Home in on your grocery bill and get a grip on your family budget.
Depending on the size of your family (and age of your kids) your average food bill will fluctuate.Work on devising a plan to curtail this MAJOR expense by using the list below for ideas.
Saving money on groceries has the potential to save your budget.
Shop sales, stock up during sales and match coupons with sale items.
Sign up for sales flyers from the stores you frequent. You can also hop onto their websites to learn what’s on sale for the week. I keep a “stock up” list on my fridge that my husband and I update throughout the week with items we need. You can find it in my free downloads here.
Using the Sunday newspaper and printing coupons at SmartSource.com, I collect all my coupons and store them in my Couponizer. Most weeks I can totally match up several coupons with items on sale. Our average shopping trip is easily reduced by $50 – $70 using this method.
I totally recommend TheKrazyCouponLady for a complete education on clipping coupons and shopping sales!
Shop only 1-2 times per week with a weekly meal plan and a list.
You will spend less money if you’re not at the store as often (pretty simple). Plus, if you head in there with a list and actually stick to it, you’ll spend even less.
I usually have my Couponizer and the sales flyers (or website opened) and sit down at my desk to make out our meal plan for the week. I make meals out of what we already have on hand and with what is on sale for the week.
By incorporating some meatless meals into your meal plan, you will save a little more. Don’t forget about your slow cooker (makes for easy meals) and incorporating seasonal produce into your meal plan.
Be sure to never shop hungry. When you’re walking down the aisle’s starving, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
I found this awesome site, Yumm.com. It’s basically an online recipe holder. Talk about making things handy when you can’t think of any meals for the week.
Use what you have on hand, eat leftovers and use your freezer.
Of course, before you sit down to make out the weeks meal plan, check your cupboards first. Likely, you already have a meal or two you could plan for (or a least some of the fixins’ for a meal).
Don’t forget to assign one or two meals during the week as strictly leftovers. Here’s a free download that I also keep on the fridge for the weeks meals.
Use your freezer to reserve in season fruits and vegetables and to stock up on good deals. You can also make a larger portion meal and eat half and freeze the other half. It makes for easy meals when you’re short on time or just don’t feel like cooking. EverythingMom has an awesome freezer meal cooking, tips and recipe resource you should check out.
Plant a garden, avoid dining out and cook from scratch.
Cut down on junk food and incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables (and herbs). If you have the space, planting an outdoor garden would be ideal. Even growing a nice herb garden in your window sill would be cool. I’ve been wanting to do this for months. I just saw Martha Stewart on the Today Show talking about an indoor garden!
Eating out can easily drain your budget. Meal planning and brown bagging it will save you here. You can put aside a day each month and cook your brains out, freeze the meals and only have the microwave time for prep when it’s time for dinner. Here’s a link on this Mega-Cooking idea, for some tips and tricks.
Create a price book and set a firm budget.
Have a system for tracking prices. All it takes is a small notebook and pencil. This is a power tool for super market savings! It will help you recognize and establish a target price and tell you when to stock up. Here’s a free price book template and some more directions from OrganizedHome.com.
Here’s an excellent resource on how to set a grocery budget from FaithfulProvisions.com.
In order to know exactly where your money goes when it comes to food and household necessities, you need to start tracking it now.
It will be a huge help in eliminating all that nasty debt and in helping create a tidy budget.
Get a good handle on what you spend. It’s easy to ball park an amount, but odds are you REALLY won’t know unless you track it.
It’s easy to toss a few bucks here for a burger and a couple bucks there for a cappuccino. Being mindless about throwing things into the grocery cart (especially if the kids are along) can become a very bad habit. Your spending becomes mismanaged. What do you have to show for it? Realistically… a few extra pounds (and less money).
Read through the list again and pick a couple things you don’t do and incorporate it, today. You could easily shave an extra $200 – $500 a month. Put it to good use.
What tips or tricks do you have to control your grocery spending?