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Lately, when you grab a grocery cart, your stomach drops.  You already know that the prices in the store will be higher than they were the last time you stood in the same spot.

If you’re like me, that makes you think about ways you can save on groceries.

You’ve probably already thought of using coupons or buying more generic versions of foods. 

(Which is awesome, because you can definitely save by doing those things.)

But guess what?  If you really want to save money on food, there are things you ought to be doing before you ever set foot in a grocery store.

Because the truth about saving money on groceries is that savings don’t begin when you’re trying to decide if yogurt is cheaper by the cup or by the tub.

It all starts right in your own kitchen.

How To Save Money On Groceries Without Coupons

Use Leftovers (Here’s How To Make It Yummy)

Seriously, the chance to save on groceries starts in your own refrigerator.

How many times have you cleaned a whole pile of science experiments out of the fridge?

Food gets shuffled around, or falls behind bigger items.  And before you know it, it’s gone bad before you had a chance to use it up.

It’s gross.  And it’s an ugly reminder of money gone to waste.

Well, stop feeling guilty about throwing away food, and start making a plan.

If you’re lucky enough to have family members who will just warm up leftovers and eat them, that’s great.

BUT, just because they’re willing to eat leftovers, doesn’t mean they’re going to naturally do it.

One way to encourage them to take these foods for lunches on the go is by packaging them in easy to grab containers.  Then set them front and center in the fridge.

(Maybe a reminder taped to the front door wouldn’t hurt!)

If your family balks at the idea of eating leftovers, that might be the reason you’ve been wasting so much food.  But don’t worry, there’s hope!

In fact, I have a whole post of ideas that will help your family learn to love leftovers.

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Make It From Scratch

You don’t have to be Laura Ingalls Wilder to save money by making things from scratch!

In fact, there are a bunch of recipes on this list that will take you 5 minutes or less to throw together, and you’ll save plenty of money to make it worth it.

My kids have to get back into the habit of packing their lunches this year.  I’m trying to make that easier on them by making easy grab and go foods that they love.

So far I have made sausage, egg, and cheese burritos. (They are lucky enough to have access to a microwave at school.  If your kid doesn’t have a microwave, these burritos are also delicious cold.)

Corn dog muffins are also a hit.  (Cut a hot dog down to thirds, make your favorite corn bread recipe, put corn bread into muffin tins and drop one piece of hot dog in each one.)

Sometimes my daughter makes a yummy loaf of pear bread or another treat that’s easy to pack and go.

What can you make that your kids can grab and go?  It’s almost guaranteed to be cheaper than things prepackaged in a plant somewhere.

Go Meatless

Our family eats meatless meals every Friday.

Before you tell me that this is impossible… well, I would have said the same thing a few years ago!

At that time, I didn’t really know how to cook dried beans or much fish.

But we all learned.  And so can you!

Use all of these tricks, ideas, and recipes, and you’ll be a pro at meatless one night a week before you know it!

Get Organized

Take a few minutes before you go to the store to get an idea of what you're walking into.

Shopping takes forever!  There are a million decisions to make, no matter where or how you shop.

You might as well eliminate some of that ahead of time.

Take a good look around.  What are you out of?  Or almost out of?  (One thing I hate is standing in a store, trying to remember if we are almost out of TP at home.)

Ask the family.  What do they want or need from the store?  Let them text you a list.

Digital coupons!  While you're waiting for the kids to come to the car, load all the coupons you need from all the stores you like to go to.  It's pretty easy to click the box on anything you could ever potentially buy.

Plan ahead. 

I'm not sure why meal planning is so hard, but it just is. Thinking of all of those meals, only to find out later that you were so busy you couldn't make more than one of them.

Well, I finally found a solution that makes meal planning SOOOOO much easier! You can get the quick how to guide along with a free meal planner right here:

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You Won't Believe How Much You Can Save On Groceries Starting At Home

...until you try these four tricks and get it back in your pocket!

Don't forget to grab my super cheap grocery shopping course.  No matter what diet you follow or how you like to shop, this course will help you find ways to save some extra cash!