Lazy Budget Chef: How I Saved Thousands on Groceries with One Simple Hack

Thursday, March 15, 2018

How I Saved Thousands on Groceries with One Simple Hack

Who knew pantry months and later, kitchen ants, would help me lower my grocery bill 10 – 30% per trip and without using coupons or rebates?

Seriously.



How to save thousands of dollars on groceries with one simple hack
You are going to want to pin this tip and share it with your friends!


Food storage space is at a premium in my small condo kitchen. I would go bed at night and dream of beautiful pantries with food stored in matching glass one gallon penny candy storage jars. (I’m including affiliate links for your convenience.)

But as you can see from the photo below, my tiny condo pantry shelves aren’t big enough to hold a shelf full of big, beautiful food storage jars. I kept everything in its original packaging and closed all of the non sealable bags of flours, etc. with a chip clip to keep it fresh..

My spacious pantry shelves which if you compare to our old rental, is actually spacious.

Unfortunately with all of those food boxes, bags, and packages crammed in my kitchen cupboard I couldn’t always tell if I had enough or was running out. Too often, while running errands my husband and I would buy the same item we were low on thinking we were helping the other person out and end up with more than we needed. Oops.

Later the pantry got a small reorganization after we brought pantry moths home with some wild sage we picked on vacation. I started storing some of my pantry staples in their original packing in clear plastic storage boxes with lids  to keep future moths out.


I’m not sure if the containers are food safe and kept the original packaging. Sometimes I went crazy and used a chip clip to close a bag of actual chips but I used them most often for dry goods.


Later, after cleaning out almost all of our food storage for the second time thanks to ants taking their spring break vacation throughout my kitchen, I learned  my “organized” kitchen contributed to my family’s Out of Sight Out of Mind Disease. Among the surprises I found was a bag of coconut flakes I didn’t remember I had and were so old they turned from white to tan. Ew!

To keep any future kitchen ants from repeating their stay,  I started taking everything out of its original box or bag and storing it in repurposed clear jars as time and empty jars permitted.  I surprised to learn I could store more food in my cupboards not less if I stored everything in jars.


Our salsa habit comes in handy when it comes to recycling jars as free storage containers!

You don't have to use glass jars if you don't want to (the plastic containers holding beans are empty warehouse club size spice containers.) I considered buying stackable OXO food storage containers like these but went with what I had due to the immediate ant situation.

At first when I was transferring ingredients over into storage containers, I had more boxes and bags in my trash and recycling bins than usual. I noticed a significant reduction in the amount of trash and recycling in my bins after finishing the project. Weird, because I haven't changed where I grocery shop or the type of ingredient type food I buy - but I'll take it!


The only reason why you see pretty mason jars on these shelves is that a shade tree decided to grow so big it nuked my chances of canning food from a bountiful garden again. 

Like many of my neighbors, I had an extra a set of shelves for food storage to my small kitchen. Instead of buying graduated canisters that never fit my baking supplies, I bought a flat of half gallon mason jars from Amazon to store my flours, rice, and sugar.

Turns out I was totally wrong about the benefit of storing groceries in containers.

All of the food in my kitchen stays fresh longer. I don’t have worry about my brown sugar turning rock hard or drying out. Best of all no more moths or ants in the kitchen! What I didn’t expect is a simple jar made my food bill to go down by more than 20% per trip while shopping at the same stores and buying the same things!



Hi everyone Lacey here!  Dogs don’t have thumbs to open jars and chow down on your food when you aren’t looking so don’t follow Lisa’s advice!.

Clear food storage containers let me easily see what ingredients I have on hand and what I need to use up at all times. If (when) I forget to make a grocery shopping list, all it takes is a quick scan of my kitchen shelves to know I don’t need to buy the pantry staples like pasta I used to buy on auto pilot.

Not to mention, I can save time and money buying a few items in bulk. I refill the empty storage bottle or jar in the kitchen from the large bulk container in my utility room

It is a very simple thing but it works for me!

Did you like this post? Get more like it by subscribing to the Lazy Budget Chef RSS feed or by subscribing to Lazy Budget Chef by email.