1 - Every fall, we get 1/4 of a beef. It is enough meat to last my family of 5 for a year. We get lots of steaks and hamburger with a few roasts. I've never sat down to compare the costs at the store, I mostly do this for the convenience of being able to run to the freezer for something. As a time saver, I will pull about 5 lbs of hamburger out at a time, brown in and re-freeze it for those quick meals. I also bottled some of the hamburger to put into food storage. I also just canned a bunch of chicken - I don't want to look at raw chicken again, but it sure tastes good.
2 - I get milk delivered by a local dairy. The price is pretty close to what we'd pay at the grocery store. I get it delivered twice a week, so we're never out. Plus, this milk does not have any weird preservatives added and it tastes ssssoooooooooo much better! We drink skim milk and it's as creamy as the store 2% milk. My husband is a huge milk drinker and I often tease him that we just need to park Bessie in the back yard with as much milk as he can consume.
3 - I've joined a co-op to add more fruits and veggies to our diet. Needless to say this is something that has positively impacted our family.
4 - I'm committed to gardening this summer. I read the Square Foot Garden book, by Mel Bartholomew and loved it. I have not been the best gardener in the past, but this looks easy and managable. I will post pictures of the different stages of my garden in a future post. I'm almost ready to plant (hopefully this weekend).
5- Whenever I find butter, bread or marshmallows on sale - I stock up and throw those into the freezer to use at a later date. Yes, I freeze marshmallows. I read about doing this on Pinching Your Pennies. I tried it and it works. You just need to allow about an hour for the marshmallows to thaw. They are as soft as if you just bought them from the store. I've even heard that you can freeze milk (always allow plenty of time for it to thaw though). I've not personally tried this only because we never have any excess milk at our house.
6 - I bought a FoodSaver earlier this year. I've mostly used it to seal bottles, containing items that I've bought in bulk (chocolate chips, left over holiday candy, spices etc....). This method gives those foods with shorter shelf lives a longer shelf life if you can remove the air.
7 - As my bananas go black because no one ate them, I peel them and add them to my plastic bag in the freezer. It's nice to have some very ripe bananas in case I need to whip up a quick loaf of banana bread.
These are just some of the things I do. I would love to hear what you do to save time, $$ or just out of convenience.