My Journey out of Debt

Featured customers currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Relief Plan, share journey to become debt-free; hear how they juggle family, finances, and more.

Can You Save $1.00?

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Can You Save $1.00?We're all looking for ways to cut our spending, and one of the first places that people look to cut is their grocery bill.  The problem that many people (including myself) have is that there isn't a single item on a grocery list that makes an instant impact on your budget. 

I took a slightly different approach when inspecting my grocery spending, and asked myself, "Can I find a way to save a dollar?"    Then I wondered if I could find ten ways.  Could I find ten products that I could substitute with a cheaper brand that, in my opinion, produced the same level of satisfaction as the original product? 

Over time, and through trial and error, I did better than ten.  Below is a list of fourteen common grocery or household items that I have permanently substituted with a cheaper product to save money.

Product Originial Product Price New Product Price Savings
Dishwasher detergent $3.97 $2.73 $1.24
Bottled water $3.98 $2.97 $1.01
Pancake mix $2.54 $1.57 $0.97
Pancake syrup $2.98 $1.98 $1.00
Ketchup $2.68 $1.68 $1.00
Shampoo $2.96 $1.84 $1.12
Toilet paper $6.97 $5.97 $1.00
Laundry detergent $17.97 $15.47 $2.50
Cookies $2.98 $2.28 $0.70
Salad dressing $2.18 $1.66 $0.52
Frozen french fries $2.96 $1.97 $0.99
Ice cream $3.24 $1.98 $1.26
Pasta $2.78 $1.88 $0.90
Bread $3.08 $1.98 $1.10
Total Savings $15.31

In some cases, the substitution was for a generic/store brand item, in some cases it was simply for a less expensive name brand.  The point is that with relatively little effort I was able make a noticeable reduction in my grocery expenditure.  

Can you find one thing in your grocery shopping habits to change to save $1?  Your list may be different, as your opinion as to what products provide the same level of satisfaction may differ from mine. Can you find fifteen?  Can you find more?

Related Links: 

Save Time and Money at the Grocery Store

Top 10 Ways to Save at the Grocery Store

How to Save Money When Buying Groceries for Two


My Journey out of Debt, Customer Blog, Travis Pizel for CareOne Services, Inc.Travis Pizel

Travis is a contributing writer for the My Journey out of Debt blog and is a very active member of the CareOne community forums. Travis is currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Travis very candidly shares his personal journey to pay off his debt and the tips he's learned along the way. As a father and husband he provides a unique perspective on balancing debt, finances, and family. You can also follow along with Travis on his personal blog, Our Journey to Zero. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.

Follow Travis on Twitter @DebtChronicles

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  • I LOVE talking about saving money at the grocery store! Great post!

    I found one alteration to my grocery list that saves me several dollars every week: I started baking bread at home. I used a Target giftcard to purchase a bread machine in November (double bonus for the giftcard covering the cost of the bread machine) and use it twice a week to make bread. A pound of bread flour and a pound of whole wheat flour lasts a little over a month in my home. I make whole wheat and french bread and the ingredients are 1. sugar 2. salt 3. flour 4. yeast 5. water and sometimes butter. All of those things I already have in my pantry ready to use, I had no clue how simple it is to bake bread at home!  I probably save $15 a month by baking my own bread. If you just don't have time to bake your own, I found buying from the store's bakery to be up to $1.25 less than from commercial brands. You should have several breads to choose from the bakery: white, whole wheat, French, Italian, etc.

    Since I became more comfortable with baking bread, I try to avoid ordering pizza at all costs. I can whip up my own crust in no time, using the same ingredients as bread. And I like to think homemade pizza is healthier, even if it's not :)

    I have stopped purchasing most name brand food items, I look at what I want and then I look if there is anything cheaper and cheaper usually wins. I found I was able to cut $0.15-0.70 off of butter, milk, eggs and canned foods that are the store's brand - so that adds up to about $3 each visit. As much as I love fresh vegetables, buying frozen veggies costs less and you end up with more (sometimes). Last week, I found I saved close to $9 at the store, and that is about the average every week for my home and I think that is a great start!

  • I've always wanted to try making my own bread, saracarr!  I have some friends that have a bread making machine and they make not only "regular" bread, but also other tasty kinds too (raisin breads, etc).  Thanks for your comment, and your great tips!

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