LifestylePersonal Finance

Shopping Cart Tips for Hungry Families

How much is your family spending each month on food items? If you cannot answer that question with reasonable certainty, then chances are you are spending more than you have to. By following a few simple rules and family budgeting techniques, you can save up to 50 percent on costs associated with feeding your family. Even if you have picky or hearty eaters, you can battle rising grocery prices using the following tips.

Shop with a Plan
Go through the pantry at home and make a list of all the things you need, and then only buy those items when you are at the store. In this way, you avoid paying extra for a can of cream of chicken because you think you might need it when, in reality, you have three cans in the cabinet at home. A list also regulates your shopping, which stops you from making impulse purchases in expensive areas like the bakery.

Create a Menu to do More with Less
One of the easiest ways to save money on groceries is to stretch food supplies. A pound of ground beef goes quickly if you serve it as hamburger patties or meatloaf. Instead, create a rice or pasta dish to feed more people with the same amount of meat. If you bake a chicken, consider pulling the meat from the bone to make chicken alfredo. Left over pieces and parts of the bone can be used for creating a soup. In this way, you get two meals instead of one.

Shop Once a Week or Less
If you create a weekly or monthly menu, then you know what items will be required ahead of time. Reducing emergency runs to the market will save money on both transportation and food costs. When you shop on a schedule, it also makes it easier to incorporate groceries into family budgeting. Decide how much you will spend each week on food. Purchase the groceries in one trip and commit to the idea of no additional purchases until the next week. If you can incorporate a bit of will power into your cooking and eating habits, your family will not go hungry. When you do more with less, you may actually find that you eat better because you are more creative with your ingredients.

Avoid Junk Food
Junk food is usually more expensive than fresh produce and “real” food. Even if the real food can be more expensive, it makes sense to spend your grocery budget on those items. If you purchase a bunch of snacks and sweets, you will still need to buy meat and vegetables to ensure proper nutrition. Cut food extras from your budget to save big at the checkout.

Shop the Sales
Always keep an eye out for discounted items. You can purchase non-perishables weeks or months in advance. If you have a good monthly menu plan and cook a number of family favourites on a regular basis, then you have an idea of what groceries you will use in the future. When things are marked down, consider buying a couple of extras to reduce future meal costs.

Saving money on food costs does not take a lot of time or effort. You simply have to be willing to plan, stick to family budgeting ideas, and show a bit of will power in the grocery aisle. Do more with less and you will find greater value in your shopping cart.

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1 Comment

  1. Stephen
    December 7, 2012 at 2:37 pm — Reply

    Junk food is my biggest problem

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