Welcome to the second Frugal Beast Friday post! I hope to inspire you in living frugally and maybe even give you some new ideas that I’m learning along the way. We’re going to be continuing with the topic of how to eat a whole foods diet on a budget.
Don’t let anyone tell you that it can’t be done! I want to share some things that you might want to reconsider spending your money on each week. These are some hidden money sucks (is that a word?) that many people don’t realize are cutting into the amount or quality of FOOD they can buy.You see, if it’s your goal to feed your family well, and nutrient dense; some things are going to have to give. But it’s okay. I’ll help you. I’m gonna share some of my grocery store ninja tricks and help you become a frugal beast.
1) STOP buying name brands
Buy generic whenever possible. I would say all the time, but I don’t know what it’s like where you live. I shop at HEB and they carry their own line of organic products that I think are really good quality. Also, their generic brand of toilet paper is just dandy for us.
Now, I know you may be your scratching your head and wondering why I don’t just use coupons? Where I live only one coupon per item is accepted- no stacking, doubling or tripling. Generic is always cheaper. It may be different where you live.
If so, check out I am That Lady’s blog for great tips on using coupons and frugal living. She’s the master. I just don’t coupon (unless the store has one for the item I was already going to buy) but I still stick to a low grocery budget.
Do whatever works for you. Generic is the way to go for me on most things. It’s less work, the quality is fine and the price is right. There are certain items that just don’t taste or work the same, but you’ll figure those out as you go along and then you can adjust.
2) Paper Towels
I know you think I’ve plum lost my mind, but hear me out. If you would’ve asked me 2 or 3 months ago, I would’ve said “stop buying them at all!”. However, since The Cod Liver Fiasco, I now keep a stash of emergency paper towels on hand. Everyday cleaning, and wiping of baby faces is done with rags that we throw into our laundry; which is running every day anyway.
Don’t waste your food money on convenience. But please, keep some emergency pt’s on hand! Just don’t tell the family where they are or they will be gone quickly!
3) Soda, Sparkling Water, Juice
A lot of your budget could be eaten up in these areas. Experiment for a week or two by making your main beverage WATER. Listen, juice is just liquid sugar (unless it’s made fresh from your juicer), soda is… well, we all know it’s not good for us, right? Bottled water, “vitamin”(bahaha) water and sparkling water could mean the difference between regular beef or grassfed. Seriously. Try cutting back to just water and see how much you save and apply that savings to buy higher quality food. Your waist will thank you too!
Learn how to make water kefir or kombucha at home, it does have a ‘soda” like quality. You can also purchase bulk loose leaf herbal teas to have a “special” drink at dinner or what not. You’ll be sneaking extra vitamins and minerals into your family if you choose to use these teas, thus saving money and adding nutrients. Win! Sweeten with honey or Stevia and they are delish! Really evaluate what you WANT at the store… is it soda, tea, sparkling water, or better food?
4) Cleaning Products
These really can add up to a lot of moolah. You know those disposable dusting wipes, glass wipes, and bathroom wipes? C’mon, don’t do it! That’s eating into your organic produce money! You can make really effective cleaners with vinegar, essential oils, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda.
These home made cleaners are healthier for you and your family and cost nickels and dimes to make. Another great option are the reusable e-cloths that work with just water. I’ve been pretty pleased with these although they do start to stink rather fast, and like I said we are washing towels almost daily here. Maybe you know a trick to fix this? I don’t know, all I know is stop wasting your FOOD money on convenient cleaners that are filling your home with toxins. Find something that works for you!
5) HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup)
Avoid anything, and I mean ANYTHING that has High Fructose Corn Syrup in it! So much research has come out about the dangers of this cheap man-made sweetener. 11 years ago there wasn’t much research, and it wasn’t even an acronym yet, but I still figured out that when my son ate it he would lose his mind. I mean completely lose his mind.
Not only would he become extremely hyperactive but he had a terrible time concentrating or paying attention or engaging with anyone. I’m so glad I realized it was what he was eating! I removed HFCS, dyes and preservatives from his diet and BAM! He was normal again. When he was little I taught him how to read it on labels so that if he wasn’t with me, he would still avoid it because he was “allergic” to it.
I have a lot less control over what he eats now that he is a pre-teen, but I sure hope that he makes good choices on his own. HFCS still negatively effects him.
Don’t throw your money away on food with this nasty, mercury containing additive! It has absolutely NO redeeming qualities or benefits for anyone’s body. Why waste your money on that?
Everything comes down to choices. You are the only one who has to evaluate and choose what’s most important to you. So really think before you purchase any of these items merely out of habit. If you decide you REALLY need one of these things then by all means keep it on your list. Maybe I’ve at least got you thinking a little…
What are some ways that you cut costs? Do you have any other frugal shopping tips?
I love to hear from you and learn from you 🙂