1. Cook your own food - this may seem obvious, but cooking your own meals is WAY less expensive than eating out or buying prepared foods. Not only will you save big, but you'll also be in control of what you are feeding you and your homestead. Have you ever requested the Nutritional Information at a restaurant? Next time you eat out, you might want to take a look....you'll probably eat there a lot less
2. Be a Sales Sleuth - scour your flyers each week and check out what's going on special. I always thought it was an old lady thing to do, but now running my household on a limited income means coupon clipping and sales are my best friend. Most stores these days will accept competitors coupons. And many people can't be bothered, but take the time, stand in line and start saving. You'd be surprised how fast it adds up!
3. Buy in Bulk - this I say hesitantly. There's a time when bulk is good and a time when its just a waste of money. Best bulk items are ones with a long shelf life and a great price. It's easy to be fooled into thinking you're getting a good deal on a super sized item, but make sure you know the price of the small jar. Sometimes that may be cheaper. And be realistic...yes that 4L jug of Ketchup is an amazing deal, but really...can you actually eat that much ketchup and will it fit in your fridge.
4. Farmer's Markets - now you can score some really great deals on items at your local markets. But watch out, because sometimes you won't be getting the best price. Some things to keep in mind for thrifty shopping at the market. Buy in season. Usually the farmers have a giant crop of that fruit or veg and with lots of competition it usually means you're getting a great price. Also try hitting the market just before closing. You may not have the best selection, but you can usually get some sweet deals as most vendors don't want to pack their stuff up and take it home. Usually in the last hour or so, market vendors will start offering deals or price reductions on fruits, veggies, meat and baked goods as they can't be kept until the next week.
Got some awesome money-saving moves? I'd love to hear your best tips & tricks!