Purchasing your groceries does not have to break the bank. Your family doesn’t have to live on pizza and hot dogs to get through the month and stay on your food budget.
By learning a few tricks, you will stay on target each month and who knows, you may even cut your food budget in half. If you do not already have a food budget, now, is the time to set one up. You can find many website that can help aide you with this. After you have a food budget set up, you can compare your spending habits each week by writing down the total in a notebook.
Next, purchase a small portable, notebook that you will bring along with you each time that you visit a grocery store. Set up the notebook pages by dividing each page into three columns. The first column is for the products name like, Miracle Whip, the second column is for the stores name and the third column is for the non-sale price.
Leave a line for each separate grocery store that you visit under that product. So, lets say that you shop at 4 separate stores, each stores name and non sale price would be listed under Miracle Whip.
This will help at a later date when you want to plan certain meals. You can price compare each meal to see what store is a better pricing deal before you even leave home.
Purchase a Sunday paper each week by doing so you get two benefit’s, one you get coupons and two, you receive the store sale ads. Clip all the coupons in the insert and sort them in a coupon organizer. You can purchase a coupon organizer just about anywhere and most are like a billfold that you can carry around with you.
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Carry your coupon organizer everywhere with you. You never know when you will come into a sale and need a coupon. Like when you walk into Walgreen’s and they have toothpaste on sale for $1.00 and you have a dollar coupon. Purchasing an item for only sales tax, of course you should purchase it!
Page through the weekly sale ads and plan your meals around sale prices. If boneless chicken breast is on sale, then make chicken soup, chicken enchiladas and breaded chicken breast. Try to find the one store that has the best sale items that you would like to purchase. Then take along the remaining newspaper sale ads from other stores of items that are on sale for cheaper than the store you are shopping at advertised price. Before you start your shopping ask at the service desk if they honor another stores sale price. Most will.
After you have planned out your meals for the week and have everything written down, it’s time to go shopping. Before jotting out the door, eat something small to ward off any hunger pains and lace up your tennis shoes. You will want to get your shopping done quickly because statistics show, the more time you spend in the store the more money you spend.
Another tried and true money saving option is batch cooking. I have spent countless hours organizing for shopping trips and batch cooking for entire week or month at one time. Basically, you spend one full day cooking enough meals to fill your freezer for a period of one to four weeks. Buying in bulk and preparing the meals in one day saves time and money! I will do an article on how I batch cook in future months.