A long-standing joke in my home is that my hubby is so...er, ehm...so frugal that he could start his own television reality show CENTERED ON his money saving strategies!!! Of course, being the doting wife that I am, I lovingly poking fun at some of his radical ways :)
However, over the years of being married to this amazing man, I've grown to appreciate his methods, and see them less as madness, and instead as a wise way to invest our God-given resources.
For example: in just over eight years of marriage, my husband was able to help me pay down an almost $30,000 student loan; then have a 25% down payment for our first home, which was derived solely from his pre-marriage work savings; THEN several years later we were able to fix that home up, and sell for a sizable profit; and recently we've invested that profit into a much larger country lot (closer to his work and with more room for all the guests I enjoy having over!). I don't want to give the impression that he doesn't have room to grow, but overall, he's been a GREAT role model in our marriage in regards to our finances.
By watching him model a lifestyle of saving, and making things stretch, I have learned to see the value in what thriftiness over time can really accomplish.
So, I've decided to work alongside my hubby. Nope, he's not willing to commit to his own TV show, or even his own blog on his money saving ideas! He IS however, willing to share his ideas with you all through MY blog, in hopes that us bloggers can encourage one another along this journey of frugality.
First, before I dive into today's money saving tips, I'd like to share THREE reasons why we believe it's important to be good stewards of our resources:
- We desire to be a generous family. We cannot give what we do NOT have!
-We should want to model for our children the balance between being miserly and being wasteful. Although, I contend that this is no easy task for parents in our overindulgent society.
-Both my hubby and I are self-employed. So...there is no retirement package. There is no company fund with RRSP's. It's all up to us baby!
So without further adieu, I'd like to share some grocery saving tips that have helped my husband save money on our GROCERY BILLS:
- Never be lured by fancy packaging! My hubby focuses on meat, legumes, nuts/seeds, fruit & veggies (the basics!) PLUS my recommendations for healthy fats (as I am a nutritionist I believe it is important that you do not skimp out on healthy fats for our childrens' developing brains!)
- Don't be lured by 'sales' that are really inflated food prices, reduced to more 'normal' price. He DOES buy things that are truly reduced in price, and that he would have bought ANYWAY!
- He has a routine. He shops almost the same day every week. He goes to the same stores. He gets the same items and doesn't (often) let his children (or me!) persuade him to veer off of our staples.
- He takes a written or mental list with him. Sticking to lists is very helpful.
- He often buys in bulk. If we're going to use it in the future, and it's not perishable, then we stock up. Especially if it's a legit sale.
- Some of our staples are: ground beef, chicken, bags of brown rice, bags of quinoa, legumes, a few basic sauces (Costco packages with three cans at a time), a few basic veggies (onions, carrots and celery are regular staples) and salads; basic seasonal fruits in our area (about 3 main ones, we rotate in the warmer months or when there are sales), yogurt or kefir, milk, and some condiments PLUS some variety depending on what I might add in with my weekly small grocery run.
- My hubby does NOT like eating out! However I do, and I sometimes take the kids out with my allotted budget, but if he takes us out it is like the $1.39 McDonald's fries or burger. He always feels it's such a waste of money. He loves packing a picnic if we're out for the day. You get the picture.
- Just an example of what we eat on a typical day (although there is a lot of variation with me cooking or just mixing it up from time to time!) **Breakfast=oatmeal, **Lunch=brown rice & meat with veggies; sometimes eggs and toast w/veggie, **Dinner=Brown Rice or Quinoa, Protein and Salad/Veggie; sometimes homemade soup
- He doesn't buy a lot of dessert. If we have some, it's usually because I made it from scratch with the kids, or I bought it for a special occasion, or we're having guests over.
- For our homemade soups we purchase chicken or beef bones (cheap) from the butcher or a storefront. We boil the bones for hours to get out all the nourishment, and then add the veggies and/or meat later. Saves money and way more nutritious! (check out my recipe page with my famed chicken & veggies soup http://www.parentingandhomeschoolinginfaith.com/2013/02/nourishing-winter-soup.html )
- He rarely buys chips or other munchies, even crackers are not too common around here. Same with boxed cereal (although we eat some for a treat at breakfast!), boxed pizzas, and other salty/pre-packaged foods. The exception is for parties/entertaining; I can ask him to pick up some munchies or whatnot from Costco at a good price!
So there you have it! You may be picking up the drift that we have different shopping personalities, and if you guessed that, well then you'd be correct :)
However, as mentioned before, I am learning to appreciate his gift of frugality, and him my gift of bringing a lil 'fancy' to our home.
***Please feel free to share the BEST grocery bill slashing tip you've discovered in your household below***