Pay attention to the sales ads. By familiarizing myself with prices, I know when a sale is lackluster, and when it's a "cart-buster." I stock up when something is at a rock-bottom price.
I buy store-brand items, for the most part. But sometimes, the brand is on sale for less than the store-brand. When you're familiar with usual prices, sale prices, and the best-ever sale prices, you'll know when to buy a bunch at the best price.
image courtesy Karin Dalziel
One of my friends taught me a tip of buying produce that's on sale for .99/lb. or less. Since sales change week-by-week, you will get variety this way. I aim to shop for produce this way as much as possible. At the same time, fruits and vegetables are some of the best foods for my family; so buying them is kind of like an investment in their health. It's still hard for me, in my frugal nature, to spend $4 for a bag of spinach or $6 for a box of clementines, but I'm thinking I should realize it's ok to pay a bit more for the right foods for my family.
A beans and rice night is great once-a-week, or every few weeks. You can use it as a filling in tortillas with cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, sour cream (like tacos). There are many great recipes out there, so beans and rice does not have to be boring or bland.
I use some coupons. Our newspaper is fairly small, and the coupon inserts do not have the same coupons as a metro paper includes. I go online to coupons.com and print a few to use when the store has cereal and granola bars on sale. I like diaper coupons; there have been some good ones lately.
I try to find ways to creatively use leftovers and make new meals out of them.
image from ilovemypit
(By the way, Friday will be the Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys review and giveaway.)
(linked to Frugal Friday)