Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce.
I think it is so important to be a good steward of all that God has entrusted to us, including our finances. Even if I won the lottery I could picture myself still turning off the lights! Being a good steward has less to do with how much money you have, and more to do with choosing to spend wisely the money God has blessed you with. When we were a family of 4 we were spending approximately $150 per week in groceries and toiletries. Since then we have implanted some simple transitions to our grocery shopping and although we have increased our family size to 5, we have still saved approximately $50 per week. Here are some of my inside tips.
Before you go grocery shopping, plan out your shopping list so it will last you until the next grocery shopping trip. Have a goal of not going shopping more than 1 time per week. Base this menu on what’s in the cupboards, and sale items from your favorite grocery store. The more often you shop, the more you will spend, by buying extra goodies that are unnecessary. It’s amazing how creative you can get if you set your mind to only shopping a set number of times per month.
Find the Best Place to Shop in Your Area
This will not always be the same for everyone. Think about your priorities and what your time allots. I go to two different stores per week. Aldi because it is the cheapest for most things and Shoprite because it is the best store in my area to use coupons effectively. You may want to try out various stores to find out what works best for you and your needs. It is so beneficial to do price comparisons, you sometimes can save easily 1.00 per item just by switching your stores. This week I spent $2.89 for 2% milk at Aldi, whereas Walmart was listed at $3.97, 4 cups of Shredded Mozzerella is $3.69 at Aldi, but Walmart is $4.98. This is just a small window into the savings, especially because Walmart is known for being reasonable. It is always good to know your market and not assume because a place claims to be reasonable that you can’t find a better deal.
If done right couponing can be awesome! Find a store near you that doubles coupons and go to town. I shop at Shoprite where they enable you the ability to stack coupons. One way to utilize this is using their digital coupons online (attached to your store saving card) and also any manufacturer coupon on the same item. There are some great online printable manufacturer coupons, or you can use your local paper. One website I use is livingrichwithcoupons.com, which will take your weekly sales from your favorite grocery store and match them up with online printable coupons. I have received tons of free or cheap items using this method.
Start keeping receipts and get an idea what is considered a cheap cost for certain products. Is $2.99 a good price for a certain product? Maybe you will wait for a certain item to only be a $1.00…or perhaps with coupons free.
There are so many great rebate apps out there. I currently use savingstar.com, snap.groupon.com, and savingcatcher.com. Basically, these apps are just online programs that you can use to acquire extra cash if you buy their monthly promotional products. Saving catcher is slightly different, it is a walmart app that tries to catch sales if they are advertised at a cheaper rate elsewhere and will refund you the difference on a walmart gift ecard. These aren’t get rich over night sensations, but they will save you a dollar here and a dollar there. I like to think of it, in terms of items I have purchased, the 2 dollars I got back was able to go towards my next coffee, this makes the small incremental money saving desirable to me.
Be willing to try out generic products. Some of these products may not be for you, but even if you transitioned with a few staple generic items you will save a bunch of money. And honestly, I have rarely found a generic product that I couldn’t eat, and very often they have the same ingredients and very similar flavor.
We love leftovers in our house, there I said it. It’s less cooking and cleaning and can taste pretty good. Sometimes we make a whole new meal out of the leftovers. For example, chicken pot pie has enough filler ingredients to make chicken ala king for the next day. Sometimes it is even simpler than that, and it is indeed the exact same meal. I can’t tell you how much money it saves by not throwing food in the garbage. If leftovers aren’t for you, start gauging how much your family eats, and only cook that amount so there is little waste at the end of the day. There are so many people who do without, I really feel guilty throwing away food like it’s an excess commodity.
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.