A Week in the Life: Saving bacon grease, markdown produce and checking your receipts

by Melody on August 19, 2013

Welcome to a Week in the Life.  Each week I will be sharing a round-up of all the different ways I saved our family money or time.  Or both.  The purpose of this series is to highlight the fact that there are SO many different methods you can use to lower your overall budget that don’t involve mad-crazy coupon shopping.

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Making the most of our “resources”

We have really narrowed down the cooking fats we use, eliminating olive oil completely and using mainly grass-fed butter or coconut oil.  While these options are wonderful, they can be on the spendier side.  To combat the price and just make good use of everything we have, I save the liquid bacon fat that accumulates in the pan after I cook bacon (we use this method).  I then use the bacon fat to saute or roast veggies, bake sweet potato fries, cook eggs in place of nonstick spray and more.  Super frugal and crazy delicious.

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Check your receipts!

Even though I don’t use many coupons anymore, I try very hard to track prices and make sure I’m getting the best deals on what I do buy.  This means that I religiously check my receipts after any purchase.  I like to make sure that everything rang up at the correct price and that any coupons I did use came off at the right amount.

Just this weekend, I bought a small chuck roast from Fred Meyer that was significantly more per pound than I’m generally willing to pay, but I expected a $2 eCoupon to come off at checkout.  I realized that the coupon didn’t come off before I left the store, so I quickly ran over to customer service and they refunded me the money.  While it might seem like a small amount, those cents and dollars can add up very quickly!

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Markdown produce

I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth saying again.  Check your local grocery store for markdown produce! My local Fred Meyer has a shelf in the produce section that I check every time I shop.  They often have red-band bananas at $.44/lb, which is right around Costco price.  As you can tell from the picture above, they are generally in pretty good condition.  If they are super ripe, I throw them in the freezer or bake them into muffins right away.  I picked up three bags of 3 colored bell peppers at $1 per bag, just $.33 per pepper!  Out of the three bags, there was only one pepper that I couldn’t salvage.  Everything else was perfect!

I’ve also picked up super inexpensive apples, jalapeno peppers, pears and more.

I would LOVE to hear how you saved your family money this week.  What methods do you find are the most efficient and effective?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin August 20, 2013 at 11:10 am

I love this series! I got burnt out on couponing because of the time and trips to multiple stores involved. We were also eating more junk because I got “a good deal”…horrible! I have found that money saving tips such as the ones you mentioned above, as well as making your own products saves just as much as couponing. We recently decided to cloth diaper our 8 week old because we an do it for $150 total and I won’t ever have to clip coupons or chase deals!

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Summer Womack August 20, 2013 at 3:46 pm

I’d like to start using this method of saving bacon fat. Do you store it in the refrigerator, or out on the counter? I think my cooling racks are coated with black paint…so I’m thinking that would be a bad setup for paint coming off if I were to bake them. I’ll have to look for some different cooling racks.

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Melody August 20, 2013 at 3:59 pm

I do keep mine in the fridge, but mainly because that’s what my grandparents did. It definitely solidifies, but that doesn’t matter much if you are using it to saute or roast. It’s delicious!

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