies at a time if necessary. Next, it is vital to budget the weekly income and expenses. It sounds harshly disciplined, but it is the only way to keep informed about your financial status, and to bolster your ability to get ahead, even when times are tough.

  101. says

    We cut out a lot of meat. We still have meat with most meals because I have boys and they just wouldn’t settle for anything less, but we add beans or cooked wheat berries to ground beef, or mix in a lot of vegetables. Eggs are a great substitute and I know my kids will eat them. Limiting the amount of meat I use in each meal cuts a ton out of our grocery budget.

  102. says

    I feed our family of nine for $100 a week by doing the following: cooking from scratch, scouring the grocery ads and planning the menu around what is on sale, growing a big garden in the summer so I can preserve produce for use in the winter, getting my kids involved in the whole process. Sometimes they are a lot better than I am at making a really great menu for less.

  103. says

    I have no tips. I live in an apartment and can’t grow a garden. :( I would love to have an extra $500 to add to my grocery budget for the year!

  104. Theresa Jenkins says

    we raised 3 girls and all their friends and now the grandkids… meal time is family time and you will be there and help either with set-up,perpare or clean-up and you ate what was there or went hungry.along the way we learned that homemade isn’t alway better.semi homemade can be just as good and saves time and most of the time money.

  105. Pamela Scott says

    Have a container garden with tomatoes and cucumbers and you will save money and enjoy the best tasting fresh produce.

  106. Marilyn says

    I never buy anything if it is not on sale. When grocery shopping, I buy sales items using coupons, especially when the coupons can be doubled. I stock up on these sale items.

  107. Terra Heck says

    $500 would sure come in handy here.
    I am an avid coupon user and only buy groceries that are on sale. So one week, we may be eating a lot of chicken if it’s on sale and the next week it may be hamburger. For activities to do with the kids, I scour the newspaper and websites for local events that are free or real cheap. I’ve done a lot so far with the kids this summer and it’s cost me hardly anything. I won’t buy clothes at the store unless they’re on sale and I buy a lot of my kids’ clothes at yard sales.

  108. geekbearinggifts says

    After 20 years of dabbling with it on and off, I am now making all our sandwich bread and rolls using the wheat I’ve been storing. Since I have the time, the ingredients, and the equipment, it is extremely inexpensive. The house smells wonderful, and we are enjoying snacks like peanut butter and preserves on fresh bread, or cinnamon toast. Because of cascading prices on everything that has to be transported using petroleum products, and the recent problems with food-borne illnesses, my husband, the gardener in the family, is kicking himself for deciding not to do container vegetable gardening when we moved to a condo with only a little balcony. Too late for this year, as we live in a really hot climate. If I win, maybe I should consider buying him an Aerogarden so he can grow salad vegetables and herbs indoors when it’s really hot or really cold outside. Thanks for the offer!

  109. Linda says

    I do a lot of Chinese since it uses less meat. I also make soups with leftover meat. We do a major grocery shopping trip once a month and then fill in with fresh fruits, veggies, and milk the rest of the month.

  110. says

    I am just now trying to get on the ball with all of this but I am trying to plan ahead better, make sure to drive the extra five minutes to the much cheaper grocery outlet, and I would definitely love to start making my own bread more. We made it for a project in school and it turned out so well and was so easy I don’t see why we hadn’t thought of it before except that it is time consuming and messy but my girls LOVE that, of course.

  111. Carol says

    With four hungry kids, I’ve modified our meals by focusing MUCH less on meat and more on veggies, rice, and pasta. I also get a lot of mileage when I cook a turkey or ham, using the leftovers for soups, stews, and sandwiches. cdziuba@aol.com

  112. says

    Some of our money saving tips include our homegrown garden with green beans, tomatoes, squash, limas, corn, cantaloupe, cucumbers, honey dew, watermelon, pumpkins, edible flowers, blackberries, strawberries, figs, basil, rosemary, cilantro, etc. We have learned how to preserve much of it – through canning veggies, making jams and jellies and preserves, freezing, etc. We also participate in coupon trains. We also do not spend money on paper towels, and make our own home glass cleaners, all purpose cleaners, laundry detergent – for a fraction of the cost of buying it. We also gave our boys one set of dishes (plate, bowl, cup) that they are responsible for washing and wash much of our dishes by hand (saved us 1000s of gallons a month on dishwashing), we line dry when we can to save energy costs. We repurpose packaging to be art supplies, school project supplies, and organization supplies. I go to the market on “meat” markdown days and stock up and freeze milk or goats milk whenever I find it marked down.

  113. Carrie says

    Well, we’re vegan–so that helps. No meat, dairy, or eggs. We avoid processed food. At the supermarket we get frozen or canned veggies. If we want fresh, it’s better to go to the farmer’s market.

  114. Cheryl W says

    We have learned to always drink water when we are eating out or getting fast food take-out. You can save hundreds of dollars a year by doing this!

  115. Sharon Jones says

    Do you have any tips or tricks that help to keep your family on budget despite life’s soaring costs or help you to get your family to spend time around the dinner table?

    Shop circulars…and buy in bulk. Although we still have to run a second fridge/freezer…we have one…there is a place down the street that sells milk gallons for $1- less than the grocery stores and we go thru lots…I go there and buy several a week. I buy only what’s on sale…and as many as I can if it’s a good sale…and I often buy meat on sale…in bulk…freezing smaller portions in ziploc bags.
    Lastly…COUPONS :) and Rebates
    THANKS

  116. says

    We only go to the grocery store once a month (expect for diapers and milk). This forces us to plan ahead and we save money in the process.
    Of course, potty training child #1 helped a lot too! :-)

  117. Sandra says

    Meal planning, following sales and planning shopping trips all help me to save money but reducing the amount of trips to the grocery store and limiting impulse buys. Also, carefully choosing the recipes that you make can affect your budget. Choose recipes where chicken is cut in small pieces as opposed to using one full chicken breast per perosn so that you can reduce the number of chicken breasts used and no on will even notice. Substitute other types of protein for meat (beans, nuts) and stretch your dollar a little further while improving your health at the same time.

    owatz (AT) telus (dot) net

  118. Amy says

    I have really started using coupons and matching those up to sales using the couponmom website. We also just placed our first order with Angel Foods and felt like that saved us a lot of money. I only go to the store one a week and I am currently planning a monthly menu that we will start using.

  119. Jennifer in MN says

    With 8 of us it’s difficult to save money while feeding them all! I can buy in bulk, which helps and planning our meals helps as well. We try to avoid eating out, esp fast food. We shop the sales as well–planning our meals around what’s on sale.

  120. Casey H says

    With me being preggo and not working, we’ve had to cut wayyy back– I always shop with a list now, trips into town are all compiled into one trip and we were lucky enough to turn off our oil heat early this year which made a hugeee difference! Although I cant tell you how many times I told my wuss of a husband to put on a sweatshirt!!

  121. Liz says

    We are trying to bugdet our groceries. Also, we wrote out exactly how much money we bring in each month and all of our set expenses. This helps you stay on top of your spending.

  122. says

    I wish I had some tips on feeding a family of 7. Now that summer has hit, we’ve not been doing much cooking at all. It’s been sandwiches, spaghettios and lots of fresh fruit. I’d love to start coupon clipping and planning meals around sale fliers, but it seems I’m just not that organized. Apparently I’m still holding out hope that the economy will turn around, but that hope is fading fast!

  123. Linda Moeller says

    I’ve really been using coupons. I also check out dollar stores which often have food items cheap. I’m using more beans & pasta to stretch.

  124. says

    Meal Planning helps a LOT! Also, abiding by that grocery list.
    I don’t do so well a lot of the time though. My mind gets frazzled and overwhelmed in the store! We stretch every last penny and still don’t often meed every need.
    It’s stressful!

  125. says

    i menu plan of course, but i plan in a make it once use it twice style, that way i’m sure to use up leftovers. i’m trying to get a bit of a co-op going with 2 of my girlfriends (who live close) where once a week we make a triple batch of something and deliver to the other 2 families – that’s 2 days of not having to cook! also, we do plant a garden which helps defray produce costs. i wish i could have chickens then i’d have eggs & fertilizer!

  126. mike anderson says

    we buy food once a month because of the high cost of gas. We also have a small garden. Every bit helps nowadays.

  127. says

    Thanks for the links to resources! Count me in on the drawing, please. My husband is a pastor and our family of 5 lives paycheck to paycheck; but one huge blessing has been friends bringing the overflow of their gardens to us. This year I’m growing a little garden of my own so maybe I’ll have something to share in return. :)

  128. LorrieAnne says

    i started riding my bike to work. i’ve seen some neat collapsable scotters tha people who would need to do a bike+bus combo could easily use.

  129. amy schultz says

    Dinner time is a fun for us. Each evening, one of us picks a topic. It can be anything from school, dinosaurs, cars, etc. We talk about our favorite ones, tv shows including the topics, interesting facts and so on. We never run out of things to chat about and everyone ends up learning a little trivia.

  130. says

    I make a list for the week and STICK WITH IT. I also plan our menus out for 7 days’ time…keeps us from buying impulse buys at the store. I clip coupons and combine them w/ store sales. I try to make my own bread and freeze it. We have breakfast night and soup night every week (cheaper), and we also have vegetarian 2-3 nights a week.

    Eating out is a treat, or reserved for only those nights when we can’t get the kitchen dirty (when we have a party or shower to host, etc.)…that makes it more special and less commonplace!

    Thanks for the contest!
    Megret
    meg.wilson@gmail.com

  131. says

    We are trying to cut costs by eating less meat, and by using up all leftovers. If I make a large casserole I will freeze half so it doesn’t seem so repititious. Great giveaway!

  132. Barbara Richards says

    We’re cutting back on shower time to save on water.Now have a timer and this is working out fine.Also save on electric cause we have electric tank.Thanks for the giveaway!

  133. says

    Since I am a big coupon clipper, I have found that actually buying bulk amounts of the same coupon off of ebay (for about a dollar or so) helps us save a lot! There are some items I buy every single week, and if I can get, say 20 of the exact same coupon I can use it every week and save money every week on that item! I did that with the Horizon organic milk a while back and saved a dollar off of each half gallon I bought for about 2 months!

  134. Linda Lansford says

    I buy as little as I can get by with and never waste anything. Yard sales are great for buying things and recycle.

  135. says

    I used to be a relentless couponer, and that really used to save us a lot of money. But now that my family is making a big effort to go green, we’ve begun buying as much as we can in bulk to reduce packaging. Little did we know how much money it would save us too! It can be a big cost at the outset, but in the long-term, it really does save you a lot.

  136. says

    I use coupons alot, and look for the sales. It’s very hard for me right now as I just graduated from college and am struggling because I haven’t yet found a fulltime job. I need a job, and I need one soon! There are plenty of others in the same boat, that’s for sure. Every day I do what I can to get a job and find odd jobs to keep some cash flow coming in. It’s not easy these days. I also enter giveaways just like this one in the hopes of winning badly needed money or even just something I can use. I recently won a disposeable camera and stationery. That saves money for me as I am about to run out of stationery and don’t have to buy any ;-)!!

    I too like to use the library for videos.

    Thank you for this great giveaway!

  137. says

    We grow our own vegetables in the summer and have been limiting our trips to the movies and eating out. It costs way to much to do those things anymore.

  138. says

    I have 4 kids and, definitely meal planning is important. I fail miserably at it. It’s not rocket science but it seems hard to do a lot of the time. I am a heavy coupon user and I also stockpile and use a chest freezer so I am getting better at it. I try to think about what I can make from what I already have (much of it bought in a buy one get one free special with a coupon doubled on top of that!) So I do know how to save money, I just have trouble with that meal planning thing!

    My tip would be to stop buying ground beef in the small packages from the grocery store. I go ahead and buy the family pack of ground beef, then I re-portion it into pound size amounts, wrap each in wax paper and then put into a Freezer Ziploc bag (buy the bags on sale and use a coupon!) … the prepackaged amounts from the grocery store are usually 1.5 pounds, but for most recipes you need only ONE pound, so it’s saving there by cutting back on the amount of beef used in each meal. I take part of it and pre-make the hamburger patties, separating each pattie with a square of wax paper, then wrap the stack of patties in more wax paper and put in bag. Saves on gas and time from trips to the store or out for fast food for meal replacements too. It’s best to repackage the meat for freezing because the grocery store packaging isn’t considered safe for freezing over a longer time period.

  139. says

    We grow our own veggies and fruit, can and freeze what we can. Buy a cow in bulk, use coupons when we shop. We try to plan all our shopping for one day to use less gas, and we make our own cleaners with Borax, Baking Soda, and Vinegar. (Though I will buy earth friendly cleaners if I see them on clearance!) OH yes, and love the clearance isle, but be cautious too.

  140. oona says

    We eat breakfast for dinner at least once a week. It’s a fun treat for my 5-year old and we use up fruit that is about to go bad in smoothies. She likes helping make pancakes or waffles and it’s a good way to stretch the weekly food budget a little further. Thanks for the giveaway!

  141. says

    We have “It’s your night” and we have “ethnic food night” weekly during the summer and when possible.. When it’s my turn, it’s no big deal because I do it every other night. When it’s Mr. Man’s turn, he treats everyone to a dinner out since he can do that and since he can’t cook. When it is my son’s night, I let him lose in the kitchen but am always nearby to help. He comes up with some incredible dinners!
    The “ethnic night” that we have weekly is chinese, mexican, italian or whatever and we all shop for ingredients together, we all plan the meal, we all pitch in preparation and we all have great fun! When it’s all over…I clean.
    These small little things seem to make mealtime worth coming to and make it not just simply food.

  142. Aubrey says

    Wow – this would be so great to win! My tip is to plan out your meals before you go to the grocery store (we do ours for about 2 weeks at a time) and then you won’t end up impulse buying.

  143. says

    In my family we try and bring lunch to work or school as much as possible.

    I use a travel mug for coffee so I can make it at home and take it with me.

    We use refillable water bottles instead of buying water bottles.

    I find creative things to do with pasta since pasta is an inexpensive meal.

    I grow some of my own veggies.

    We buy in bulk at Costco as much as possible. We are currently saving up to get an extra freezer so we can buy more meats and frozen foods and save because we get them in bulk.

    I stock up on bagels at a local warehouse bakery. It’s much cheaper then buying them in the groery store. I use (and re-use) storage bags and keep some bagels in the freezer for future use. We can also get bread there cheap.

    We make our own desserts instead of buying pre-made ones.

    Hand-me-downs from friends and family when it comes to the kids clothes.

    We are members of our local Freeshare/Freecycle and have been able to get some things for free.

    We walk as much as we can to save money on gas.

    Sorry to ramble!!! LOL!!!

  144. zukppr says

    My biggest ‘trick’ is buying staples when they are on sale for BOGO and only when I have TWO coupons for an amount the store will double.

  145. Rachel says

    I ONLY buy meat on sale, and I am a big time coupon cutter. I have also found that drugstores – like Walgreens or something – sometimes have really great deals on basics like mayo and peanut butter. I always check out all the newspaper circulars to find the very best deals each week!

  146. Hanna DeMaster says

    My sister and I buy things together at Costco and split them when we can. I’ve begun using a lot more coupons. I also try to keep my grocery shopping to once a week in an effort to drive less and put myself in a position of impulse buying.

  147. says

    I clip coupons and use them relentlessly! Also I belong to various groups on the internet and always seem to get something for free in the mail! I also do surveys and get to try out products before they hit the market. I only shop twice a month since I only get paid that much in one month. Those are my tips!

  148. Nadia says

    Meal planning, buying in bulk, using coupons and buying what’s on sale helps me keep my family on budget. And never go to the supermarket with a hungry tummy to limit impulse buys.

  149. says

    it sure is tough these days since I have not been able to find a job yet, but I always check online for coupons before we go out. I think my husband misses the freedom of not having to worry about spending as much, but tough times call for tough measures.

  150. Meg says

    I really try to go to similar areas of town at one time to save on gas. We use to do so much back and forth driving…no more. Also, a big but hard one–distinguishing between needs and wants.

  151. Sonya Sparks says

    We only go to the grocery store if I need more than 3 items and I don’t impulse buy, I only buy off my list. That is a big change for us.

  152. Bree says

    We plan our meals around the weekly sales! That way, we are saving money and get to have a variety of meals!

  153. christine says

    Thank You for this wonderful contest, everyday I try to figure out how to save money on Grocerys, a few things I do is never go food shopping when hungry :) clip coupons only for what you already use, unless it is a freebie. Also I shop at local grocery stores, instead of the major chains, as much as possible, Aldi is the best for bargains, and local produce markets

  154. says

    Fantastic Contest!

    Now more than ever we have to shop at different stores during a single week to take advantage of the different sales. You have to weigh gas prices against grocery prices and see what wins out.

  155. says

    One of the big things I’ve done lately is hang all of our laundry to dry, instead of using the dryer. I’m also considering a switch to cloth diapers for the next baby. Honestly, I would have done these things whether the economy was bad or not. I have goals to reach, and doing these things will help me get there faster. One difficult thing in this house has been teaching my husband and 4yo that not every meal has to include meat. Beans are good! I grew up poor, so this is easy for me. I like cheap food. Not so much for them…

  156. says

    I have always used coupons which saves some money. Today I saved 10 dollars in groceries this way; every little penny counts. I use kraftfoods.com which has simple ingredients that uses everyday ingredients in small quantities (most of the time), and they have excellent promotions. I also meal plan, and always try to have a grocery list. When I have no list, I spend more. I have switched to buying items that cost the same at Kroger as Wal-Mart so that I make the 100 purchase necessary to get 10 cents off a gas purchase. That has been nice too.

  157. Morgan M. says

    Money matters are tight for sure and with grocery prices soaring it doesn’t help much… I am tired of eating pasta and chicken – but meat is so expensive we forgo it for only when we go out to eat.

  158. Angela J says

    Get your children interested in gardening, like growing radishes which come up and mature quickly. Or pumpkins which are fun to watch grow. If they raise their own food, it gives them a sense of accomplishment, not to mention being a cost saver. “Recycling” leftovers is great when you can come up with a different way to servce the main dish.

  159. Amanda says

    Bring a calculator when you shop to calculate the best price, but buying large quantities is only a good deal if you can eat/use it all before it goes bad. I’ve also found that leaving the kids at home gives me more time and mental energy to bargain shop. Plus it eliminates any impulse buys prompted by the kids.

    Great contest! $500 is a lot of money!

  160. Julie Kenyon says

    I have four boys. Need I say more? Fortunatley, I live with within 2 miles of three major grocery stores. Yes, let the competition begin! I have shaved about three hundred buck off the monthly grocery bill by clipping coupons, buying each store’s sale products, and stocking up on sale items we use frequently.

  161. says

    We have a local Aldi’s that has milk for $2.59 a gallon. Having a toddler, we go through a gallon every day or two so that saves us a TON of money instead of paying $3.40 or more at the other grocery stores. Their bread is $0.69 a loaf as well. I haven’t even calculated how much those two things alone save us per month, but I’m sure it’s a good amount.

    learningmama at yahoo dot com

  162. Emilie says

    This is so nice of Libby to do! We could all use this little bit extra. To save I always try to watch for really good sales on staple items and stock up so I don’t pay full price on anything unless I have to. I also try to combine sales with coupons. Thanks so much for the giveaway!

  163. Connie says

    I try to cook homemade meals versus going for convenience or eating out. It definitely requires a lot more planning and time but since I love to cook it isn’t as hard as it sounds. Wish me luck, we could really use the extra cash. :)

  164. Alice Hansen says

    What a great contest. I’ve been amazed at how prices are going up at the grocery store. Thanks for the contest!

  165. says

    I buy in bulk and use coupons as often as possible. I also have gone to many generics and make some of my own household cleaners. It is still quite depressing to see the bills piling up and no end in sight. We almost never eat out and pack lunches or picnics when we go on family outings or out of town.
    This is a fabulous give away and will really help some family. Thank you!

  166. Kim says

    I buy Sunday papers for the coupons and look online for free on Wednesdays for our local store flyers. I plan my shopping trip around the coupons I have available and what’s on sale at the grocery store. I also pretend that the grocery store is a long way and I try to go only once or twice per week to save gas.

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  167. Carrie H. says

    We buy on sale, use coupons, and always always look for deals. Another new trick we’ve recently discovered is the great deals that CVS drug store has with their Club card. We can end up getting household items like toothpaste, paper towels, and toilet paper for next to nothing if you figure out how to “work” the system. Thanks for the AMAZING giveaway!

  168. j621d says

    I stock up on whole chicken when it’s on sale. I cut it up myself and package it in fold-top plastic sandwich bags. I save the chicken backs for soup stock

  169. Carol Ezovski says

    I have always used coupons and pair them up with the grocery ads. For stores like Walgreens, you can use one of their in-ad coupons AND a manufacturer’s coupon which sometimes makes the product almost free!
    We all like canned veggies, even the dog. He loves green beans!

  170. says

    I save money by combining coupons with current sales. The site http://www.refundcents.com is AWESOME. It matches up the weekly sales at stores like CVS and Walgreens with the in-store coupons and manufacturer coupons. On the Chit-chat section you can find a ton of helpful shopping tips from fellow bargain hunters. There are also refunds listed for everything from meat to salad dressing. And tips on how to have great garage sales with all your leftover items that you are able to buy for free with your newfound savvy shopping skills! The site has a subscription fee which very quickly pays for itself, like, in a week.

    http://www.hotcouponworld.com also has great information. Shoppers compile there knowledge about sales and what coupons to use to get the best deals.

    When I need coupons I go to ebay or http://www.couponsthingsbydede.com (whole inserts)
    http://www.thecouponclippers.com (ind. coupons)
    http://www.thecouponmaster.com (ind. coupons)

    I also check the manufacturer sites of products I use regularly because they will usually have coupons you can print off too.

    Using the above sites has helped me to save a ton of money. I can’t remember the last time I actually paid for toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo , conditioner, deodorant etc. It’s pretty cool! So explore the above sites and have a blast paying for your next vacation with all the money that you save.

    Cheers,
    Kristina

  171. Rachel says

    I read some fab blogs which deal with making the most of coupons and sales. We get a lot of things free or for close to nothing. Every little bit helps! I also prepare most of our meals from scratch and grow as much of our own produce as possible. We never go out to eat, either(or very, very rarely anyway). I don’t feed my family canned veggies(because they’re largely nutritionally void), but frozen veggies aren’t the worst thing in the world and they can be cheap(even organic! A bag of organic broccoli is only $2 at whole foods market).

    If we need something, I check first on freecycle, then look on craigslist for a good deal..if all else fails, I bargain hunt.

  172. Katharine says

    I go shopping only once a week now, on the weekend so my husband can stay home with the kids. This way I can shop with list and coupons in hand and not have to deal with kids impulsive wants and demands in the store. I am also cutting back on the more expensive meats and using more fillers like beans and rice. I will not give up on quality or variety however, it is important to a growing child’s development. I am buying less organic however, wish I could afford it but things are just getting too tight in the budget.

  173. Michelle T says

    I walk to the supermarket twice a week. I push my youngest in the stroller, and only buy what will fit in the two reusable bags that hang on the handles. I get exercise and save on gas. Plus, I plan our meals each week and eating dinner together is a must.

  174. says

    My sister & I live in the same city as our parents, so we frequently have big family meals.

    Also, I use my freezer. A LOT. When I see an item on sale, I buy a BUNCH (as much as I can afford) and prep it for a meal, then stash it in the freezer.

    We also have a garden. And I am LOVING that right now, as we are feasting on cucumbers, tomatoes galore, and our peas will be ready soon. We’ve also got watermelon, bell peppers and eggplant. YUM!

  175. says

    I use coupons alot to help my family scrape by. I look at what coupons I have and if I need an item there is a coupon for I use it. You can save at least 10 dollars or more every grocery trip if you put a little effort into it. Great giveaway, thanks!

  176. says

    My favorite money saving tip is to roast a couple big chickens. We serve the first meal with all the fixin’s: stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc. Then I de-bone both birds, dump all the drippings, skin, fat, bones, and all into a pot and simmer with an onion or two for a rich hearty broth. I freeze the meat and the broth for soups, stews, sandwiches, and can actually get about 8-10 family meals out of all that. And of course, I buy the biggest, plumpest birds I can find, on sale with a coupon or two!

  177. Heather says

    Yea, Libby’s! What a wonderful and helpful website!
    #1 I meal plan on Saturdays and shop on Sundays. I cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for our family of six and having meals planned for the whole week keeps us from running out at the last minute for fast food or a “quick” stop at the store for Milk that somehow translates to a $25 bag of groceries.

  178. khaki says

    I LOVE Libby’s! One of my favorite recipes I make every week is pumpkin bran muffins–my own recipe, starring Libby’s pumpkin! It’s sweet, healthy, fiber-full, no added sugar, and my kids LOVE them!! Actually, they’ve been requesting & eating these muffins EVERY morning for over 3 years!

  179. divrchk says

    I’ve found that the little things add up. I make a meal plan for the week before I go shopping. I make sure to turn off the lights when they aren’t needed. I use coupons when possible.

  180. Stacy says

    I make sure to clip coupons out of the Sunday paper and the weekly ads and then I carefully go over the grocery store ads. I also buy store brand vs. name brands whenever possible – sometimes that saves 50% or more!

  181. says

    I do menus, and a good list for my hubby. That way he can hit the store on the way home from work, thus saving on gas also. I also use my porkchop leftovers, or rib leftovers to make shepards pie, it makes it even more filling then just hamburger and helps use the leftover meat. I need to get in the habit of using my coupons, I clip them and then forget them, duh, but that is the next step. Thanks for the chance.

  182. says

    we eat dinner at our parents house once a week so it saves on cost and they kids get to spend extra time with their grandparents as well!!
    thanks!
    moore.g at insideconnect.net

  183. Stephanie V says

    We menu plan as well trying to use leftovers towards the following evening’s meal or for lunch. We also have one “snack” night where everything gets to fill their plate with healthy snacks for dinner (like quesadillas, crackers with cream cheese, veggie chips, hummus, carrot sticks, etc). Saves one night of planning for mummy!
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

  184. Michelle says

    I use coupons for brand name products and buy store-brand if it’s cheaper. I also set a limit at the store and I use my calculator since it helps me keep from impulse purchases and overspending. We have “breakfast night at dinner” once a week because eggs, waffles or pancakes are a cheap, easy, filling meal.

  185. Teresa says

    WOW! What an AWESOME contest! I am with many of your other readers who have already commented. I have switched to only one big grocery run a month and then maybe 2 perishable runs during the month. It really is amazing what you can live without and can make from the stuff in your pantry! I have shaved almost $200 off of my grocery budget by cutting back my trips because each trip I would end up with a few extra “good deals” and those really do add up….even when they are a good deal! For children’s clothing I have picked up staple items like jeans or summer dresses at the end of the season for 80+% off!!! It is always a great feeling when that new season comes around and you don’t have to buy at full price! Thanks again for a great contest!

  186. says

    We save money by trying new frugal recipes we find on the internet. We all take a turn at it, and we have fun finding new dishes that are tasty (or not) that we will want to make again someday (or not). We’ve found some that are now family favorites.

    Also we’ve stopped going out to lunch on Sundays with friends. We are still eating with them, but instead of spending money at the restaurant we rotate homes and it’s potluck….it saves us money and we don’t have to miss out on fellowship.

  187. says

    With a combined household of 9 people, you can imagine what our grocery bill looks like. We try to keep it low by making alot of casseroles and we also eat alot of rice, bean and potato dishes. Buying off brand or on sale items only also helps our budget alot.

  188. Cathie says

    Meal planning is a big help. I also found that if the kids help with the meal they enjoy it and eat their veggies etc better if they help choose and make them.

  189. Cathy123 says

    Definitely buy local produce when possible, and supplement in the off season with great products like Libby’s canned goods. Challenge yourself to use all the food you buy – the heels of the bread, etc. Toss veggies about to wilt into a soup, and blend fruit that starts to make brown spots into a smoothie. Buy fewer processed things and more “real” things that looked like they came from the farm! When things get desperate, serve whatever you have with chopsticks – the kids get a kick out of eating with them and the whole meal seems more fun!

    Thanks for a great contest – with what I have learned about cutting grocery bills here, $500 would now feed our family for a whole lot longer than it once would! Thanks for the great ideas everyone!

  190. Amber says

    Tip: Use coupons and find sales and discounts when grocery shopping. Money flies by when you don’t grocery shop wisely…

  191. Joan Tripp says

    I had to convince myself that using leftovers didn’t have to mean having the same meal over and over again. So, I make one big meal a week – usually on Sundays. We eat off of that meal another 2 times in the same week. I usually start off with some type of good cut roast and vegetables. The next meal usually includes some type of open face sandwich with the meat and a variation on the vegetables – such as using the pot roast potatoes and making potato pancakes. I finish the “once around again” meal and make vegetable soup.

    This way, I am saving on preparation time and also saving money by reusing leftovers.

  192. says

    I’m trying to cut back on the meats at dinner which are the most expensive part usually. At the same time I try to add more veggies. Saves us some money and is healthier for us also. Even a little cut can make a difference when you add them all up. If you normally use a pound of hamburger in spaghetti sauce, try cutting it back to 3/4 of a pound – stuff like that.

  193. Marlena says

    We try to use coupons as often as possible and I’m always searching the web for free or next free deals that we can get in on. We’d love to eat more organic foods, but the cost is 3x as much! UGH!! What is this world coming to??

  194. says

    1. Gardening

    2. Menu Planning (though we are SO bad about eating meals from out — our whole budget would really be helped if we could manage to not eat meals from out)

    3. Having meatless meals at least once a week

    4. Try to make Asian-style dishes that use less meat

  195. says

    In our house, the best tip is to keep the credit and debit cards AWAY from daddy! LOL! The man has an unstoppable urge to see how many times he can swipe it in one day!

  196. Deborah Reed says

    I try and plan out the meals before going to the grocery store. We share meals also with my son and wife and take turns.

  197. Connie says

    coupons buy ,
    one get one free plus, store sales…it adds up to real cost cutting and careful budgeting.

  198. Steven Blaser says

    Treat yourself to any item you want, but eliminate reoccurring expenses. Dump the ongoing cell phone and opt for a fixed number of minutes. Don’t subscribe to premium movie channels. If you must see the movie, wait and rent it on DVD.

  199. says

    I did a clothing swap with a big group of friends so that we all got a wardrobe change without spending ANY money!
    I rarely buy anything new (I go to yard sales and consignment shops). I have stopped going to stores “just for fun”, because I always ended up finding a “bargain” that I had to buy!
    Of course I always use coupons, except for when I do grocery shopping at Aldi. I have really simplified our menu and lowered my expectations. Now, saltines and peanut butter with an apple counts as a meal.
    We get videos and books from the library. All of our recreation is free…going to parks, libraries, friend’s houses. My kids don’t do any lessons or sports that cost money.
    I don’t know what is going to happen to everyone if the fuel prices don’t stop rising!

    onlycancan at hotmail dot com

  200. Dolly says

    I learned to plan meals and grocery shopping around what’s already in the fridge/freezer and pantry and to NOT just plan a menu that sounds good. Figuring out ways to combine what I already have and only buy things (on sale or inexpensive) to fill out the rest saves a ton. When things ARE on sale…stock up to save.

    The fewer things you purchase that are pre-made, the more you’ll save and usually, the healthier it’ll be for your family. Everything that’s convenient comes at a price.

    I cook in a crockpot like it’s going out of style. Cook a chicken or a turkey, and use the drippings for chicken stock (as well as the last remnants of chicken, gizzards, and bones) to make a soup.

    Unlike you, we started out our marriage on a 2-salary income as military officers…now, both fresh out of grad school WITH a baby…we’re cinching up the belt tighter than we EVER have…but we’re also spending less than we ever have, still eating healthy and delicious meals.

  201. says

    Well it isn’t really a trick or a secret for that matter but what I have to do is divide the money up into daily rations. We get $238 every 14 days and that equals $17/day. That doesn’t include gas or groceries but that is daily money for both my husband and I combined. It gets really hard on the weekends and if we choose to go to a movie, we use 2 days right there and then have to spend $0 extra for those two days. It helps to keep on us on track.

    I really need to win. We are feeling the stress in our marriage with all these raised prices.

    ckbruce@sbcglobal.net

  202. says

    $5 Little Ceasar’s pizzas! Once a week it saves us both time and money to pickup one of their ready made pizzas.

    I like to keep the staples stocked. If we have on hand food that the family likes to eat, then we are less likely to order take out during the week.

    I wish I could write out a plan for the week and actually shop for it and stick to it!

  203. says

    I do menu planning to help me stay on track. I use a lot of coupons and try to double them whenever I can with in store coupons. I use the summer and fall to stock up on fruits and veggies. I go pick a lot of fruit at the local farms and come home and can it. I try and can enough to last the whole year. This saves us money over the long run and I like knowing how and where my food is prepared.

  204. says

    Cutting coupons and taking advantage of sales (store sales combined with coupons can save so much money) and shopping in bulk at BJ’s whenever possible.

    I’ve been frequenting the farmer’s markets lately, but produce there does cost more. I’m stuck between supporting my local farmers and keeping an eye on my wallet.

  205. says

    One night per week we have a free-for-all sort of dinner. We raid the frig of leftovers and concoct some of the weirdest dishes imaginable. In fact, no two are ever the same, and I can’t remember any single one to describe them in detail.:) But it is fun and we use up the leftovers rather than toss them out. The kids love it.

    Please enter me in the draw for $500 from Libbys. These boys keep growing and eating more!

  206. Lori says

    I check out the grocery store circulars. Its nice having two differnt store to choose from. It’s about 10 minutes either direction. I can plan my meals with what on sale. We use to eat out at least once a week. Now by choice its once a month. Anything I make is less expensive,taste better and always served with a smile.

  207. Susan Taylor says

    My biggest thing I am trying to get better at. Use coupons. Compare my coupons to what is on sale each week. Plan my meals around what is the best deal.

  208. Linda in VA says

    Thanks for all the great food saving tips, and for this great giveaway – good luck to all, but I sure could use this prize!

  209. Aisling says

    We plan more carefully for the week before going shopping, I use coupons more, and try not to buy more than we’ll eat (particularly fresh fruit and veggies). I like to cook on weekends and use the leftovers for a couple of different meals throughout the week. Chicken is especially good for that since you can have a really nice dinner and then make so many things from diced chicken.

  210. Debbie Criss says

    I shop at all the thrift stores, hit all the yard sales, and clearance idles. I’ve even rode my bicycle to town, which is about 6 miles. I’m not in very good shape. I’m trying to convince myself I need to do this for fitness and to save gas. Every little bit of savings helps.

  211. F. Topp says

    I would say a great way to save is:
    Whenever you do a shopping, try to put back 1 thing on the shelf, that you don’t really need.
    It teaches you to think twice before spending, and we always have something extra that we could do without.

  212. says

    My whole family does a very cool Trade Day twice a year. The kids and adults bring items which are in good useable condition. When people arrive, they place their used items on a long table of kids items or adult items. We leave the items out until after dinner and then we take turns going shopping. The kids love trading with their cousins and getting new items. The adults love clearing out their house of items they no longer need and enjoy watching their children play with new items that they didn’t have to put out any more money for. Any items that are left over after the shopping is complete are donated.

  213. Tawnjun says

    Our family consists of 8 girls and My Mom and Dad. One of my sisters has a particularly large back yard. We planted a vegetable garden and started a compost heap. We get together on Sundays to gather all our recyclables, tend the garden and spend quality family time together. We help the environment, stretch our pocket books and keep up traditions.

  214. Karincs says

    Build your soup recipe collection! Soups can be very inexpensive to make, yet very delicious and satisfying. Hearty soups and stews in the winter, and cold fruit or vegetable soups in the hotter months. So good, and so easy!

  215. Ruth says

    I’ve been cooking less food at a time. Instead of cooking mass quantities to ensure that there will be more than enough food if someone is particularly hungry, then dealing with unplanned leftovers (that sometimes went to waste), I cook “just enough” – and hungry folks can have extra bread or a PB&J if needed (almost never happens). Also, I try skipping my weekly grocery trip once every 2 or 3 months. I have plenty of stuff in my pantry to keep us going, and that week actually helps me clean up the pantry & freezer of the weird stuff that looked good in the store, but that I never got around to actually cooking.

  216. says

    My main trick is to read some of the great frugal mom blogs out there — moneysavingmom.com, freebies4mom.com, the Grocery Gathering at becentsable.blogspot.com are some of my favorites. These have great information on learning how to frugally shop, coupon and sale matchups and more. *And* I’m menu planning now!

  217. Pam says

    I stockpile frozen items – and the bigger the better. Big bags of frozen chicken, broccoli, raspberries, mixed peppers, etc. – you save a ton of money (especially when you stock up during a sale). In addition, most people do not eat their fresh produce quickly enough to obtain their full nutritional value, so frozen food without additives is actually a healthier choice for most people.

  218. Rebecca Graham says

    At the end of the week, I take our left overs and make a big pot of soup. Very cheap and very good!

  219. Tanya Moyer says

    I do a couple of different things. I use my crock-pot to make large portions with cheaper cuts of meat, and the slow-cooking makes everything tender and yummy, and I often have great left-overs to use for lunches/dinner the next day. I coupon as often as I can. And I’m not afraid to try bargain/store brands on as many items as I can. Great giveaway! Thanks for offering this!
    ~Tanya
    the4moyers(at)msn(dot)com

  220. Amy B. says

    I agree with the above poster, there are some great tips here. My husband and I have been carpooling together, since we work in the same vicinity. I’m just lucky enough that we can make this work out most of the time, saves a little on gas, every bit helps!

  221. Susan P. says

    Once a month, I buy certain items at the bulk warehouse to last the month and get a lot of things on sale at the local supermarket. Coupons, buy 1-get 1 free and lots of fresh produce fills in the rest. I get a Rotisserie chicken on my class night to not have to cook and we always do leftovers.

  222. Nancy says

    What we did was put a ‘jacket’ around our water heater, and then put a timer on it. It only comes on once a day (in the morning for showers), and if we need additional hot water during the weekends, I just flip it on & turn on the timer for 30 mins. Also, I have a programmable thermostat that goes up to 82 during the day Mon-Fri.
    Doesn’t help that I drive 100 miles a day to work & back… the gas prices are insane!

  223. Kate says

    Prices have so gone up making the healthy eating choices pricey but I have always had coupons and would go shopping monday morning when I find a lot of meat on sale from them over packaging for the Sunday rush. So by monday morning they do a mark down. I also redeem my cans and do coin star at the store. All these things bring down my bill. But what has helped the most is my 5 year old learning to write. She helps make the list and when we get to the store, if she sees me put a non list item in the cart, I get the 3rd degree on why. it has made me stop and think!

  224. says

    Go to your local farmers market…or just to your local farmers. Often much cheaper, but better yet…GOOD FOR YOU foods!

    God bless-
    Amanda

  225. julie says

    using my cvs reward card money like cash is awesome in saving the family money
    3beez at bellsouth dot net

  226. Francess says

    I often cook two meals at one time. One to eat for dinner and one to freeze for later. This is a great time and money saver.

  227. says

    With twin boys and a seven year old boy and a full time student (my husband), it’s pretty hard to stay on budget. I love shopping for bargains and buying second hand as much as possible.

  228. says

    I cut coupons grow soem of my own vegetables and try not to impulse buy. I can’t wait to read through all of these great tips though!

  229. Vickie Couturier says

    I plan my menu based on the local sales papers an I used coupons an try to hit the double an triple coupon days,my husbands job closed an he had to take a job that pays less than half his old salary so we are struggling an are having to move 1200 miles to try to relocate to find a job,yard sales help with some things an second hand,never buy new anymore

  230. Eloise Carlson says

    I save money by looking at the weekly ads and planning my meals for the week from that. I also clip coupons faithfully and plan my menus based on what coupons I have. Yard Sales, I agree are great because we have a new baby coming and I have most of her clothes that I have bought almost brand new from yard sales. I also sign up for coupons and savings online as well. Thanks for a great opportunity to win!

  231. valerie phillips says

    Coupons are the deal, they are everywhere and I find them not only on the internet but in the newspaper everywhere. I thought that Sunday was the only good time but I find my self looking through all sections of the newspaper because there will sometimes be one stuck here or there. Plan your menu with your coupons and you can save big at the store. You don’t have to be a fanatic but between your weekly sales ads from the grocery store and your coupons a little planning makes a big $$$ difference.

  232. randy says

    What my family does is actually portioning out the food with measuring cups etc, it’s helps keep our family on budget, and aslo keeps us within a healthy weight….plus we started using smaller plates, most plates are so large, hence portioning larger amounts on the plate. Thanks.

    http://grimmouse.blogspot.com/

  233. Mary Jenkins says

    I live in the poorest city of the poorest state in the country.. and i’m still considered low income here! the most important thing is to be upfront about your situation.I’m not saying beg, but when people have crap thay don’t want , they will know who to bring it to. Also, there is freecycle.org and craig’s list for getting/trading for things you need. And do not eat out! not even a burrito. get a 33 cent burrito from your supermarket’s freezer. way cheaper!

  234. Pat says

    I make sure I’m not hungry when I get groceries. Otherwise, I make some really unwise purchases because everything looks good.
    Also, I check through the circulars to find the best deals.

  235. Colleen says

    We are re-working our budget all the time. I enter sweepstakes all the time for groceries. We are very conserivitive. I try to have a stock of none parishable items. I get grocery sales flyers e-mail, compare the best prices with coupons and shop that way. It’s a lot of work, but worth it.

  236. Marz Hamilton says

    You betcha! I live on tips on saving money anywhere from discounts on groceries to clothes. My first motto is if it isn’t on sale then I don’t even look at it. Okay maybe a glance but I won’t buy it unless there is some discount. My favorite tip at the grocery store is shopping on Thursday’s. First because it’s relatively slow at the store and my main grocery store slashes prices on perishable that have to move fast. Just the other day I got 3 packages of meat, 2 dz eggs, and 5 packages of packaged hash brown’s all for $12 bucks! I froze the meat and hash brown to use at a later time and the eggs will be gone before I know it. The regular price of 2 of the packages of meat would cost me more than $12 bucks. I love to save money! As for sitting around the dinner table that is surely the hardest to do with super busy schedules. A few months back I vowed to eat at least one meal a week at the table and at the beginning of this month I moved it up to two meals a week at the dinner table. By the end of the year we should be up to four. It’s taking some major growing pains but the end result is so worth it. The trick here is involving everyone is the process of making dinner so the whole dinner process is our family time. Not just everyone showing up when the meal is ready to eat. That has helped tremendously!

  237. marybeth i. says

    We are really cutting back on impulse spending. Less eating out – more eating in. For the first time in years I am cutting coupons again. Hate doing it but love the savings. I also take advantage of BOGO sales at the grocery and stock up.

  238. says

    When we buy meat, we buy it in bulk and then we separate it out at home so that we have enough meat to last us a few weeks for various meals.

    We also clip coupons, shop the grocery circulars and only buy what is on our grocery list when we head into the store. Meal planning helps a lot too.

  239. beverly paquin says

    pack a picnic lunch and go to the zoo. have cold sandwiches instead of grilling meat all the time.

  240. Susan says

    My problem is lack of time – so to keep from having to eat out, I cook at least 2-3 meals each time I cook.

  241. Judy says

    I am fortunate enough to have a small vegatable garden. It’s great to have your own lettuce, tomatoes, green onions, cucumbers, squash and even cantaloupe so handy, it also saves quite a bit on the grocery bill!

  242. Jessica K says

    My biggest tip is to budget, plan a menu, including snacks and company, make a list and stick to it. Also, when I plan our menu, I try to use recipes that include some of the same ingredients. This way, everything I but goes further and nothing goes to waste.
    Budgeting and sticking to a list isn’t always fun, but its worth it.

  243. Betty N says

    We eat mostly chicken and buy it when it is on sale, generally 99 cents a pound for whole; 1.87 for chicken breasts. I have a host of recipes from the internet for wonderful chicken dishes and we never tire of it. I pound out the chicken breasts and cut them in half so we get two servings per breast. We also grind our own chicken and use it for meatloaf, chili, sausage, etc. We stock up on products we use when our neighborhood store has them on BOGO (buy one, get one).

  244. Dawn Geers says

    we go to u-pick farms and pick our own produce. It is a big savings and can be a fun family time tradition.

  245. Melissa says

    Planning is key to keep our costs down. And of course, not going to the grocery store hungry! As far as eating dinner together? Our dinner table is nowhere near a TV! It helps a ton to not have that distraction!

  246. Frank B. says

    We have many. One is that we only buy groceries that are on sale and that we have a coupon for that is at least doubled, and we stock shop to keep us through until the next good sale.

  247. Linda Pinto says

    We use the best that each store in our area has to offer in our area in terms of price and choice. I try to stay away from stores like Safeway unless they are having an excellent sale on something I actually use. I use Costco, Target, and an Indian ethnic grocery store the most. I have found that Longs Drugstore has good sales on a limited scope of grocery items. I try to combat impulse buying vigorously and check my basket before I get to the checkout stand and put back any impulse items that ended up in the cart (how do they get there?). I try to take into account how far I drive to get a bargain and try to plan ahead.

  248. says

    Sticking to my grocery list (as much as possible) when I shop. I plan out all meals for the week and whatever extras we may need, and I try my hardest not to do any impulse shopping.

  249. says

    My tip would be an old fashioned tip, that we as a family try our best to stick to the basics and that is to:

    “Live within your means, if you can’t afford it don’t buy it.”

    “Live with what you have and be grateful.”

    If I think back to my childhood the things that stand out to me were not the things that were bought but the moments we shared that today hold the highest value for me.

  250. Joan OToole says

    I try to make a complete list of sale items and do one large shopping trip a week. Also, I like to make meals with enough servings for at least two meals (or more, if possible.)

  251. Pam Bolash says

    grocery shopping tips that we use:

    *Shop alone; husband/kids add more to the cart
    *Make/use the shopping list; stick to it
    *Sign up for loyalty cards at grocery stores
    *Comparison shop at your favorite 3 stores
    *Cut & Use coupons
    *Attempt a buying club with friends/family to save
    *Don’t shop while hungry!

    Pam

  252. says

    I use RiteAid free after rebate items,also Walgreen’s and Ace. This has helped so much and I have tons of free shampoo and conditioner among other things. I also use coupons.

  253. kelly kopchick says

    We -Cut coupons and use them
    -We also go to a surplus grocery store once a month. You have to watch the dates but it does cut cost!
    This year it did not look like we would be able to afford to go on vacation to the beach (one that we do every year) But I had a yard sale and made enough money to go! We had to cut corners there but we did still had fun! 1. We got a hotel with a fridge and a microwave. that let us eat breakfrast and lunch in. so we only ate 1 meal out a day! we had cereal or toast for breakfrast and I took a sandwich maker and had pizza, grilled cheese, hot ham and cheese, and cherry pie filling sandwiches!
    2. Use coupons on vacation! my kids wanted to ride the go carts and play golf at the beach! We used coupons for them and they could do both!
    3. Find free stuff to do We found at one of the shopping centers at the beach they had different stages and my daughters loved go there to see a little girl that dressed up as Hannah Montana! My 3 yr old thought she was real!

  254. Joanne Quarz says

    We coupon faithfully and try to use coupons with the weekly fliers to plan our meals. We watch for 10 for $10 items and still cut our milk by using half bottled and the other half reconstituted powder.

  255. Alexis says

    Staying on budget with a little one in the house is important. We make sure to always use coupons to buy necessities (diapers/wipes, groceries, etc.) and with gas prices, we make sure and carefully plan our shopping trips.

    We buy clothes on clearance at the end of the season, which helps a lot!

    Randomly pick me, please! =) Thanks for a great giveaway!

  256. Katie says

    I comparison shop at 2 or 3 stores each week, and plan my meals in advance so I am armed with a list before stepping foot in the store. Less waste that way!

  257. Jennifer M says

    We buy ingredients, not completed dishes–buying a huge sack of rice and some seasonings costs way less than a rice mix, and isn’t hard to fix. Same with salads, I can wash and chop greens and vegetables myself, not pay twice as much for a few moment’s convenience.

  258. says

    Something that helps me is to step back and look at what I have in my pantry and freezer and plan at least one or two meals a week from there. It’s amazing how much I actully have on hand, I just need to be creative and use it!

  259. Marci says

    I’m the type of person to stock up when I see a great sale. My biggest way to stay on budget is to use what I have stocked up and add a few things from the store. That way I’m not buying more expensive items as I already have them at a good price.

  260. Kristin W says

    Whatever we have for dinner, we have for lunch the next day or so. My husband and I both take our lunch to work, so this saves us alot. Plus, we end up with a warm delicious meal!

  261. Jodi B says

    My husband, me and out teenage son seem to spend a lot of money on nothing! We are always getting nickle and dimed and before I know it, we have spent a sizable amount of money. Every two weeks I give each of us $30. That is it for spending money. If we want coffee, to get lunch or some movie money this is where it comes from. This seems to keep everyone on track and keep us from waisting money on things that we don’t need or could do without. When the $30 is gone that is it. It is working and helping us make better choices!

  262. says

    When my kids were at home to make ends meet I had to do something so I heard of Refunding an decided to try it I got my first free coupon from a box of cereal took it to the store hoping that they would Honor it, Oh my they announce it over the intercom that I was a smart shopper with coupons I was all hype up went into it big time where I got Rebate checks every week an free coupons! My family appreciated it especially at the end of the year I when go free shopping for food an when would all decide what to do with the rebate money I saved up! I did this for 12yrs..even though My children are adults now I still look for deals an plan our meals, My Daughter says I’m cheap now she is doing the same as I am (lol)

  263. Cheryl says

    I cut coupons and go to a supermarket that doubles up to 99 cents. If you watch for sales sometimes you can get an item almost for free. This same store has a fuel perks program. For every $50 you spend you get 10 cents off a gallon of gas. It really helps keep the grocery and gas costs more reasonable.

  264. Angela Hoffman says

    Everyone knows about coupons, as long as they use them, but aside from that, I make homeade baby food, do cloth diapers and hang dry them, make my own baby wipes, and when I cook meals that could be froze, I make them in bulk. Cooking in bulk saves you money from the beginning when you buy in bulk to the end when you cook it all at one time so you only have to heat you oven once. Bonus, it save time too!

  265. says

    A tip that has worked for us: Make a weekly menu and stick to it. When you go to the grocery store, buy items for that week’s menu only and, of course, utilize coupons!! I’ve saved as much as $34 when shopping on a “double coupon” day. To make family sit around the table, I’ve found ways of making my weekly menu “entice” the kids to sit down. For instance, instead of having a mere “fruit bowl,” we have a “Banana Rex” where the good-for-you fruit is designed into a somewhat fun shape (or the best that I can do!).

  266. Mags says

    To help the budget spread furthur I buy family packs of meats (even though it is just me and my daughter now) and seperate into serving sizes and then place in freezer bags with marinade. I save money on the larger packs and save time when preparing dinner. I simply remove the meat from the freezer in the morning as I am headed to work and place it in the refrigerator. When I get home dinner is already half done!

  267. Mya Brooks says

    We used to go camping a lot in camp grounds. LOTS of gas to get there and had to pay camping fees. No more. We camp out in the yard. The kids love it more because they can play with Bear, and I love it more because I can go into the house and have a toilet that flushes…LOL

  268. KellyJ says

    Suggestions: prudent menu planning, shopping lists, sticking to the lists, and limiting the number of visits to the store through pre-planning. We’ve cut down our visits to the store to about 2x/month and shop from a list. I usually go it alone, but with a regular menu plan and our shopping list, I’m dispensable!

    Please enter me. :-)

  269. Amy L says

    I make a double batch of chili, spaghetti and meatballs, or a casserole and freeze half for an easy quick meal. This keeps us from spending too much on a fast food meal or a pizza when there’s no time to shop and/or cook.

  270. says

    I buy things in bulk when things we use are on sale at the store. When cake mixes are 75 cents, for example, I buy 10. My husband and son jokingly refer to my big shelves stocked with food in our basement as ‘Mommy’s Store’.

  271. Betsy says

    I plan! Make shopping lists and stick to them. Also, we have been making a lot of dinners with eggs. It is cheap, versatile and healthy!

  272. SECAVEN says

    this is comment is right up my ally. my friends think that i am crazy for everything that i do! i shop sales, use a coupon with that sale and hope there is a rebate that goes along with that one item. i will usually get that item for free and alot of times i make a profit of it. they pay me to buy it. you sure can’t beat that. i will use double coupons, free coupons etc……..i shop grocery sale ads and stock up on items that are cheap and will not usually buy anything that is regular price. i’m definitely mrs. cheapskate!!

  273. Lauralee Hensley says

    If a recipe calls for 1 pound of ground meat, I only add 3/4 a pound. In meatloaf I’ll add another slice of whole wheat bread to make up for the decreased meat. In rice dishes, add more rice or add more vegetables. If you go for the fancier cuts of meat, instead of giving each person their own steak or chop etc., dice the meat up or slice it into thin strips and portion it out from there, that way you can cook one less chop or steak etc.. This year I am growing a big garden and plan on freezing cantaloupe, squash, and many other items to help make a dent in the winter grocery budget. I grew up with a Mom who had a mommy store, but I don’t have the room- wish I did.

  274. lisa ward says

    I try to make different variations of “skillet goulash” with different veggies, pasta etc. it comes out delicious and uses very little amounts of ingredients, so if you have leftovers mix together makes an inexpensive meal..Buy on sale, clearance, when able.

  275. Denise U says

    I find the best way for our family to save money is planning out the meals for the week and sticking to them. Making a meal at home is MUCH cheaper than going out to eat…plus it is healthier for my family! Since the gas has gotten so high, I have also started taking my lunch to work rather than going out, and I make my coffee at home to avoid spending that extra $1.50 a day.

  276. Kathy Stallings says

    We raise our own beef and grow a large vegetable garden. I also clip cupons and stock up on sale items. I was out picking wild blackberries
    along the fence rows yesterday.

  277. Brie says

    Major coupon shopper here…with store saver cards and coupons i have been known to save 60% of my cost. which is nothing compared to those coupon sense shopper’s but hey its what i got for now!

  278. Jacqueline in Atlanta says

    I have a sheet on the side of my freezer listing what is in there and the date I put it in. When I sit down to make a menu I work from that list as well as the weekly grocery ads. That way I don’t end up paying $5/pound for boneless chicken breasts.

    Then when I am in the grocery store and run across a great buy, short-dated meat, for example, I can take advantage of that sale, knowing it won’t go to waste. I take it home, pop the whole package into a Ziploc bag for extra protection or reportion if necessary and add it to my freezer list for future meals.

    Yesterday I added several portions of baked beans to the freezer after I hosted a cookout at my home. Next time we make hot dogs, hamburgers or sloppy joes for supper I’ll already have the side dish in the freezer – a much better choice than grabbing another bag of chips!

    PS Thanks for the drawing! Whoever wins will be thrilled with $500 in grocery money. What a blessing!

  279. Kathy Conley says

    I don’t have any real tips except try to raise some of your own food in a garden if possible – this can expensive as well when you figure seed and watering cost etc but at least you won’t go hungry!

  280. Beth W. says

    We cut coupons every sunday and are downloading them from coupons.com ALL THE TIME. The coupons there are name brand and have some really great deals sometimes. Winning 500.00 in groceries would be great! We just found out that we have another little one on the way, so this would make my day better then it has already been! Thanks for the giveaway

  281. Joan says

    When my husband’s company sent his job to India five years ago, I went into panic mode. I bought a freezer, I started collecting coupons like a maniac, and I joined all the loyalty programs I could get my hands on. It turns out that those are great things to do even when times are no too tight. I continue to use websites that offer promo/discount codes, I clip and trade mounds of coupons, and I buy extra meat when it is on special and pack our freezer. I make recipes that are pasta, rice, or vegetable based at least twice a week.

  282. Teresina Coleman says

    We have a white board inside out cupboard and write down what we need. My husband shops every Thursday. If it is not on the list he does not buy it. (He refuses to take me because I spend alot more than him).

  283. Jonathan says

    We save by buying bulk and packing as much as we can into our freezer and cupboards. Also, buying staples when they are on sale, rather than when you run out, really adds up!

  284. kelli says

    We buy meat & other items in bulk (at places like Costco) and repackage in smaller bags in the freezer for later use. I’m also working on meal planning which saves last minute trips to the store.

  285. Kristie says

    I know this wouldn’t work for many people, but we are fortunate to be able to raise our own beef. We also have a vegetable garden and can or freeze the veggies that we grow.

  286. judy brittle says

    I use a lot of coupons and plan the meals on a monthly basis. I’ve also been trying to make some meals that we eat for 2 or 3 days like homemade soup,spaghetti,chili etc. A lot goes a long way.

  287. Colleen S. says

    My mom gave me a gift certificate to a garden center for Christmas. Our family had so much fun picking out all sorts of veggie plants. Now because of her insightful gift, my family will have fresh veggies all spring, summer and fall. That has been a great help in “getting us by” giving us a exersize and just a good time puttering in the garden.

  288. Dawn Langis says

    I keep my 3 grandsons all summer long and usually we are packing picnic lunches. My food budget gets unmanageable during the summer. I can use some help or ideas for lunches.

  289. says

    I clip coupons and every Sunday do a menu plan for the week. I do a lot of big meals in the crockpot and then freeze for leftovers. We also purchase our fruit and veggies directly from an organic farm.

    Every few months I have a big clean out the pantry and refrigerator cook-off and another blogger gave me the wonderful site http://www.supercook.com which you enter some ingredients into and they give you some great recipes to try. It’s free so there’s nothing better than that.

  290. Gwendolyn Germaine says

    In addition to clipping coupons and sale shopping, we give each other Supermarket and Restaurant gift cards for gifts instead of junk they have to return.

  291. Cindi says

    Happy Sunday! I attempt to budget in categories. Food, utilities, clothing, etc. I hardly ever pay full price for any family member’s clothing! The only time I do that is if it is a special occasion and that is what is needed. Otherwise, I wait until items are really marked down. To help with fuel costs, we turn up the thermostat in the summer and down in the winter! We used to eat out a lot, but don’t do that nearly as often. My younger actually likes some of the clothes of his older brother, and that saves money. I would love to win this Libby’s prize and give it to our “Ministries Unlimited” pantry or the “Glen-Ed” pantry to help family’s out that need it more than ours. In these times, especially! Please enter me in your drawing. Many thanks, Cindi

  292. LisaW says

    We’ve become nearly vegetarian. Cooking less meat (and buying less pre-packaged lunchmeat) saves money and time. I also buy in bulk and make several casseroles at once to freeze.

  293. Molly B. says

    Don’t throw out your receipts, keep them in a prominent place as a reminder of how much you have already spent each month.

  294. Amy S. says

    I use a LOT of coupons and really try to plan out my grocery shopping so that I can stay within my budget. I also make bigger meals so we can have leftovers to stretch one meal into two.

  295. says

    I try to buy in bulk (we have a deep freezer), and to plan menus around what is on sale. I also try to plan to use leftovers. If I fix a bunch of chicken one night, the leftovers go into chicken salad or a casserole for another day.
    Thanks for the chance to enter the giveaway!

  296. says

    Not forgetting to eat left overs is about as clever as we get lately. Oh, that and I make all of my 7 month olds baby food. I think that saves us some money.

    $500 would help us so much!!

  297. Jenny M says

    Form a hand me down/pass along club. I have a network of good firends that pass along their kids clothing and toys that have been outgrown.
    I shop rummage sales- church/group ones are my favoirte
    Plan meals in advance
    Write down where your spend every penny for a month and see where your biggest leaks are
    use your library- get videos and books instead of buying them

  298. Catalina K says

    Find out from store catalogs when they have sale periods for groceries, go buy your food supplies from those particular stores. Use coupons, as someone else has already said. Save on the electricity bills by hand-washing the dishes from time to time. Cook your own meals instead of eating out.

  299. says

    I will save time and money sometimes by making multiples of one dish and freeze the extra for a quick easy meal later rather than being tempted to grab fast food or pizza. :-)

  300. Deanne says

    These are my money saving strategies:
    *Buy 85% of your kids clothes at garage sales….there is alot of great stuff out there. (once your kids get older this gets harder, but for young kids it works well). The other 15% buy on sale or full price for special occasions clothing.
    * Have your own garage sale and sell the clothes you bought at garage sales once your kids grow out of them. It’s like clothing your kids for free…make your money back (or at least half)!
    *Buy store brand foods. 80% of what I buy is store brand and it saves me a bunch!
    *I have rotating “cheapie” meals that I make 2-3 times a week like hot dogs and mac and cheese or melted ham and cheese sandwiches, turkey smoked sausage, a can of baked beans and a baked potato.
    *Find fun FREE things to do together! Instead of going out to eat, pack up your family, grab your kids Big Wheel and some lunch and picnic at the park. My son enjoys this more than eating out and it saves mommy and daddy $$$.

    Thanks for sharing Janice! It’s nice to know others are in the same boat…I’ve realy enjoyed reading all the comments. I’d love to know what other people have as their “cheapie” meals. I’m always on the lookout for kid friendly (and hubby friendly) cheap meals!
    *

  301. says

    I d a lot of couponing but, these days, there aren’t many for food! I told my husband we may have to live on cereal and yogurt…there are lots of Qs for those!
    Would Love to win this! We need it! thanks!

  302. says

    We succeed when we plan our meals and actually have our shopping list arranged according to where things are in the store (like vegetables/produce are grouped together on the list).

    heatherlbrandt (at) verizon (dot) nete

  303. says

    We succeed when we plan our meals and actually have our shopping list arranged according to where things are in the store (like vegetables/produce are grouped together on the list).

    heatherlbrandt (at) verizon (dot) net

  304. Stacy M. says

    -Plan a meal menu, buy items in bulk that can be made into many different meals and use COUPONS!!!
    -Use the library—it’s the best kept secret for poor people! you can order almost any movie or CD online and if you have patient they will ship it in from another library that has it–all for FREE, and you can keep it for 7 days!
    -One of my trickier ways to saving $ is by the expensive cereal one time, save the box then by the generic equivalent and put it in the name brand expensive box—-my fussy kids had no clue for many years when they were little, not untill they busted me making the switch!!LOL

  305. says

    Definitely planning my meals ahead of time, making a list and STICKING to it at the grocery store. I also use a lot of coupons. Thanks for a great giveaway!

  306. Laureen says

    We try to make lots of casseroles with this and that, usually involving leftovers so that we can eat the newly created casserole for a few days in a row, saving on cost of more ingredients and time in preparing meals.

  307. Carolyn says

    Okay, this sounds wierd, but it works. Make your morning coffee as usual the first day. The second day, reuse the grounds but add half the amount you would usually use. You can do this each day until the filter holds no more then start over. It still tastes great and I save on coffee and filters. I didn’t believe it at first, but it works.

  308. Jennifer Russell says

    We havea fish bowl filled with “conversation starters” that we keep at the dinner table. It helps keep us at the dinner table and keep us interested in whats going on in eachothers lives!

  309. Michelle Goebig says

    I make dinner every night. This makes everyone meet at the dinner table. Also, to keep us in budget i use cash. Once the cash is gone, then i have to stop spending money.

  310. zoz says

    I bought a freezer, which allows me to buy and cook in bulk.
    I cook enough for several meals at once, then freeze in individual portions. I menu plan using the store circulars, and only shop at stores that offer double coupons. I shop at Costco once every six weeks for certain staples that I know are always cheaper there, and I only buy what’s on my list. For all the rest of my non-bulk groceries, I order them online and have them delivered. This eliminates any impulse buying, and saves time, energy, and gas money.

  311. Becky says

    I make out my grocery list and next to each item I write the estimated cost. As I go through the store I keep track of my accuracy and know if I am over or under budget. Since I have a tally already before I go into the store can keep everything straight rather than forget the litte items that add up! I never go over budget and frequently come in $20-40 under! It has worked for years!

  312. kris hickey says

    I love saving moola by using coupons for things that are also on sale and by cooking and crafting things from scratch when I can.

  313. says

    We make meal plans, use LOTS of coupons and shop the sales at several stores to get the best prices. It’s time-consuming and sometimes exhausting but it’s so worth it in the long run! We also make one large meal and sometimes freeze 1/2 of it (like lasagna or pizza or a casserole) so that all we have to do on a busy night is heat and eat. Those nights I don’t have to cook are really a treat for all of us! More time with the family = a happy mama! :)

  314. Bhavana says

    We have almost stopped eating out. I always keep trying out new recipes to avoid getting bored at the dinner table.
    Also we try to finish everything in the refrigerator , we buy what we need and use it up.
    I try not to linger around the aisles at the grocery store, I notice that I spend a lot lesser that way!

  315. says

    We have pretty much stopped eating out too AND we have severly limited our driving.

    I would LOVE to win this particular giveaway. Thanks for the chance!

  316. LVLP says

    We are fortunate to have 4 different grocery stores within a 4 mile radius….so we shop the ads and keep our pantry well stocked! Canned goods, boxed goods, dressings and cereals will keep for a while so we rarely have to run out and pay top dollar.

  317. debbie tyler says

    We love Libbys. I use lots of coupons and often get free items. I also buy whatever meats are on sale for the week. There are 2 grocery stores just a few miles from me so I go to both for the specials. If it is a great buy and you can only get one or two I will go in the beginning of the week then again later.

  318. Jessica T says

    This may sound like an oxymoron, but I buy meals from CareFree Chef (where you go and pay to prepare oven ready meals and then keep them in your freezer). It costs a bit more than making them from scratch, but it prevents me from eating out or ordering in when I’m unprepared or don’t feel like cooking! So, in the long run, it saves me $$!

  319. says

    We plan our meals so that when we go to the grocery store we buy what we need for those dinners. It helps us from impulse shopping. But hey, you gotta splurge on a cheesecake once in awhile :)

  320. Anna Martin says

    Planning is the key to sucess on a tight buget. I plan nightly meals that are light and simple! Breakfast is always satisfying and light on the stomach with the soaring heat that the South produces! You can eat healthy even if it means times are tougher than usually.I’m a heart paitient and eat better than I use to, using lots of fruit and cold vegetables for salads is one way to curb your appetite!

  321. Liz says

    Even with a small household, menu planning is key. And making double portions to freeze for later – it saves time and if you’re already making spaghetti for 4, why not make it for 8?

  322. says

    It takes a master plan to keep a food budget as tight as we need to. Always have a meal plan, with complete shopping lists. Use coupons, and shop at discount grocery stores that double them. Take the extra time to determine if generic might be cheaper, even with the double coupons (bring a calculator!) Buy fruits and veggies at local farmer’s markets. My son has a serious milk-protein allergy, so we can’t skimp on his formula, instead I make his baby food at home.

  323. ANNE SRODA says

    We live in the country, so I save up my errands for one trip into town per week. Also started hanging my clothes out to dry.

  324. Lisa Foster says

    I plan my meals a week in advance and always have at least 2 cheap nights–like breakfast for dinner or a big loaded bake potatato and salad

  325. Kari Follett says

    We only shop twice a month to save on gas out to the superwalmart, and we started buying in bulk as much as possible.

  326. Carrie Cabral says

    I cook from scratch and we have started a neighborhood garden co-op. Our seeds were free from the government’s “America the Beautiful” fund. They sent 100 seed packets… vegetables, herbs and flowers. We share and can what we have as excess.

  327. Jacqueline says

    It seems we’re being forced to do what I gradparents (and perhaps some of our parents) did – get creative with leftovers. One large roasted chicken means chicken enchilada casserole the next day and then leftovers of that the day after. But it’s not all bad – kids tend to recall those leftovers as some of their favorites when they grow older!

  328. grubmama says

    I do my bulk shopping on Sunday and then get little things like milk during the week. I try to get one of each…fresh produce, fruit, meat and carb. I try not to buy too much all at once and have to throw out some of the vegetables if it goes bad. I also use canned vegetables if I can.

  329. says

    Coupons, coupons, coupons! I use the usual ones in the Sunday paper, but I’ve also found out that if you sign up for online email newsletters for various restaurants, you will be flooded with freebie offers for meals, appetizers, ice cream cones, etc. around your birthday. Yummy!

  330. says

    Hope we see more manufacturer’s do more of these ease the pain types of promotions. When someone wins one they seem to be more appreciated than in the past. And, yes I hope I win this too.

  331. Denise says

    We need to do a better job with shopping and meal planning, but we did join a CSA a few years ago so we get great local, organic produce. We also drive very little.

  332. Megan A. says

    Planning our meals and snacks based on what’s on sale and making a list are musts, but the most important thing for me is to do my grocery shopping with cash. I used to use a credit card for the reward points, but if I’m limited to the cash in my wallet, I save more than the 2% I would get back from using my credit card.

  333. Amanda Titus says

    We design meals like shepard’s pie that lasts for a couple days. I always pour in a couple cans of carrots to our pasta sauce & with my shepard’s pie, I add cans of peas, corn & green beans. It’s a HUGE hit.

  334. kate5405 says

    I’m a retiree with a limited income. I scan the grocery ads and make menues for the week and make my lists according to the sales. Luckily several grocery stores are within a few blocks of each other so I can visit several in one trip. I must also limit impulse buying–so now I just put Ben & Jerry’s on my list and know that is my splurge for the week. An extra $500 would be wonderful.

  335. Evelyn says

    This is a great prize. it could really help save some money and help in feeding the kids as well. Practical and useful!

  336. Ronda Garnett says

    I am like all the others, coupons & sales…combining trips to save gas…walking to the store if I need only a few things…but…we also fish…so if you can catch your own bait…you get free fish and free entertainment.

  337. says

    During the winter I make a lot of soups from scratch, then freeze part. My son is only 2, so we don’t have a problem sitting down for dinner.

  338. says

    I’m a host site for a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) this summer, so I’m getting all the veggies for free. It just takes a little work and we get so much back in return! It’s definitely helping to keep our grocery budget in line!!!

  339. Tania Edwards says

    I make a dinner menu to make sure I buy everything I need at the grocery store. It helps to avoid impulse purchases when running back to pick up one or 2 things! Not to mention saving the gas not making a second trip!!

  340. April says

    I will purchase certain foods when they are on sale, e.g. chicken, and then cook ahead my meals and freeze them. Not only does this save money but it also saves time on busy nights.

  341. Ashley says

    The thing that saves us the most money is that I plan every shopping trip beforehand. If I go without an itemized list all kinds of junk ends up in my cart!

  342. Kathy says

    websites- this one of course, but also saving dinner.com,freecycle,dollarstretcher- you can learn so much

  343. says

    The thing I do most is to buy in bulk (Costco has become a very good friend to me) and when ever something is on sale I buy two instead of one or 5 instead of 2 or 3 and put them in my storage room in the basement so I always have some “food storage” on hand.

  344. says

    Having to find ways to cut back on costs is also helping stay alittle more slim. We actually now share any take-out food to make sure a meal will cost as little as possible. Then just wait atleast thirty minutes to see if you’re still really hungry – and voila! We find we’re actually quite satisfied with our portion.

  345. Monique Rizzo says

    We save money by using coupons and doubling them up with sales. We also plan our gas usage by doing all our errands on the same day. We keep lights off as much as possible in the house, and we recycle ziploc bags.

  346. Carlos Pandiella says

    Easy way to cut cost, Try out a light any easy fruit diet. You can buy them cheaply and it helps you cut back on bad foods.

    But the bad ones do tatse sooo good.

  347. says

    We have trouble with impulse buys in our family. (all of us, including me I’m ashamed to admit) The first trick is to only send one person to the store. The second is to allow ourselves one impulse buy. Giving ourselves permission is very gratifying, but since it’s just one we’re more thoughtful about what lands in the cart that wasn’t on the list.

  348. Aryn says

    Meal planning is definitely key. I always try to make sure that if I’m using something “exotic” like coconut milk, I make sure to find another recipe for the week that will use up the left-over ingredient.

    If something isn’t on the list, it doesn’t get purchased.

    I also have to keep myself away from Target, my number one stop for impulse buys. :)

    500 dollars would really come in handy right now!

  349. joanmurraycefalu says

    Not only menu planning and taking into seasonal savings, but shopping with a list ( and leaving the children and husband home). The more people who shop with you, the more people to add extras to the cart. She shops cheapest who shops alone!!!

  350. tracy mccarty says

    I can’t wait for this giveaway! I have 5 young children and am always on a budget! I love libby’s and am greatful for this great contest! It will definitely help whoever wins!

  351. EJW says

    I plan meals, cook from scratch, and eat those leftovers for lunch. That’s been a huge money-saver in our grocery bil.

  352. Megan B. says

    I plan all my meals the week before and shop every Sunday with a defined shopping list on a FULL stomach so I don’t make any impulsive buys. We don’t eat take out anymore, we eat in so we can conserve more money.

  353. Carol Russell says

    Shopping for sales, useing coupons, planning meals, reworking leftovers, adding a can of vegtables to strech a dish are just some of the ways I save on my grocery bill.

  354. says

    COUPONS! That’s all I can say I shop at Publix and they double up to 50 cents. I usually save anywhere between $30-50 per weekly visit.

  355. Andrea says

    We do as much cooking as we can from home. We prepare a list based on the recipes we plan to make throughout the week, which keeps us focused on the grocery store and away from the quick fix items that cost so much.

  356. laurie says

    I never head out to food shop without a list, and I try hard not to fall for impulse buying. I meal plan around whatever is on sale.

  357. Glenda Warden says

    Thus may not work for everyone, but we have a large deep freezer and I purchase milk when it is on sale and freeze it. Simply pour out some of the milk into another container so the milk had room to expand as it freezes ,and thaw when needed.

  358. Christine says

    The one thing that helped save a lot of money for our family was a vegetable garden. I used the square foot method and it was amazing how many different vegetables I could grow, even melons and corn. It’s great not having to buy any. Thank you so much!

  359. Anna says

    One thing that I try to do is never go to the grocery store when I am hungry, seems to me I buy quite a bit moe, I try to make a menu, make a list and stick to that. I check the sales paper and try to plan meals around the items that are on sale,I use coupons. I also stick to making home cooked meals, rather than eating out.

  360. Melissa says

    We only go to the grocery store AFTER we have eaten…we spend so much less that way than we do when we go hungry!

  361. laurie says

    We go only every 2 weeks, and find we spend less in total that way. if we need bread, milk, eggs or produce in between, the local markets are cheaper on those items anyway.

  362. Vikki C. says

    Most of the best ways I have found to save money are pretty basic. Some meals are really cheap, like spaghetti, so we have that once a week. “Fill out” meals with inexpensive vegetables, like adding peas or chopped broccoli to your side dish. It is healthier for you and will save you money. Use coupons matched to sales whenever possible. Cut down on the processed packaged treats and try making some snacks yourself. There are a bunch of things like rice krispy treats that are easy to make and inexpensive.

  363. says

    I have a few tricks I use. One is meal planning and then making my shopping list and completely sticking to it. I make my list in conjunction with The Grocery Game which helps me combine coupons with sales. I have cut $150 a month off my grocery budget and it is continuing to decrease!!

  364. Tara Hill says

    We scrape by with coupons and sales. We are trying to sell my car, so we will only have one. We don’t have cable or watch TV, so that enables us to spend lots of time together, not just at the dinner table!

  365. leslie long says

    Coupons, sales, lists and planning…home cooking with the basics keeps costs down. Thanks for all this great info>

  366. sandra smulevitz says

    Libby’s veggies are wonderful, they taste like fresh vegetables and their price is very reasonable. We go out of our way to purchase them.

  367. says

    We have set a limit to spend every week, and no matter what, don’t go over it. It can be tricky, but forces you to decide what your really need, and get creative with meal planning.

  368. Laura says

    I use coupons when I can. Remember if you wait a week or two after the coupon comes out in the paper, the item will go on sale. I also buy the store brand for many products and not the name brand. Lastly, Big Lots usually has crackers, cookies, cereal, water, and some canned goods at discount prices.

  369. Terri Fisher says

    My husband works second shift, so during the summer months, we make lunch our big meal of the day so that we can eat together as a family. Very rarely do we make other plans that will take us away at that time of day so that we can have that one time together without interruption.

  370. Heather Otis says

    I shop in bulk. Once a week I spend 1 day cooking 3-4 meals. So its all ready for the week. then we arent tempted to eat out.

  371. Caryn B says

    Wow…yes…the rising cost of everything is truly difficult. I cut coupons of course. I do a ton of comparison shopping with the weekly ads but try not to run around because I have a little boy who keeps me busy, I work part-time as a nurse, and have a household to care for. Plus running around defeats the purpose of saving when gas is at least $4.50 here in So. Cal! We use Quicken to calculate our expenses. It tells us exactly how much we spent, what we spent money on and how much we saved. It’s a wake-up call when you see how much/how often you spend money on things like coffee, eating out, etc. We TRY not to eat out because the money we spend eating out could be groceries which means several meals as opposed to one. We try to make my son’s food…it helps that he’s starting to eat what we eat. We try to buy local/organic and at least all-natural so we use Mamo Sprouts’ coupons which help.

  372. Sandy F. says

    we definately do meal plans before we go shopping and check out the circular to see if what we need is on sale. cutting coupons is also a must! oh and thank goodness for Grandparents….useally we get at least 2 meals a week from them!!!

  373. MELISSA says

    I use lots of coupons and look thru all the grocery sales, planning & organization is a key to saving money!

  374. Blair says

    Just about everything possible to cut costs we do. With just the 2 of us I can stretch main meals and servings. I buy red meat, pork, fish and chicken when it’s on sale whether it’s a manager’s special to cook that night or week or to freeze parts of a bulk purchase. I serve 2 non meat meals a week. I use leftovers creatively. If we had salt potatoes left over one day, they become part of a Spanish omelette for dinner the next day. And of course I use coupons and look for BOGO free offers which I can usually find regularly in one of our 4 main supermarkets.
    I also use my frozen vegetables from the garden from last summer or fresh when in season.

  375. says

    Wow – look at all the entries! We only buy store brand items on several things, which saves alot. We also bulk shop with sales and freeze lots. It helps!

  376. tracey c says

    we buy on sale, use coupons, buy store brand and family packs of things like ground chuck and chicken. We also make our own pizza and buy the snacks at discount stores. We have a meal plan and stick to it.

  377. says

    Know your prices! I use a price book to keep track of the prices in my area. I know which item is the least expensive at the four stores. This enables me shop for those particular items at those stores. Our town is small so those four grocery stores are close together. I also shop stores such at Dollar Tree, Dollar General, and Fred’s for sale items that come out cheaper than the regular price I pay. I buy in bulk and only use a coupon now if it makes the item the least expensive. We have two chest freezers in addition to the fridge/freezer. I keep those stocked with sale meats, etc. We reuse leftovers to make other meals and I do some OAMC (once a month cooking). We also grow a vegetable garden, herb garden and are starting to get more fruit trees in addition to the grape vines, cherry trees, and blueberry bushes we have. I can an surplus of fruit and veggies to get us through the lean winter months.

    Shop yard sales and thrift stores for clothing too! I also sew many of the girls’ dresses as I can’t find ones in the store long enough for us. I buy $1 material from Walmart for the dresses and jumpers and then use old white sheets to make their pantaloons (think Little House on the Prarie and you’ll see the dresses and jumpers with pantaloons my two youngest wear… keeps them modest as they like to climb with their brothers).

  378. says

    I clip alot of coupons, I get the Sunday paper just to get the coupons, it more than pays for the paper. Along with that my husband and i have been making better use of leftovers, we are taking them for lunch and not throwing food away. I also try to shop less, I use to stop and get something almost every day, I have cut down on that tremendously.

  379. goose022 says

    My biggest money saving tip is to stock up when an item is on sale. With the high gas prices I now limit my grocery shopping to one big shop versus many little trips.

  380. Cori Westphal says

    My biggest money saver is coupons. My tip for saving the most: Clip every coupon. You may not think you need the product but if it goes on sale, combined with the coupon, you can get things for either very cheap or sometimes free. I just went to the store today and saved $38.00 on my $60 bill. Even the cashier was impressed. Clip every coupon…it works! Thanks for the contest!

  381. Molly Capel says

    The biggest thing I think I do to help with our family budget, is concerning our food. I find myself not buying all the “usual” snack & food items. sitting down & actually planning out menus & writing out a shopping list. I’ve also started making double meals- one to eat right away & the other to get put in the freezer for another night. This is actually really helpful for my time budget. I also find that we aren’t driving around as much as we normally do. If we can walk somewhere, we do.

  382. Vilma Rosado says

    I am such a good coupon user that most stores dread me, and before that habit was stopped, after using coupons store managers actually OWED me money. Once before coupons stopped paying the difference if the item was on sale. I did a $265 grocery shopping where the store manager had to hand me $2.00 back, and with rebate items, that trip turned out free! Set a budget, cut coupons, go where you find the best sales for items you really use everyday.

  383. says

    I make a weekly menu and stick to it. When you don’t plan you tend to eat out every meal. I also make a list of everything I need and don’t get anything that’s not on the list. (unless my husband comes with me… then he throws things in)

  384. says

    Our number 1 tip is to buy for the month, or else for the week. When you buy small quantities of anything from food to cleaning materials, you pay for a huge difference. Not to forget the trips it takes.

  385. Mel Jeffrey says

    Planning menus each week is our best way to save money. It keeps us from going out when we can’t think of what’s for dinner.

    During the summer, my 9 and 5 year old daughters each get a night to plan the menu, help shop and prepare the food. They are getting to be great cook’s helpers and really enjoy looking at new recipes. It helps me because I don’t have to to think up a dinner idea!

  386. Diane Elliott says

    I have a contest with the kids about who can come up with the cheapest dinner idea (healthy of course), have them shop with me to pick it out and then we eat it as a family!

  387. Melanie says

    I try and fix meals that can be easily frozen and/or eaten more than one day during the week. I try to look for meat on sale–buy one get one free–and fix the entire batch and freeze half of it for later. That way, I knock out two or three days worth of meals in one shot and also cut down on the effort of cooking it all.

  388. says

    We are fortunate enough to have a freezer here at work, so when lean tv dinners go on a big sale I stock up and keep them in the freezer here. They’re handy and I don’t have to use space at the house…leaves me with room to stock up on other items when I catch a good deal.

  389. Tracy says

    With 2 young children I haven’t a lot of time to spend fussing with dinner. As a newer parent I stuggle with trying to find a happy medium. I so look forward to reading tips from other more seasoned parents and try to implement some new technique each month. I’m finding that setting up a meal schedule at the beginning of the month (so that my kids don’t have the same meal at home and daycare on any one given day). Thanks for your great blog !!

  390. Carl says

    I shop from multiple grocery stores to get the best deals. Believe it or not, there are a lot of items at Whole Foods than are cheaper than Ralphs or Vons.

  391. JenPerkins says

    As a working mom, it’s tempting to take shortcuts and spend extra money on snacks and lunch. To save, I always bring my lunch, avoid the candy/soda machine, and no longer pick up a cup of coffee when I’m out.

  392. Ashley McCourt says

    As a full-time working mother of an 8-month-old, time is precious. I don’t want to spend all evening in the kitchen when I should be spending time with my son and husband. What I do is prepare a lot of simple meals during the week like frozen pizzas, Hamburger Helper, etc. and on the weekends, I cook like crazy and freeze the leftovers in single size portions. Makes for an easy lunch later!! I bring my lunch to work, don’t eat fast food anymore, and drink water from the fountain (or bring my own) instead of hitting the soda machine.

    I also do lots of research online to find coupons for everything I normally purchase. I’ll normally shop all the stores, too, to make sure I’m getting the best deal.

  393. says

    We definitely have to plan ahead. I try to buy canned goods and such once a month and buy bread and meat once every 7-10 days to avoid waste. We wil spend way too much eating out if I don’t prepare ahead! It’s just way too convenient but also too expensive!

  394. lovedandamazed says

    One way that I have helped my budget costs is by buying turkey bacon instead of pork. I can get it for $2.23 a pound, and unlike pork bacon, its turkey counterpart has almost no fat and I can use every bit of that 16 ounces. This has helped us in a small way, but I feel good about it because bacon had become a real treat.

    Thanks for the chance to win such a huge help!

  395. Debbie says

    I’ve invested in a vacuum sealer. I now buy meats and produce on sale and prep them for the freezer. I can also use the sealer to reseal bags of pretzels, chips and cookies so I don’t have to throw them away because they’ve gone stale. It also allows me to prepare some meals in advance. It’s nice to be able to come home and grab something already prepared. It saves us from the temptation of going out to dinner.

  396. says

    We save money on groceries by using coupons ONLY for what we need (as opposed to buying it ’cause it’s such a great deal). I agree with the other posters about meal planning. I find that I will through away a ton of food, especially produce and left overs. By planning meals I use what I have on hand (because I only buy what I need) and I’ve have planned – overs to eat. Since I work full time out of the house the planned overs are life savers and keep us from eating out alot too.

  397. Kristi Price says

    Eating lots of leftovers, having meals that you can stretch like spaghetti, beans and rice, chicken pot pie, buying what’s on sale each week and using coupons when I can. Things are getting really tough..thanks for the giveaway!

  398. Elisa Perkins says

    Our biggest way to save money is to stay home. It’s hard with three kids who want to be on the go, but their dad just got fired so we have to watch EVERY penny. The kids understand and I try to keep them entertained here but it’s hard.

  399. says

    My tip is Once a Month Cooking and having easy meals on hand, to prevent from eating out “because there is nothing to eat!” (we’ve all heard that one). I also try to find coupons and deals that are going on at the same time, to get the most for my buck. There are a lot of website that do the searching work for you.

  400. M.A. says

    Grown some fresh, healthy fruit and/or berries: raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb, grapes, apples, plums, pears, lemons, limes, oranges..(depends on where you live) and share the wealth with your neighbors.

  401. Kasey says

    We are a family of movie watcher which gets everyone together for an evening dinner and a movie. The pay per views which were once taken for granted because it was so easy to just push a button became no more and we ended up getting a mail service for the movies. They still get to pick what they want to watch on movie night and the good thing is it cut the cost in half and that was do-able.

  402. Joanna Smith says

    There are a lot of things that my husband Hudson and I do to save money and also enjoy quality family time at the dinner table. We are both what I call culinary artists (LOL) so we truly involve the entire family (all 5 of us) in preparing our meals. We engage our kids in stirring and mixing, and they enjoy and laugh at us while we decide what ingredients we are going to throw in the mix for that evening’s meal. The kids enjoy watching us create healthy and savory meals and they actually look forward to sitting down to eat because not only have they been a part of the dinner’s creation, but they are anxious to try what the final outcome is. Involving the entire family in preparing meals is a wonderful way to bond with your kids and we create a lot of magic memories each and every night. We have joined both Sam’s Club and BJ’s to save money and we purchase large quantities of food which really cuts down on our monthly food spending. We also cook large quantities at one time so my husband packs leftovers to bring to work for lunch the next day and I pack leftovers for the kids to bring to school. We no longer get nickeled and dimed by paying more to go out to lunch or pay for lunches.

  403. Deborah Meyer says

    I make menus for every day so that I won’t buy things I don’t need. I pick recipes that are inexpensive and nutritious and I plan for variety during the week without buying items at full price or unnecessary items.

  404. Kelly G. says

    We are staying home more too! We enjoy re-watching old movie favorites or teaching our young daughter to count by playing a fun game of cards.

  405. Beverly says

    I scour the internet for coupons. I get so excited when I get free stuff or rebates or cents off! But my most frugal savings, is eating at my Mom’s a couple times of week. It’s free and filling.

  406. Mercy V. says

    What I have been doing lately is shopping on a per week basis so that I don’t over spend. Previously I would overspend on lunch items for the work week or overspend on breakfast items. Also I search for coupons on the internet always go to the grocery store with a budget! :)

  407. says

    Although I’m really struggling to keep our grocery bills down, with three teeangers home for the summer, this is a weekly battle. What I have found that works, however, is things like making my weekly meal plans based on what is on sale in the Wednesday supermarket flyers. Keeping trips to the store down is a huge thing, especially since my kids are with me a lot, and when they are, the bill is always bigger…(please, Mom…please can we get….) We’ve also stopped buying canned dog food and now they only get dry. My husband brownbags it to work everyday and during the school year, the kids do too. Hopefully these things all manage to add up to some savings..it’s just hard to see it when everything else keeps going up in price, too!

  408. Michelle M. says

    I have 2 sisters and the 3 of us get together regularly to swap coupons. We don’t all buy the same brands so it works out very well that if one of us can’t use a coupon its likely one of the other two can.

    Also, at my local grocery store, I leave expiring coupons on the shelf by the item so someone else may be able to use it if I can’t. I have benefited from other shoppers doing the same.

  409. Andrea says

    Many many things that can be done.. Grow vegetables,cut coupons, search internet for free samples( many of them out there), entertain at home
    (movies,games,etc.

  410. says

    I go to the bread thrift store and buy bread and put it in bag from our regular store.Nobody knowns the difference and everyone is happy to have thier favorite brand but not at $2 a pop!

  411. says

    Two words – hot dogs! I have all boys and if we build a fire and let them roast hot dogs then they will eat. If you wait until a holiday (like the 4th of July) then you can probably get hot dogs for almost free. Many stores mark them down to nothing as an incentive to draw in customers. Also, buy extra and freeze a package of hotdogs with a package of buns in a freezer bag. You’ll always be ready for a fun dinners at the snap of your fingers (and it won’t cost much at all)

  412. Erica M says

    Buy extras of things when they are on sale, buys store brands, meal plan, and don’t buy things we don’t need. Our bread thrift store is also a huge help… I can get wonderful chips and snacks there for much less than the grocery!

  413. Donna says

    To stretch my food budget:
    1. stockpile- when a food is on sale, I buy as many as I have coupons for.
    2. coupons- I use coupons and even trade for coupons to buy items I use. Libraries sometimes have coupons they give away besides buying the Sunday paper.
    3. Rebate to get free items- Walgreens, CVS & Rite Aid have free items every month. I do not pay for shampoo, toothpaste, etc.- This week it was free diapers!
    3. Shop grocery stores after they do their mark downs. One Kroger always marks down milk to 99c after noon; plus other items such as bread and dairy are clearanced- short dated items.
    4. Dented/Surplus stores- find stores that sell these items and cans of soup are 33c and many items under $1; but be selective.
    5. Freeze short dated items I have gotten on clearance and meals that I have to much of.
    6. Never go to the store hungry and never buy things just because I have a coupon.
    7. Know prices- just because it’s on ‘sale’ doesn’t mean it’s a good price. I shop at more than one store to make my doller stretch farther.

  414. Charla says

    We freeze our leftover fruit right before it goes bad and gets tossed out. Then we use it to make smoothies by adding some plain yogurt and fruit juice. Makes the kids feel like we splurged on a trip to the smoothie store without leaving home!

  415. says

    We garden, a lot. Oh, and we discovered that the row of hedge between our house and the neighbors, which is 18 feet tall in places, is actually neglected blackberry bushes! I’ve been picking quarts of berries everyday.

    Berries on everything!!!

  416. holly says

    I am just glad my husband has a job! I try to meal plan from what we have in the pantry and use coupons. It doesn’t always work, since coupons are usually for new, brand name products. I definitely could use help! cookiecutter72@hotmail.com

  417. Susan French says

    I use rebate credit cards for gas and pay them off every month so there’s no credit fees. 4% back on gas takes a little sting out of the prices (though not much!).

  418. says

    Fortunately, we are able to do our shopping on the military base which definitely saves money. However, now that gas is so high, going to the base for anything other than a major trip doesn’t make sense.

    I combine errands now to save gas so if I’m in Target and cereal is on sale, I buy it. If I’m in the area of Henry’s or Trader Joe’s, I’ll go in and refresh some of the staples.

    I’m also a big coupon clipper and can generally save $11-20 per trip. Thanks for the great contest and good luck to everyone!

  419. Shelly says

    I clip coupons. I also sign up for email lists for stores I frequent to get more coupons…then have a wallet to keep them all in so I always have them with me when I shop.

  420. james says

    I buy 10 pounds of chicken a week and 40 cans of tuna a month. These are my staples and each week I get different vegetables, potatoes, soups, etc. Generic spices are cheap, to give different tastes. I mix cream of mushroom with tuna and cream of chicken with tuna (1 can soup to 2 cans tuna) for sandwich spreads and throw some pastas in for difference in the month. I shop at aldi and big lots and my food bill never goes above 100 a month, but usually averages 70-80. I eat well and don’t pay a lot for it…if need be, i could live on 40-50 a month comfortably, but i’m spoiled…lol

  421. says

    I try to watch the sales and fill my storehouse whenever the opportunity allows. Yesterday, I went and picked 12 + gallons of apricots with my mom at our pastor’s home. It is a good year for fruit trees in our area, so we are putting the apricots in the freezer as jam and pie filling. Previously, I’ve done the same with apples, tomatoes. We also stock up at specials and use coupons to make things more affordable.

  422. Mimi Rodriguez says

    We save money and gather for dinner and a movie. I watch for buy one get one free items at my grocery and plan my meals around those sales. Then I check out a FREE movie from my local LIBRARY. They offer just about the same movies as Blockbuster or Netflix, but only FREE! The Library is a great money saving resource that is often under used.

  423. Pauline M says

    My family is doing as much as we can to keep costs down and trying to make it fun at the same time. Last night we rode our bikes to the grocery store to pick up some staples, attached to shopping bags to the handlebars and found out this works great! I also started taking the train to work, which has saved our family 70.00 a week in gas!

  424. says

    We’re big coupon clippers at our house! Sometimes we amaze ourselves at how much we’re able to save that way. Takes some time though, but I think it’s worth it.

  425. Jana Cole says

    Coupons are a good idea, but the best thing is if you can plan a week’s worth of means at a time and make one big shopping trip, with only another trip or 2 during the week to fill in perishable items. Make a list of all ingredients and stick to it.

    To get our family back to the dinner table, we play “game on the table” where one person thinks of an item on the table and gives everyone the 1st and last letters of the item and tells how many words it is. The person who guesses it correctly gets to pick the next item. My kids can’t wait to get to the table and start playing. They also stay at the table much longer than they used to, trying to stump everyone else! I actually have to stop dinner at some point or we would be there past everyone’s bedtime!!!

  426. rin says

    Get a Sam’s Club membership, because it’s worth it. I got a membership discount through employer’s discount, but the main thing is that you can find really good high-end clothing that got marked down. I got a Nicole Miller top for nine bucks and my mom got a gorgeous black sheath dress for 5.94!!!! We were so shocked that we had the cashier double-check the price!

  427. says

    I just wrote about this topic on my blog earlier in the week. Here is what I wrote:

    “Unless you live with a 6 month supply of food on hand, I am sure you have noticed that food and staple items have been increasing in price on an almost weekly basis. What are you doing to cope with it? I have implemented several strategies.

    I use The Grocery Game to help me track sales and coupons for my favorite grocery store, Walgreens, and CVS.

    My husband and I decided to split a cow with a friend. So we have about 6 months’ worth of grain-fed, hormone-free beef in our deep freezer.

    My husband and children planted a garden this year.

    I have stopped buying certain items that we really did not need.

    We have a flock of chickens who are just starting to lay about 4 egss per day. That should increase as the younger chickens mature. We have 13 chickens right now, but my husband wants a few more. I can easily use half a dozen eggs at breakfast time.

    I also try to make a monthly trip to Sam’s Club and Aldi’s. Both of these stores are close in proximity to one another, but they are about 30 mins away from my house. I try to plan several errands in that area. And I take a cooler and ice. Our Aldi’s has been the best place for eggs, milk, and baking ingredients. At Sam’s, I buy large bags of rice and flour and a few other items. Most of my Sam’s purchases are office supplies for my business.

    I also read Money Saving Mom’s blog daily. She has the best resources listed, and I always find links to other bloggers who are saving money on various items.”

  428. Trisha Dowling says

    i clip every single coupon and keep them all in a baseball card holder, then everyweek i go through all the ads and try to maximize my savings. i shop half price items (b1g1) and double my coupons, often i leave spending under 10 on a buggy full of groceries.

    also another idea. we cut our juices before the kids drink them. they get helf the sweets and we get twice the juice!

  429. Ann Pinkerton says

    I go to the store on senior day, combined with triple coupon day. Then I buy the items that are on special. My savings are usually cut my expense by 50% or more.

  430. alison says

    My husband and I car pool when we have to run errands, so we can help cut the price of gas by only using one car and one trip. We’ve also limited our budget on food, making a weekly amount we must stick to. It has helped us save money as well as not purchase unnecessary items.

  431. Marisa M says

    I shop grocery sales, and am a member of thegrocerygame.com which helps me to know how to get the best deals. The key is to stalk up when things are on sale.

  432. Demetra says

    For grocery shopping, I read all of the mail advertisements we receive so I know where I will save the most money. If something doesn’t spoil or has a long expiration date, and it’s an item we use frequently (like soy milk) we buy a few if we find an insanely cheap price. Also for big purchases we look for coupons online, or go to a nearby town where the taxes are cheaper. I also started taking the train to work b/c of the insane gas prices.
    Comparison shopping, coupons, budgeting, and meal planning are always at the top of the list.

  433. Babalu says

    My local fruit and vegetable store has a good deal on bulk produce that is overripe. I often buy boxes of it totaling 10 pounds for $2 and cook the ugly fruit and veggies. I have tomato sauce whenever I want it, and stewed fruit. It’s yummy and nutritious. Some of them also freeze well.

  434. Karlina says

    We planted a garden this year, soon we’d eat our own vegetables. We use a lot of coupons. we are becoming vegetarians. Also we drive less. No more restaurants

  435. Heather Sebastian says

    I force myself to not shop when I feel like we’re getting low on food so I use what we have, which is always plenty to make a few dinners with. Saves money on groceries and keeps food from going to waste.

  436. Robin S. says

    We have just plain cut back on everything that isn’t essential. Making fewer trips, having less company, making more meals with less groceries. Trying to make every dollar go as far as possible.

  437. cheryl says

    I hit the stores that sell the dented boxes and cans and things near their expiration date. My family goes through cereal fast so buying a box that is close to date is no problem as it’s going to be eaten within the week. I find cereal at $1.49 a box and dented canned foods at 3/$1 and load up. It allows me to splurge on better cuts of meat.

  438. Glenda D says

    I use all the coupons I possibly can for the weeks groceries and go on days that they double the coupon. Can plan menu for week after clipping coupons on Sunday. Saves a bundle.

  439. Michelle Y says

    Definitely agree with the above…by not eating out very often and instead having a home cooked meal is a huge money saver. Also when leftover are not eaten, I wrap them up and put it in the freezer for another day!

  440. says

    After the grocery ad’s come out on Wednesday, I start matching my coupons to the sale prices and make up a menu for the next week mon-fri (we never know what we are going to do on the weekends, no since planning for meals…) and I only buy what I need for the meals I plan to make. i plan for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack. Then I go shopping WITH MY LIST on Sunday, so I dont have to take this kids. You would be suprised how much I save by not having to rush because of the kiddos. I have cut my grocery bill in 1/2! Pluss less trips to town!

  441. Marla says

    Well, I try to use coupons whenever possible for the items I would buy anyway. I try to shop with a list and fix meals at home rather than eating out. This chance to win is GREAT! Thanks!

  442. Anne says

    My best way to get my family to stay around the dinner table is to sit after dinner and make a menu for the next day. Also I try to shop at my store and only compare prices when things are on sale.

  443. C Sawyer says

    My husband and I are retired now and of course that means living on a fixed income. We have a small garden out back which helps tremendously. Also when we cook, we cook enough for 2-3 meals and go ahead and make up a couple of meals in the sectional rubbermaid plates. A day or two later, just pop it in the microwave and presto–it’s a meal !! Sure beats throwing away those leftovers like we used to do, and it also helps with portion control.

  444. DARIJAVAN says

    I cut costs any way I can from doing all the rebates I can to only buying things on special and plan my meals around them. I make large meals and freeze half for another day. I have a container garden and try to grow as much as I can.

  445. Anna F. says

    My cost saving tip is to cook a roast with potatoes and onions the first day. The second day add carrots and make a stew. The third day add whatever vegetables are on hand and make soup.
    Thanks for the give-away.

  446. says

    Because of all the activities I often have to serve dinner at 430P 600P and 800P. It feels like I am cooking and cleaning half the day. We try to eat fresh food but it can be costly if you can’t plan perfectly. I do best saving on everything else and when I see a great sale on whatever, clothes, tires, Christmas presents in February – I buy!

  447. says

    I have a meal plan that now involves breakfast four times a month for dinner w/ pancakes or waffles. We are making almost everything at home that we used to eat when we were eating out.

    We eat out once a month instead of every weekend.

    We grill every other week and use the meat and veggies all week for lunch and dinner. My family comes over to eat and help.

    I use coupons for and plans my meals around what is on sale on the three grocery stores w/i 1 mile of me.

    I buy more whole chickens and use the breasts for my husband (who only likes white meat) and use the others parts for cassaroles, stews, and sandwiches.

    I shop at the Bread Store which has still been way cheaper than the grocery store and I have seen the bread truck drive away from the store and you can still smell fresh bread.

    Thanks for letting me share!

  448. says

    I try to avoid buying much of anything new that I could buy used. This doesn’t mean that I have to sacrifice quality or taste, but when it comes to buying furniture for my home or making purchases on a multitude of things I shop Craigslist.com first. I’m almost addicted, but I can tell you it has saved me $1000’s of dollars. Not only is nearly my entire home furnished secondhand, but most of my daughter’s toys and clothing are too. And nothing looks like it’s been previously used, I’m still allowed to be picky!

  449. Kimberly says

    I save money by planning meals around foods that I stockpile when they are on sale. For instance, if I go to the store and find that canned black beans ore rice are on a ridiculous sale, I will buy more than I need. Then when it comes to dinner time I’ll make a meal that I can reuse the leftovers into something new. My favorite is to make spicy chipotle black beans and big pot of rice and then transform the day old rice into a Chinese fried rice dish. It the meal that keeps on giving :)

  450. laurie says

    We’ve cut back on red meats. We’re buying less junk food and saving our money to spend on the healthy foods.

  451. says

    I put a lunch size serving of our dinner in a tupperware container while I’m dishing out dinner for the family so I can bring it to work the next day for lunch.

    Jen

  452. says

    We do coupons, meal planning and using leftovers for the hubby’s lunches. We also take up anyone that wants to invite us over for dinner.

  453. says

    We have found many new casserole recipes and make up 3 – 5 of them and freeze them. Just this spring we started growing our own tomatoes and herbs (they are expensive in the grocery).
    We don’t save any money on this idea as we are the older parents so once per week our grown kids and two grands come to dinner (we feed them). They love it as they say it saves them money (and we do it on Thursday evening so it is closer to the end of the week and helps with their meal planning). But money is getting tight so we shop once per month then only a few stops in between for perishables. More beans and rice!
    Alyson LID 01/27/06 IA China

  454. Cheryl MacFadzen says

    Buying in bulk, using coupons and meal planning seem to work best for us.

    Thanks to Libby’s for the opportunity to enter for $500!

  455. says

    Shopping at CVS! I have saved over $1400 since March.

    By playing the drugstore game with coupons and extra care bucks, we are spending less than ever before for our family’s needs.

  456. says

    My tip is to premake meals on Sunday night and freeze extras. Your less likely to go out and spend money on resteraunts, when you have a full meal in the house! Also, do picnics with neighbors…enjoy the food AND the fun and you only pay for half!

    trisha

  457. israel y says

    we buy food in bulk when its possible, its cheaper. we also take home alot of food from my parents and in-laws whenever we can. finally, pot-luck dinners are nice to have friends over and not have to spend so much on food since everyone brings cooks something for the meal. thanks for the contest

  458. Tammy says

    We always stock up on something we use when it is on sale. It never goes to waste, and we always have our favorites around without paying full price.

  459. Jodi N says

    I plan on having leftovers one or two times a week. The family isn’t always crazy about it, but it’s less wasteful.

  460. says

    I ALWAYS plan our week’s menus around the grocery stores’ sale fliers. In addition, I buy loads of store brand items and (gasp!) I’ve even started buying many staples at our local Super Wal-Mart. (We could easily go broke on the kids’ snacks alone! These little ones may not weigh a lot, but they sure can EAT!) Lastly, when the groceries are packed away, I make a list of every possible meal option and hang it on the fridge. That way I don’t forget what I have on hand. I also include any muffins, breads, or treats that I plan to make. It really helps me to stay focused and on budget — which, as we all know, is no easy feat these days.

  461. says

    The thing that helps me most is to not go grocery shopping when I’m hungry. I know it sounds silly, but I always end up buying more than I need when I’m hungry because everything looks so tempting. :)
    I do have a US shipping address, even though I’m currently in HK…

  462. says

    We try a lot of different ways. I make big meals, freeze half and take what wasn’t eaten to work for lunches. I make the kids ice pops by freezing juice in popsickle containers (made by tupperware) I do add water to the juice so it’s not so sweet. I have a Sam’s club card so we can buy stuff in bulk and store it. I use coupons and look for sales and have a coupon club at work where we all cut and share coupons. I have decided to start my own vegetable garden to have my own non-contaminated veges and it teaches the kids how to take care of a garden. Next year I’ll teach the kids how to go fishing to add to their skills besides getting some fresh fish. I make banana milkshakes with very ripe bananas or bread cake. I try to make a recipe of some sort with food that is getting too ripe. I got my mothers extra freezer to put extra food in and put it in the garage.

  463. says

    I’m a new SAHM, and we’ve totally had to do a money makeover since I’ve been home. We plan our meals for the week before shopping, and I use the crockpot a lot. We’ve almost totally scaled back our eating out (sigh), but it really does save a TON of money.

  464. Justin says

    my wife and i take turns shopping. whoever gets the most bargains for their week wins. the prizes include foot rubs, back message ect. it can get very competitive! please sign us up for this one….thanks

  465. tami says

    I always make a list. I go through the sale flyer for whats on sale and then I see if i have coupons and I only buy it if its on sale and I have a coupon. Publix has great buy 1 get 1 free deals. We only eat meat once or twice a week. We always use leftovers and not let them go to waste. Im trying to learn how to shop at CVS and save all this money that everyone is talking about. I do get the freebates at Walgreens.

  466. says

    I am lucky enough to have a dollar store right next to my grocery store. I pretty much know exactly what the dollar store has so if I need something and I know they have it, I head there first. Liquid dish soap that costs $1 still cleans the same as the stuff that costs $3, same goes for coffee filters, dryer sheets, cookies. True, it may not be as pleasent smelling or the filling on the cookie not as creamy, but when it can easily shave $20 off my grocery bill, we do it. I also plan all me meals around what the store has on sale. SOme weeks we may eat smoked sausage, spaghetti, or frozen pizzas a few times and other weeks we may actually get real chicken breasts.

  467. Cat says

    With my girlfriend next door we have started a veggie garden! You wouldn’t believe how much food can be grown in a small space, she and I have fun hanging out with the kids, and they enjoy digging in the dirt too!

  468. Sandra Jensen says

    Don’t be afraid to plan inexpensive meals – cornbread and beans – tuna casserole – grilled cheese and tomato soup – all just as yummy as a big red meat meal and way more economical!

  469. Tonya Froemel says

    We plan all our meals at the beginning of the week. We have several frugal cookbooks and try to take advantage of sales. We also try to use coupons whenever possible. This is a big help with a hungry construction worker hubby and three quickly growing, always hungry kids.

  470. Lori Stone says

    I server filtered water with dinner instead of soft drinks or juice. It not only saves calories, it’s a healthy alternative to keep the kids hydrated without spending extra money.

  471. Teresa says

    We do it the old fashioned way and shop for produce that is in season. Then I make sure to use what’s purchased in favorite recipes saved by season. This helps avoid that forgotten bell pepper taking up the back of the lowest shelf in the refrigerator until it’s a yucky mess!

  472. Katie says

    I shop for things on sale and with coupons before I need them so I don’t have to pay full price. I also meal plan around what is on sale and what I already have in my pantry so I can buy more for less. That is some of they ways I save for our budget.

  473. DEBBIE says

    when cooking meals…
    ….make several side dishes and a smaller
    main dish(meat/chicken)
    …you will save $$$ when buying groceries
    and you will eat healthy!!!

  474. says

    Well, we save the most grocery shopping by buying all of our meat in bulk, then separating it into individual dinners for our family, then freezing. We have a second freezer to hold extra foods.

  475. Emmy T says

    Do not take your husband shopping! As funny as that sounds, it is easy for the person that doesn’t take care of the bills to choose things that are not needed. I give in, because he does not often get to choose the foods I buy. Then boom, the bill is 50 bucks more than it should be, because he talked me into things!

  476. Em's mommy says

    I budget for groceries and purchase only the food I have written out on a two week menu. I try to use store brand items, unless it’s something I’ve totally got to have the name brand. Also, my friend and I meal swap every other week. We both have young families that enjoy the same food, so we take turns providing a meal for the other family (trying to focus on something simple and cost effective) and bring it over every other tuesday. It is not only nice to have those days off from cooking, but it is also not so expensive to add a few more beans to the pot.

  477. says

    I try to plan my menus and make a grocery list to go along with the plan…then stick to the list! Using and freezing leftovers is also a money saver. We have a bread outlet store that saves a lot of money on bread.
    Thanks for the giveaway!