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Depending on where you live, groceries can be one of the top expenses in your household. Frugal shoppers have found many ways to save at the grocery store over the years, from coupons to price matching. However one of the best ways to save money on groceries and household items is to bulk buy. When you buy items in bulk you give up a small amount of storage space at home, but you gain savings in return. Plus buying in bulk means you're using up less packaging in the long run, helping the environment out as well. Here are the items you should buy in bulk and the items you should avoid.

Food

Whether you have a BJ's or Sam's Club membership or if you seek out good deals online or at your local grocery store, there are a number of food items you can buy in bulk to save money.
  • Cereal. Buying oversized boxes of cereal, especially knock-offs of name brands can save you more than 50% on prices.
  • Rice and beans. Buying food staples in bulk are a great way to save at the grocery store. Rice and beans can be used in any number of dishes for tastes from around the world. They offer meals high in fiber and protein and rich in nutrients.
  • Oatmeal. Large boxes of dried oatmeal will allow you to save money and make your own creations. Add dried or frozen fruit, nuts, cinnamon, or yogurt to your morning oatmeal to keep things interesting.
  • Frozen vegetables. Not only are frozen vegetables cheaper and more convenient, but they often contain more vitamins and nutrients than fresh vegetables because they are frozen immediately after being harvested.

Other home goods

Hand soap. Rather than buying new containers of hand soap every time you run out, wasting money and plastic, buy one large bottle of your favorite soap and refill the bottles in your kitchen and bathrooms. Trash bags. Trash bags bought in bulk don't take up much more room than smaller boxes and you'll get much more for your dollar. Toilet paper. Buying toilet paper in bulk will save you a lot of money. Try storing the huge pack in the basement rather than the bathroom closet, keeping just one or two extra rolls in the bathroom to save space. Toothpaste and toothbrushes. Toothpaste is a well known bulk-buy, but toothbrushes bought in packs of 2 or more are also a great way to save. Set a reminder in your phone to change toothbrushes at least once every three months.

Things not to buy in bulk

Condiments. The temptation is there to buy a huge bottle of honey mustard and save a few cents. But unless you eat it every day, odds are your condiments will expire before you use them and take up a ton of room in your refrigerator. Plastic tupperware. Rather than buying cheap plastic tupperware at the grocery store every few months, buy one good glass set that will last years. Fresh fruit. It's tempting to buy that huge bag of clementines, but you'll be kicking yourself when they start to rot and hardly any have been eaten. You're better off stopping at the store and buying small amounts of fresh fruits when you want them rather than assuming you'll eat them.  

Saving money is on everyone’s mind, and rightfully so. One of the easiest ways to save money when shopping is by using your phone. There are many apps offered in the App Store and Google Play Store that are amazing at saving you money through discounts, coupons and even money back. All you have to do is download the app and create an account and your on your ways to savings. Check out the apps below: Cartwheel: This is Target’s app. It features deals that are based on items you’ve purchased before or are likely to purchase in the future (based on shopping patterns it learns from using the app). But the best part about this app is the scan feature. While shopping scan all of your items that you put in your shopping cart to find additional offers, saving you even more money. Savings Catcher: This is Wal-Mart’s app. With the Savings Catcher app you scan your Wal-Mart receipts and it then scans for competitor’s prices on items that you purchased. You will receive money back for any item that was priced lower at a competitor’s store. You can turn this money into a gift card at any time and redeem it at your local Wal-Mart. Shopular: Shopular is a very popular shopping app. It has coupons, deals, and sales for almost every store imaginable. They include Express, Famous Footwear, Michaels, Old Navy, Target, Kohl’s, factory stores, and so many more. The best part about this app is that stores actually accept the coupons. Groupon: Groupon is very popular. It offers deals on restaurants, goods, hotels, vacation packages, activities, and much more. Beyond the offers that are offered, Groupon also runs specials where you can receive an additional amount off the already discounted amount. These are perfect times to purchase the Groupon you’ve been holding out on. Now get to downloading and happy saving!

With grocery prices on the rise, many of us are cutting corners any way we can at the supermarket. Some people cut coupons, others have switched to wholesale grocery stores where they can buy in bulk to save. However, there are many ways you can be more frugal just by switching to some more cost-effective recipes. Here are some frugal cooking ideas that will help you save each week at the register.

Smart lunches

Preparing lunches can seem like a chore that no one has time for. Many people find themselves grabbing a can of soup while they run out the door. Others go out for fast food on their lunch break spending money on food and gas. There’s a solution to this problem that will save you money on lunches and save you time in the morning—bulk cooking.

Pick one or two lunches that you’d like to eat throughout the week and prepare them all Sunday morning. You could buy ingredients for a couple types of tacos to avoid getting sick of the same ones every day of the week.

Aside from tacos, other good lunch meals to cook in bulk include pizzas, stir fry meals, burritos, and pasta dishes.

Cook with the staple foods

You can save a huge amount of money at the grocery store by planning out meals that involve staples like rice, beans, pasta, and frozen vegetables. When bought in larger portions, you’ll save at the register but won’t sacrifice nutritional content because these food staples are rich in essential vitamins and nutrients.

Omit the meat on occasion

We eat a lot of animal products in America. The beef industry alone leaves a larger carbon footprint on the environment that the auto industry! Is your family the type that has some form of meat with every meal of the week? If so, you’re probably spending a lot more at the grocery store than need be. Vegetarian and vegan meal options are usually cheaper and just as healthy (if not healthier) than meals that have meat. If you’re worried about not feeling full from a vegetarian meal, try making recipes with hearty ingredients and plant-based proteins (beans, nuts, grains, etc.). A good example would be a burrito packed with rice, beans, and grilled vegetables.

Plan before you shop

Many people have a hard time saving money at the grocery sure because they’re just not sure what to cook. They arrive at the store with only a vague idea of what they want to eat and then fill their cart with all the possibilities. Plan out a weekly menu of your meals and snacks for the week and only buy those items you’ll need for your recipes.

Invest in a good frugal cook book

There are thousands of cook books out there. Many expert chefs have realized that the average person is just looking for some good meals to try that won’t break their wallet. Some even boast cookbooks that will feed your family for just a couple dollars per person per meal.

Now that you know some good frugal eating tips it’s time to turn them into habits. Start with just one tip for now and add the others as you become more comfortable. Soon you’ll be saving money and finding new favorite foods at the same time.




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