Stick to a Grocery Budget

Feeding a family in today’s economy is no easy task, but with a little planning and creativity, it’s much easier than you would think.

  1. Plan ahead. Look through the grocery ads in your Sunday newspaper and plan the weekly meals based on what is on sale that week.
  2. Figure out a grocery budget that works with your finances and do your best to stick to it.
  3. Write out lists of what you need in advance rather than going to the grocery store and winging it.
  4. Buy bulk. When you find a good price on non-perishable items, stock up on them. Breakfast cereals, dry goods and canned foods will last quite a while.
  5. Buy generic store brands. Often times these brands are significantly less expensive than their named counterparts and the recipe could be identical (especially with milk, sugar, flour, etc.) Hold the store product and name brand up next to each other and compare the recipes. You will probably find that they are very similar.
  6. Use coupons but only for things you would have purchased anyway. Do not fall into the trap of buying something purely because it is on sale.
  7. Fill your freezer with frozen fruits, vegetables and meats. If you double wrap the meats with aluminum foil or use freezer bags, they can last for several months.
  8. Make your own frozen dinners. Rather than spend the money for pricey ready made frozen meals (as convenient as they are), make your own by freezing leftovers in plastic containers.
  9. Make your own salads rather than buying the bagged salad greens. Doing the prep work saves you money in the long run. It doesn’t take much longer to cut the vegetables yourself and it saves you several dollars.
  10. Buy what’s in season. Not only will it taste better because it’s fresher, but it will save money on your grocery bill. Also consider buying local from farmer’s markets as they will often have better prices than supermarkets and the food is grown locally.

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