Friday, December 30, 2011

Living On A Dime - How To Save Money On Groceries

How To Save Money On Groceries
by Jill Cooper
If I said I would give you $150 extra a month to help you pay off your credit cards, lose weight and help your family become healthier, would you accept it? Does it sound too good to be true? The average American family spends 1/4-1/3 of their monthly grocery bill on things to drink but can't find any extra money to pay off their credit cards.
Do you buy sodas, coffee, tea, juice and milk, plus all the things that go into these drinks like creamer, flavorings and sugar? Do you grab a glass of soda, juice or milk instead of a cold glass of water? You may even argue that juice and milk are good for your children but fertilizer (food for you grass) is good for your lawn.
We all know that too much fertilizer will kill it and if you don't water it, it will die. I'm beginning to wonder if most of us are more concerned about making sure our yards are watered then our children. Of course they need some milk but like everything else do it in moderation.

Here are few tips to cut the costs of the drinks in your home and find some extra money to pay of your credit cards:
  • Find out how much milk is actually needed for your child. The USDA recommends that children under 5 get three to four servings of dairy per day. That is 2 cups of milk OR one serving equals one slice of cheese OR 1/2 container of yogurt. Don't forget milk added to cereal.
  • Juice is just sugar water. Eat the whole fruit instead and give one glass of juice as a treat for breakfast or snack.
  • Limit the number of glasses of milk or juice given a day. After the allotted amount they get nothing else but water. If they are used to drinking it for meals, either give them one glass (1/2 cup) and when it's gone they drink water or have them drink water first and then milk after they finish their meal.
  • Use small juice glasses. They give the appearance of more.
  • Don't fill their sippy cups with juice or milk. Give them water instead.
  • If you put some milk in a cup and they don't drink it all, put it in the fridge until later.
  • Limit sodas to a treat once or twice a week.
  • Don't dilute your juice with extra water. Not only does this not taste very well but by "stretching" the juice you teach your kids bad eating habits by giving into their demands for juice instead of giving them water.
  • Keep water in the fridge. After water has set, the chlorine evaporates and the water tastes better cold.
  • Add a small amount of lemon juice to your water if you don't like the taste.
  • Be careful to shop wisely. Sometimes buying name brand flavored or specialty coffees on sale costs less than making your own.
  • Use powdered milk instead of creamer in coffee or tea or try mixing your creamer half and half with dry milk.
  • After making coffee save the coffee filter and the coffee grounds in the maker. Add your coffee for the next day on top of the old grounds. This way you can use each filter 2 or 3 times. Buy a reusable coffee filter. They last for years.
  • If you run out of coffee filters use a paper towel until you can get to the store to buy more.
  • You don't always have to make a full pot of coffee. Just make one or 2 cups at time.
  • Save extra coffee in a thermos instead of making a new batch or buy a smaller coffee maker.
  • To make flavored tea, add a package of flavored drink mix to each pot of tea.
  • For leftover soda - Combine 2 cups of flat soda with 1 package of unflavored or same flavored gelatin to make a rich flavored gelatin. This is particularly good with root beer, orange and grape sodas.

Creamy Orange Shake (like Orange Julius)
1/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup milk
5-6 ice cubes
1/4 cup sugar
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup water (optional)
Combine ingredients in blender until smooth. Can be kept in the refrigerator 1 day. Serves 4.

Cafe Vienna
1/2 cup instant coffee
2/3 tsp. cinnamon
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. dried orange peel
2/3 cup nonfat dry milk (optional)
Stir ingredients together. Process in a blender until powdered. Makes 1 1/3 cups mix.
*Attach this note to the jar if making a jar mix:
Use 2 teaspoons to 1 cup of hot water.

Swiss Mocha
1/2 cup instant coffee
2 Tbsp. cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 cup nonfat dry milk
Stir ingredients together. Process in a blender until powdered. Makes 2 cups mix.
*Attach this note to the jar if making a jar mix:
Use 1 cup of hot water and 2 tablespoons of coffee mix for each cup of coffee.

Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam are frugal living experts and the authors of the Dining On A Dime Cookbook. Dining On A Dime will help you save money on groceries and get out of debt by cooking quick and simple homemade meals. For free tips & recipes visit , sign up for our free Living On A Dime Newsletter and learn to save more!

1 comment:

  1. Love this!!! Saving Money anyway we can helps!!! Thank you for sharing!


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