The Frugal Nerd {Grocery Store Savings}

I know, I know…I’m a complete nerd. I spent the morning calculating price per pound, ounce, and cup of each item in the Fred Meyer ad for this week. It was really eye-opening for me to see how much each item costs. Some of the Easter candy on “sale” is actually about $25 a pound! At that price, investing in a nicer piece of jewelry or a well made toy is more cost-effective.

Also, it’s cheaper to purchase pancake mix than to make it yourself from scratch, even if you buy *all* of the ingredients on sale. That surprised me!

Flour and sugar purchased from the store brand is significantly cheaper than a name brand. It’s roughly 25 cents cheaper per loaf of bread to make your own at home, assuming all ingredients were purchased at sale price and you’re making 2-4 loaves at a time. This includes electricity and water prices for baking at home, so the initial savings will seem like even more before you see your electric and water bill.

The price per pound of fruit isn’t always cheaper when purchased frozen – it’s about $1-$2 more per pound to purchase most fruits frozen this week. So look at the fresh selection and buy that instead if you can.

If you’re in a bind and need a dessert now, most bakery desserts are selling for about $1 per serving, some are closer to 50 cents a serving in the freezer aisle. Choose wisely or make it yourself for less. 

As most of us know, it’s significantly cheaper to consume beer than wine. It’s about a 40 cent per cup savings there. Extra beer can be used to make delicious bread, pancakes, and batter for fried foods, not to mention it’s very effective slug deterrent for your yard. (Not the most healthy, but quite delicious for a sometimes treat.)

Instead of purchasing M&M’s candy, you can save about $1 per pound by purchasing chocolate chips on sale (even name brand!) and serve these to kids instead. I know, not as fun, but it’s significantly cheaper. Perhaps pair these with some nuts and dried fruit for a fun and tasty trail mix snack? Or toss into homemade granola bars, which can cost up to $3 less a pound to make than the store-bought kinds! WOW!

Frugal Nerds
My happy helpers! They’re always excited to learn and to help me plan the grocery shopping trip.

Store brand peanut butter is about $2 a pound cheaper than the stuff you squirt out of a fancy machine into a cheap plastic tub. Guess what? Both are genetically modified and it’s incredibly difficult to find any peanut butter that isn’t these days. So if you’re going to indulge in PB&J, just spring for the store brand and save yourself some dough.

Those fancy little cheeses near the deli section? They’re selling for $7-$10 a pound! Best to wait for cheese to go on sale for $2 a pound and stock up. It freezes really well, especially if you shred it first and store it in air-tight freezer bags.

Finally, when looking at the price per pound of meat, a suggested serving size is 1-2 ounces of meat per person, so consider dividing the price by 8-16 to see what the cost per serving will be. It will really surprise you, especially if you’ve thrown out any meat recently that’s gone bad. It’s amazing how much money goes into the trash can each month!

Purchasing seeds or plant starts is extremely cost-effective, even for those of us in apartments. We purchased some of those nifty railing pots and have them on our back patio. We’ve got herbs for tea and cooking, strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli and cucumbers growing out there on our tiny deck. And yes, the kids play out there, too!

As we work hard to cut down our debt, we save a lot of our money at the grocery store. Now I know to cut out a few more things in order to save even more!

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