Tips to Slash Your Family’s Grocery Bills
Regardless of how self-sufficient we try to be and how much we wish we could avoid it completely, grocery shopping is essentially inevitable. The average American family of four spends approximately $1,093 on liberal grocery shopping a month according to the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. While this figure is enough to give more prudent individuals severe heart palpitations, there are a number of clever ways to cut down on your grocery bills, saving you impressive amounts of money without compromising on the lifestyle you and your family have become accustomed to.
Plan your meals in advance and make a shopping list
Setting up a meal plan in advance and making a shopping list accordingly will prevent you from leaving the grocery store with trollies full of things you don’t need, yet very little to eat. Set aside a couple of minutes every week (or month) to write down your meals, ensuring of course that they cater to your family’s varied tastes. As you compile your delicious and nutritious meal plan, write down the ingredients you will require for each mealtime, and don’t forget the staples such as eggs, bread, milk, and sugar. As much fun as it may be to take your children grocery shopping with you, chances are you will end up spending a lot of money on impulse purchases such as sweets and toys. Leave the children at home, do your shopping in peace and relish in the extra money you’ve accumulated at the end of the month.
Steer clear of convenience foods
Amidst our busy lives, it is becoming increasingly more tempting to reach for the pre-cut pineapple or skinned and deboned chicken breasts in a bid to save a bit of time. As handy as these and other items may seem, convenience does come at a rather hefty price and you may find yourself paying more than double for a sliced cucumber than you would a whole one. You can make your own gourmet sandwiches at the fraction of the store-bought price while peeling your own carrots does not take all that long, especially if you enlist the help of your children. If you are not convinced that your convenience-foods are costing you a lot of money, work it out for yourself – you are bound to be astonished by the results.
Don’t be afraid to buy in bulk
The larger your family, the more groceries you will have to buy to keep them well-fed. If there are items on your grocery list that you buy week after week without fail, you may benefit from buying it in bulk. Instead of buying a 4lb package of sugar every week for $7 you might want to buy a 10lb package at $17 instead that will not only last you 5 weeks but will also end up saving you $18 as well. When a grocery store has a surplus of items or want to get rid of perishable items that are nearing their expiry date, they are likely to slash their prices drastically just to move the stock. This is a good time to stock up on items that your family use regularly – just be mindful of expiry dates, especially where dairy products and meat are concerned.
With the cost of living constantly rising everyone can benefit from reduced grocery bills. By following the guidelines above coupled with your own inherent thriftiness you and your family can end up saving a small fortune every month simply by making small changes to the way you shop.