|When it comes to the family budget, grocery shopping is one area that is is pretty easy to overspend in. When you factor in all the unexpected purchases and impulse buys, it is easy to spend double or more than what you initially planned on spending.
It is a common misconception that shopping at warehouse stores helps keep grocery budgets in check. While that is the case in some instances, such as when purchasing non-perishable food items, avoid purchasing fresh produce or other items that cannot be safely frozen for future use, as you are just throwing money away.
Reducing your spending when it comes to grocery shopping is not a lost cause. There are some simple steps that you can do that will help save you money each month.
Make a menu-While this may seem like a time consuming task, making a menu for the week or two between one grocery shopping trips can save you a ton of money. Sit down and plan out your meals for the week. Once you have your menu decided, make a list of the ingredients that you will need to complete each meal. To save even more, factor in leftovers or make meals that use the same ingredients just in a different capacity.
Make a list-Making a list-and sticking to it-helps curb grocery spending. Go through your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Toss out any expired items and make a list of everything that you need. Organize your list by either aisle or food type to make shopping easier.
Buy ingredients-While it may be tempting to just purchase boxed or frozen meals, it is not a cost effective purchase. When you purchase ingredients instead of boxed meals, you are purchasing ingredients that can be used for more than one meal. So where as one frozen or boxed dinner may run 4 to 5 dollars for one meal, you can purchase ingredients for multiple meals for just around the same price.
Use coupons- Check your Sunday newspapers and store fliers. Clipping coupons can save an average family $100 or more a month on groceries. Especially if the store you are shopping at doubles manufactures coupons and price matches other local grocery stores.
Shop around-Check the store fliers and also visit area grocery stores. Finding the lowest price on items that you use alot of, such as milk and cheeses, can help tame your grocery budget. Also check stores price matching policy. Some stores just match the price, while others price match and give an additional percentage off.
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