Trade your way to a cheaper grocery bill
As most of you have figured out, I’m always looking for ways to save money and one of the things I strive for is to bring down my grocery bill each week. I’ve mentioned before that one way to do this is to price match grocery items to save time and gas money. What this means is I go through flyers once a week, circle the produce and meat items from different flyers that are the best deals and then bring these flyers to Walmart where they will price match all the other store’s sales for me. Saves me money and time as I don’t have to drive to five different grocery stores.
Recently I discovered, rather by accident, another fabulous way to cut down on our grocery bill. A few weeks ago, a friend told me that she knew someone who was receiving excess amounts of bread from a local bakery and was willing to give some away in exchange for coupons. I contacted her and sure enough she gave me a bunch of delicious, fresh bakery bread just for trading her some coupons. She mentioned to me that she could do this trade every week which I was so delighted by as, going forward, I can now cross buying bread off my grocery list. She also was gracious enough to offer me more than I could ever eat each week.
This got me thinking…how else could I trade items to help lower our grocery bill? Since I had extra bread I could distribute to friends, I decided to see if some would be willing to trade. It turned out that most of my friends had something they could trade me for free bread each week (luckily I also have very resourceful friends).
For instance, one of my gal pals has about 30 chickens and she’s always offering to give me some eggs for free even though I’ve told her I’ll pay for them. So I contacted her and we came to an arrangement where I will trade her a couple loaves of bread a week in exchange for a dozen gorgeous organic, free range eggs! And trust me, these eggs are the best eggs you will ever eat…These chickens eat better and are treated better than most humans!
So, I could now tick buying eggs off my grocery list each week as well! How exciting! This trading gig was becoming super fun. My brain kept churning away…what else could I eliminate from my list?
I was chatting with a girlfriend about getting free bread and she mentioned that her hubbie works for a wholesale meat company and might be willing to give me a discouted rate on chicken and beef in exchange for some bread. So while this doesn’t actually tick meat off my grocery bill, it definitley reduces the cost. Plus, she also mentioned they purchase organic beef from a friend and I could possibly buy some of that as well. Can’t say no to hormone free steaks, now can I?
So I’ve managed to tick eggs and meat off my grocery list but what about produce? I know my best friend has a vegetable garden, something I am very jealous of as we’ll never be able to have one. You see, we have a 90 pound Rotti X who loves vegetables and digging so creating one ourselves is futile. FYI…if anyone has any good ideas on how to dog proof a veggie garden, I’m all ears!
Her garden contains lovely zucchinis, swiss chard, peas, beans and tomatoes and thankfully she was willing to trade us a few veggies each week in exchange for bread. And nothing tastes better than fresh veggies from the garden. My recent attempt at this is growing basil in my kitchen window and I must admit, it’s so awesome to be able to pick fresh basil to put in my pasta sauces or meals. And this is a giant feat for me as most plants who enter this house never make it out alive. I even killed a cactus one time that only had to be watered twice a year!! My rule is if it doesn’t bark, meow or coo, I won’t remember to feed it.
In the end, trading has managed to reduce my grocery substantially each week, plus the new food I’m receiving is actually way better than what I pay for in the grocery store. While you may not have a hook up on free bread, I’m sure there are things are you can trade with friends to help with your budget. If you don’t have food to trade maybe you have a skill to offer like changing oil in a car or house cleaning. Plus, for those of you who are lucky enough to have veggie gardens, chat with your friends and find out what they grow. I’m betting you’ll both have different produce you can trade to help lower that weekly grocery bill.
Now I just need to find someone who has a cow so I can trade for milk and I’m set! This one might be a challenge but you never know…Maybe I’ll put an ad on my local UsedEverywhere site and see what happens? I’d love to hear of any idea you have on ways to trade your way to a smaller grocery bill. And I challenge you to give this a try and let me know how it goes.
Coupon Tip of the Week: Okay I’ve mentioned this before but feel it is such a great way to save money that I have to come back to it again. Lots of products offer promotional coupons for free items when you purchase their products….this is such a good way to stock up on items you always use and receive other things for free. For instance, my husband only eats Frosted Mini Wheats and they are currently having a promotion where you can receive a $5 gas card with each cereal box you purchase. I found them on sale for $4 so the company is actually paying me $1 to buy this cereal as gas is something we always have to buy! Plus the cereal doesn’t expire for like a year so it makes sense to buy a bunch now and save! FYI…Old El Paso also has a great coupon where you buy their taco kits and receive a $4 coupon towards ground beef…I bought the kits for $3.47 so I actually made $0.53 off each box as you need to buy ground beef to make tacos right?