Monday, February 19, 2007

Frugal Grocery Ideas #1

PACKAGING. It’s what adds extra cost to your grocery bill. I know it’s sometimes hard to resist the cute little packages things come in or the idea that everything is all ready to eat in its convenient container. There are ways to use your own packages that are much more, shall I say, frugal. Some examples:

We eat a lot of sugar-free pudding {well, mostly hubby does}, which I used to buy in the refrigerated section. I think it’s about $2.50 for 6-4 oz. containers. Finally a money saving idea dawned on me one grocery trip while passing the Gladware. I purchased a set of small 6 oz. containers with lids {around $2.50} and some boxes of the dry pudding mix for $.50. Now I just wash the containers out & make more pudding. I am literally saving a couple of dollars every week just with this one change.

Another item people frequently purchase in convenient packages is yogurt. Our favorite light yogurt is Dannon Light and Fit Vanilla. I think the regular price for 6 oz. container is around $.60 {it has been a really long time since I’ve bought one though}. I buy the big 32 oz. carton instead for $1.99. To get the same amount, you’d have to spend about $3.25. Another dollar saved! I can also use my little gladware containers if I want to have a nice little portable yogurt.

Yet another case in point. My kids are not big milk drinkers. Not sure why. They rather have juice or water. For a recent trip I purchased a package of the mini Dean’s chugs Light Chocolate Milk. The kids love ‘em! Now they ASK for milk. I am saving the little chugs containers & will probably just make more {either with Hershey’s or NesQuick}, that way I can make it little less chocolatey, therefore less sugar. Hey, if it gets ‘em to drink more milk, I’m all for it.

An idea I ran across awhile back was how to make your own lunchables. Ya know, those cute little packages of crackers & cheese & meat. Purchase a small tackle box or craft box with individual compartments {you could even decorate the outside of the box}. Fill the little compartments with generic store bought crackers, little cheese slices, meat cubes, grapes, maybe even a chocolate treat and~Voila! Homemade lunchables!

Ok. So one of the few things I buy which is individually packaged is 100 calorie snack packs of Oreo, Fudge Stripe Cookies, etc. Whoever came up with this idea is pure genius! Now whenever I have a chocolate craving, I can indulge without feeling guilty.

Share your favorite packaging tips here! And stay tuned for more “frugal” posts throughout the week…..


Beth said...

Great ideas, Becki. I think I am going to try some of those. My kids really love canned peaches and canned pears so I think I am going to start buying the big cans of them and then put them into little plastic containers...guess I could start buying big of everything and just doing that. Looking forward to hearing will help as I prepare for my big shopping trip next week!

Jori said...

I shop Bulk, and only bulk, really. I have one of those contraptions, that suck the air out ( pardon me I can't think of what it is called.) I buy things on sale and then freeze them, too. I make my sauce in bulk too, and stick them in my freezer bags and freeze that. I think the thing that has helped me the most, is just taking the extra steps to do it your self. You really do pay for the packaging. Generic is good for certain things too. I love the family packs of meat you can get such a good deal (sometimes) and than I just divide them and freeze them. I lost my train of thought due to lack of sleep. Tomorrow night at Mom's group should be very informative for all who come, as this is exactly what we are talking about tomorrow night. Hope to see you all there