We’ve all been there. When there’s not enough money to go around. Do you pay the electric bill or the mortgage? Sometimes the only place to cut expenses is the grocery bill.
Eating well can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be.
You can save money on your grocery bill and eat well by following these methods.
(1) Planning: If you don’t know what you’re making for dinner tonight, or the rest of the week, you might find yourself stopping at a drive-thru or stopping at the grocery store to pick up something. Doing either is far from being cost effective. The day you do your grocery shopping sit down and write out a menu plan for the upcoming week. Include all the meals you eat at home and lunches you and your family take. Choose recipes, some family favorites and coordinate with the pantry supplies you already have on hand. When you get to the store, shop from the list. Only deviate when there’s a bargain but do so wisely.
(2) Specials: Most grocery stores have specials, commonly referred to as loss leaders. These are often goods marked at or below cost and are used to draw customers into the store where the store hopes you’ll spend more money while you’re in there. You should stock up on the loss leaders. Hit several stores if the bargains are something you’ll use. For instance if potatoes are on sale be sure to include them cooked various ways into the week’s meal plan.
(3) Stocking Up: A prepared household stocks up when prices are right. If chicken is on sale and you serve chicken at least once a week you’ll find that stocking up when it’s on sale will allow you some reprieve on future grocery runs and allow you to stock up on the next bargain you find. Buy in bulk. The big packages of ground beef are a savings when compared to the price per pound of the smaller packs. Try to buy the bigger pack in a size that’s easily divided. For instance a six pound pkg of ground beef can be repacked at home into six one pound packages.
(4): Meat Shop: Do you have a local butcher? Often times you’ll find bargain meat prices this way. This doesn’t work if you shop in an affluent area though. Those meat prices are relatively higher. Look for a small town butcher.
(5) Farmer’s Market: Does your area have a farmer’s market? Local produce can be cheaper than the grocery store. Farmer’s markets in more affluent areas may be higher. Look for small town farmer’s markets. An alternative is a pick your own farm. Check local ads and PickYourOwn.org
(6) Shop Seasonally: Buy produce that’s in season. Apples will be cheaper at the beginning of fall, not in the spring.
(7) Reduce Meat Consumption: Meat is the largest amount, dollar wise, of your meal. Consider cutting back on the meat. Use less ground beef per recipe, try making soups and casseroles. You can have dried beans once a week. There are many different kinds of beans making each pot different!