Analyzing the Grocery Budget: Cost Cutting

Thrifty Thinking

Money Pic

A few weeks ago I had a really fun conversation with my friend about cutting her grocery bill (maybe I am a nerd, but it was fun to me).  She really wanted to cut her grocery bill to $95 a week, or even less.  She told me she had gone to Costco the day before and bought a whole bunch of items.  We talked about what she purchased, and alternative products, and stores she could get items for at better prices and what prices to meet or beat.  I am choosing a few of the items to talk about in helping to slash your grocery budget.  Hopefully this will cause you to think a bit differently about the groceries and toiletries you buy and ways you can cut costs and save.  Read on for more.

Here are a few items she bought, followed by my suggestions to her:

  • Kraft Sliced Medium Cheddar Cheese
  • Paper Towels
  • Lysol Wipes

Slice your own cheese. It really only takes a minute or two. By slicing your own cheese, you can save multiple dollars a pop. $3/4 adds up every week, month, etc....

Grating is really simple, especially when you have this nifty IKEA cheese container that holds the cheese you grate right into it. Genius!

This is how we stored it for one year before realizing that you are supposed to press down in the middle of the container. Silly Sarrs.

Ah, the right way!

Alternative Paper Towels

Cut old t-shirts and store them in a convenient area to use in place of paper towels. Having little ones the last 7 years, we have washed almost this whole pile weekly many times with spilled milk, spilled milk, and more spilled milk. There is a reason why we cry over it! We do still use paper towels, but only on occasion.

As far as the Lysol Wipes go, I suggested using the old t-shirt or making your own wipes, and finding recipes on the Internet to make your own anti-bacterial solution.

There are really so many ways we can cut back on our grocery bill.  We just have to think outside of the box a bit.  Have you analyzed your monthly grocery bill?  What are some other ways you cut down on your grocery bill?

A few years ago, we were going through so many napkins, I decided to make my own, and use old clothes to do so. You can also buy cloth napkins new or at a thrift store.

Easy Upcycled and Repurposed Napkins Tutorial

Here are a few things we are now making on our own most of the time (not all of the time), not only to save money, but because typically, homemade tastes…and we know what ingredients go inside.

That gives you an idea as to what I’m getting at.  We’d love to hear from you and get ideas of things we can do to save.  Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by everything you can do yourself that you aren’t currently doing. Pick one thing a week or every month to change.  If you picked just one thing a month to add to your DIY list, you’ll add twelve new things.  That’s pretty cool!

Other posts you might like:

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Shared at Frugal Friday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, Thrifty Thursday.


  1. says

    What great ideas! Even though my mom much more of our food homemade than most moms in the ’80s, I still find myself amazed at just how easy some things (like yogurt) that I used to buy are to make myself! It’s so fun getting to take a bit more control of my kitchen… and save a few dollars in the process.

    Thanks so much for linking up at Thrifty Thursday!

    • says

      You are welcome for linking! I TOTALLY agree! It really doesn’t take that much more effort, and the results are best tasting, you know what goes into your food, and you save money. Triple bonus!!

  2. says

    I recently had to show my mom how much she was overspending. With her being on a limited budget, I was surprised she was just throwing it away…she was buying bagged lettuce and I pointed out that a whole head was cheaper and she could get more from it. She did the same with cheese, buying the already shredded. Im amazed people will even by precut fruits, onions, and veggies like carrots and celery when it’s so fast just to do it yourself.

    One of my recent money savers has been to make my own laundry soap. so easy and works just as good as what i was buying

    • says

      Hi April, Sometimes we do need to gently come alongside someone and help them with their spending habits. They have to be willing to change. It really is amazing how much we can save when we look at different items. Society wants fast and convenience. Unfortunately they don’t know how fast it takes to do the (usually) one extra step at home. We want to open the package and put it in our mouth. The more we learn to do in the kitchen the faster we will get; we will become fast and fluent in the kitchen. It keeps us on our feet and active, too (being in the kitchen, that is).

  3. says

    I know that I had to look at the things that we bought and start to set some ground rules in order to get the most for our grocery dollars. We don’t have chips in the house normally but we get them for a special treat. We bake cookies, cakes and muffins from scratch instead of buying pre-made. I just used the last of the pancake mix and I am going to make it from scratch (unless I get more pancake mix for free). It might take a little more time but in the end, it is healthier and cheaper for my family. I totally agree with shredding cheese plus it tastes better and melts better!! Going to look into making those napkins :) Thanks for the great idea.

    • says

      Hi Alison, You are right with all of it. The more you make things from scratch, though, the more swift you will become. Blessings!

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