Many families are always looking
for a way to save a few dollars. Meal Planning can
Having a set plan for dinner can
reduce the number of times a family eats dinner out.
Choose a meal plan each week then stick to it!
A meal plan can be set around the
current week's grocery ads to optimize a food budget.
If chicken is on sale, add in some extra chicken meals.
Or stock up on what's on sale and freeze it for another
week. The same is true for pantry staples;
if rice or canned vegetables are on sale buy a few
extras to use another week when they aren't on sale!
Use coupons! Would you
throw away $5 if it was tucked in your newspaper this
week? You are probably throwing away more than
that if you throw away the coupon circulars without
clipping a single coupon. We've all heard the
amazing stories of the coupon experts who pay just a few
dollars for a shopping cart full of food.
Most people will not do that, but every day families can
realistically save $15 - $20 a week with coupons.
Add that savings to the bonus card sales offered at many
major grocery chains and you can realize a substantial
savings on your weekly grocery bill. There are
many websites offering the ability to print coupons,
too. Clip the coupons, then don't go to the
grocery store without them!
Remember to only use the coupons
for items that you would normally buy. It is
tempting to purchase an item just because you have a
coupon. If it is not something you need or would
normally have purchased, then you have spent money
instead of saving it.
Try not to go to the grocery store
more than once per week. Buy everything for your
weekly meal plans in one trip. Many people run to
the grocery store for one item and end up making several
impulse buys. Those extra items can increase your
grocery expenses considerably.
If possible match your coupons to
items on sale that week for added savings!
Use leftovers! Even if you
have a small portion left, it can be added in with
something else to enhance another meal. Our family
has a leftover lunch twice a week. Every leftover
is heated up and used during that meal. We
have fun coming up with different sandwich filling and
creations to use up the leftovers.
If your store is sold out of a sale
item, ask for a rain check. You will get the item
for the sale price the next time it is in stock.
Stick to your shopping list!
Impulse buys can cause a lot of damage to your food
Go to more than one grocery store
on shopping day, as long as the stores are close enough
not to cost you too much in gasoline. Buy the
super specials (loss leaders) at different stores to
stock your pantry and collect ingredients for your
Think you don't have time to clip
coupons? Grab some scissors and clip while you
watch TV. I use that time to also go through
cookbooks, plan the week's menu and make a grocery list.
Always check the cost per serving
on different sizes of the same item. Often times
the larger package is a better deal but not always.
Sometimes it is actually cheaper to buy two smaller
packages (especially if you have two coupons to use!)
than one bigger package.
Take just enough cash to the
grocery store to cover your food budget. Carry a
calculator with you and total your purchases as you go
through the store. You will have no choice but to
stick to your budget! Remember to figure in tax so
you are not short of cash at the checkout.
Don't shop hungry! Every
snack item and bakery good will seem like a necessity
if you shop hungry!