Learning to rely on the grocery store less is a process and more than simply buying less. These 8 tips will help you to not only spend less money at the grocery store, but also to learn how to live without the stocked shelves supermarkets offer!
Sit with me for a few and close your eyes. Can you picture a world where you rely on the grocery store less? Where you food doesn’t come from there each month or week? Can you picture a world without a grocery store at all? Most people can’t. But in 2020, most of the world and especially the US came face to face with that possibility.
And things haven’t improved much since then to be honest.
There are still supply issues all over the United States and given rising prices from inflation, things are only going to get worse.
What does that mean for you? Well, I reckon that depends on you. But if you’re here reading this post, I suspect it means that you want to learn how to rely on the store less.
Relying on the Grocery Store Less Requires One Thing
What’s that you ask?
Self reliance in itself is frugal, but making a deliberate effort to be more self reliant takes work.
The truth is that while leading a self sufficient lifestyle can be incredibly peaceful and rewarding, it is also hard work.
But, with that said, working to become more self reliant is the only sure-fire way you will ever be able to rely on the grocery store less.
Grow a Garden
Vegetable gardening is the first step to living without grocery stores. It allows you to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for your family all year long.
Even if you have never started a garden before, everyone – and I do mean everyone – can grow food. It may take some research and practice, but it is worth it to be able to give the stores less of your money each month.
If you do decide to grow your own food, I highly recommend that you only plant heirloom seeds. The reason behind this is that heirloom seeds are able to be saved and planted year after year. Genetically modified “normal” seeds typically cannot be. Most of the time they will not even give you a crop and if they do, they are a much smaller fruit than with a true heirloom.
You Might Like:
- How to Start Seeds
- How to Grow a Garden on a Budget
- How to Build Raised Garden Beds
- How to Find Your Gardening Zone
- How to Grow the Best Tomatoes
- 106 Things You Can Compost
- Organic Garden Fertilizer Recipe
- How to Grow Celery
- How to Start a Container Garden
- Mary’s Heirloom Seeds
Make Things for Yourself
Like I said, learning to live without grocery stores is work, but luckily, this part can actually be fun if you let it be. Learning to make more and buy less will let you really kick the grocery store to the curb. It also has the surprise side effect of helping your family to be healthier.
Despite what most stores and manufacturers would have you think, it is possible to recreate or create an product that is comparable to what is on store shelves.
Make more of these in your own home and you will take a very big step to relying on the store less.
You might start with these:
- Reusable Fabric Softener Sheets
- DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent
- Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent
- DIY Laundry Detergent Pods
- Homemade Dish & Dishwasher Soap
- DIY Dish Detergent Pods
- Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner
- Homemade Cleaning Wipes
- DIY Window Cleaner
- Homemade Shave Cream
- Homemade Deodorant
- Homemade Shampoo
- Homemade Toothpaste
- Homemade Mouthwash
- Homemade Bug Spray
- Homemade Hair Spray
- Homemade Diaper Rash Cream
- DIY Neosporin
- DIY Bengay
- Homemade Cough Drops
- Homemade Butter
- Homemade Buttermilk
- Homemade Heavy Cream
- Homemade Pasta Sauce
- Homemade Alfredo Sauce
- Homemade Ketchup
- Homemade Ranch Dressing
- Homemade Bread
- Homemade Jelly
- Homemade BBQ Sauce
- Homemade Mayo
Most of your bigger grocery stores are owned by mega corporations. Smaller Mom and Pop stores have pretty well been run out of business. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t buy what you need somewhere else.
For things like dairy, meat and vegetables, buying local at your area farmers market is a great option and will help you rely on the grocery store a lot less. It also helps your community neighbors too!
Raise Your Food
Meat rabbits can be raised in a very small area. Backyard chickens only need a yard to roam around in. You don’t get into needing acreage until you start talking cattle or other large livestock breeds.
Raising your own food also has the added benefit of giving you a cleaner, healthier meat option that you know where it came from. This is important if you are trying to live as healthy as you can.
Hunt for Food
Hunting is not a pastime that everyone enjoys, but for those willing to partake, it is a fantastic way to provide food for your family. In fact, hunting deer can even replace beef in your diet for a few weeks if done correctly.
Adding in small game such as wild rabbit, duck, edible birds and squirrel can help as well. It does take more of them to feed a family, but it can be done quite easily if you are willing to do the work.
If you have never hunted food before, I highly recommend you do some research into how to start hunting and the basic hunting gear you will need. This will keep you as safe as possible and allow you to be as successful as possible.
These might help:
- The MeatEater Guide to Wilderness Skills & Survival
- The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game: Volume 1: Big Game
- The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game: Volume 2: Small Game and Fowl
Fish for Food
Fish is so important to eating a healthy diet, but have you priced fresh fish in the store lately? Outrageous does not even begin to cover it!
Luckily, it is far cheaper to go fishing for food than it is to buy it in the store.
The type of fish you catch will depend on your area, but even a simple bluegill can make a very tasty cheap meal idea for your family!
- The MeatEater Fish and Game Cookbook: Recipes and Techniques for Every Hunter and Angler
- The Total Fishing Manual (Paperback Edition): 318 Essential Fishing Skills (Field & Stream)
Forage for Food
Another fantastic way to buy less at the store is to add foraging for food to your list of skills. Foraging wild edibles is a great way to feed your family and it’s basically free!
I know the idea seems foreign to some, but there are a lot of plants you can eat. In fact, I’d bet there are quite a few right in your area!
Like did you know that every part of the dandelion – including the root – is not only edible but that they are both tasty and healthy? Or that hunting morel mushrooms is a great way to add vitamins and minerals to your diet in an easy, tasty way?
If you aren’t foraging, do your research and give it a try. You may just be surprised as how much you can save!
Here are a few great places to start your research:
- How to Forage Morel Mushrooms
- How to Safely Identify Morel Mushrooms
- How and Why You Should Forage Dandelions
- Foraging: Explore Nature’s Bounty and Turn Your Foraged Finds Into Flavorful Feasts (Outdoor Adventure Guide)
- Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn’t Know You Could Eat
Learn to Preserve Foods
Finally, learning how to preserve the foods you grow, raise or hunt/catch will help to ensure you don’t need to buy those foods all year long.
Pressure canning and water bath canning are both great ways to make foods shelf stable so they stay fresh and last. Dehydrating and freezing are two more ways.
You May Like:
- How to Preserve Eggs
- 5 Ways to Preserve Fresh Tomatoes
- How to Pressure Can Butter
- How to Pressure Can Potatoes
- How to Pressure Can Green Beans
- How to Pressure Can Carrots
- Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
- The Complete Guide to Pressure Canning: Everything You Need to Know to Can Meats, Vegetables, Meals in a Jar, and More
Yes, every single one of the things in this post all require skills and they may be new skills for you and your family.
That is perfectly okay. We all start somewhere. Learning to do something new is hard, but once you have mastered each new skill and you can rely on the grocery store less, you will be so happy you did.
And your wallet will be too!