These days, purse strings are tight and wallets are empty, and one of the biggest wallet-drainers is the grocery bill. Without a solid plan, you can easily spend way more than planned (I’ve done this more times than I’d like to admit). Keeping the grocery bill under control can also be a challenge when corralling small children who have to have EVERYTHING in sight.
To help keep a little more cash in your wallet, here are 5 Tips for Cutting Your Grocery Bill:
1. Go through your recipes. If you’re like me, you have recipes you’ve never even looked at. I sometimes overlook the obvious, including my beloved Paula Deen magazines, which have tons of delicious meal suggestions. Sort through your recipes and find five solid meals that have similar ingredients. Look for at least two recipes that can be doubled for different meals such as a roasted chicken on Sunday and chicken salad or chicken Alfredo on Tuesday. Or, make a beef roast and use the leftovers for sandwich night.
2. Make a detailed grocery list. This is the time-consuming part, but it’s worth it to save money. Take the five recipes you gathered, write down all the ingredients, and then group similar items so you can see which meals require the same things. I know my local store pretty well, so to save even more time, I write the items in the order in which I will find them. You don’t have to do this, but it will cut some time off your shopping trip.
3. Look for coupons. The best place to find coupons are local newspaper and store flyers. Base your shopping trips around which stores have the best sale on the items you need. Be careful not to drive from store to store wasting expensive gas; if you do this, saving money on groceries won’t matter. There are websites for trading coupons such as Shopping Nanny or Coupon Suzy.
4. Leave the children at home. As mentioned above, kids want everything they see. Unfortunately, we can’t to buy everything they want, despite the ear-piercing tantrum they’re throwing. If at all possible, go to the store when someone else can watch your children. Take the temptation to buy your kids everything out of the shopping equation and you’ll save money.
5. Create a budget. While this may sound like a given, many of us don’t do it. Budgets are boring and restrictive, but they are necessary. Calculate how much you can afford on groceries each week and plan your meals around that number as best you can. There will always be must-have items that aren’t on sale, but at least you’ll be at a great starting point before you even get in the car.
Don’t spend another day grocery shopping as usual. You work hard for your money – stretch it as far as possible while still maintaining a fulfilling meal plan. With these tips, you’ll not only save money, you’ll save time. Your purses and wallets will thank you.
About the Author
Candace Ganger is an author and science news editor whose work has appeared in numerous projects and campaigns around the globe. Her work includes everything from ghostwritten novels to feasibility analysis reports, all while wearing the Super Mom cape for her two beautiful children.
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