Everything in this world is getting more and more expensive to maintain and we’re budgeting like crazy just trying to keep up. Sometimes it seems like an exercise in futility when you’re trying to maintain a budget for a family, because it seems like stuff keeps cropping up to throw us off our course. Whether its car maintenance that we didn’t expect or a home repair that came out of nowhere, budgets are hard. However, when you have a family, they’re also necessary.
When you’re budgeting and something unexpected happens, something has to give. For a lot of people, living without their electricity or water service is not okay. The idea of losing their means of transportation is unacceptable and they need to keep a roof over their heads, so typically the first thing to take a hit is their grocery budget. It isn’t a simple feat to feed a family on limited means, especially when that funding becomes even more limited as the month goes on. However, there are a lot of ways to save money on your grocery bills so that you’re able to get a lot more bang for your buck.
Money Saving Tips
Coupons – It’s a pain. It totally is, but it’s also a necessary evil. Clipping coupons sucks but you can really save a lot of money using coupons if you plan accordingly and stick close to the deal each store is advertising in their circulars. Clip only the coupons you know you’ll use, so you’re not tempted to spend more money on new items that aren’t tried and true with your family. Kids can be picky and if you’re trying out new products, don’t do it when things are tight or you’ll really notice the wasted money.
Shop Around – Get the paper on Sundays. It’s usually a little over a dollar and a half and it’s jam packed with store circulars, coupons, and flyers advertising the best deals. Look for the deals on stuff you know your family likes, and make a list for each store. If the stores are close by, shopping around is a good idea, but if you have to travel all over town it’s probably a bit wasteful and you should consider your route carefully.
Meal Plan – Sit down with your family before you go grocery shopping and see what they want to do for meals over the next week or two weeks. If you’re able to plan out what you’re going to have, it’s a lot easier to shop for only the necessities. You don’t have to stick to the days, but stick to the meals. You’ll find you’re a lot more inclined to cook when you have a plan and all of the necessary items. Also, it helps to get your kids more involved in what they’re eating and you won’t hear “ew, we don’t like that!” when you serve dinner for the night.
Store Cards – If your store has a bonus card program, take advantage. Sometimes they offer some really good deals for extra points. If your bonus card is linked the gas points, then it’s a pretty good idea to shop as much as you can at that store and pay attention to what kind of specials they have in their weekly circular.
Never Shop Hungry – Don’t go to the grocery store directly after work when it’s normally your dinner time. Everything will look good and you’ll be less inclined to pay attention to your list. Also, if you haven’t eaten yet, you’re more likely to get ready made food that isn’t good for you or is way more expensive that what you’re looking to spend.
There are a lot of ways to keep costs low when you’re trying to hit the grocery store on a budget, but the easiest way is to shop smart and stick to your list. Don’t get sucked in by flashy packaging or any of the other marketing ploys out there. It is possible to feed your kids on a budget, you just have to be a savvy shopper.