Cutting back on expenses is the name of the game these days. We want the most we can get for the least amount of money spent, right? I sure do! This is the first post of a series on Proven Strategies for Budget Cuts in The Home. Our hope is that you may find ideas which you can implement to assist your family budget. We are going to begin with one of the largest expenses in the home which cannot be cut completely out, the Grocery Budget
To use a valuable phrase, When we fail to plan, our plan fails. You may be applying this phrase to your household budget but are you applying it to the subcategories of your budget?
There are 2 things to consider about the Grocery budget.
- You must make a grocery budget
- Meal planning is the only way to implement your budget successfully.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Americans are spending less on food now than ever since 1984, actually $24 per week less than at peak spending in 1988. What are some of the ways that other people are managing to cut back on food expenses for their family?
Getting organized with your meal planning will result in less impulse purchases and less over-spending!
Renee over at Renew Your Space At Your Own Pace has done the grunt work for us. She has created Free Printable Menu Planning pages which are so simple, all you have to do is fill in the blanks! Go to this post, Meal Planning Printable for your Planner for her free pintable’s. These free pintable’s allow you to
List the potential menu’s,
Take stock of your ingredients in the pantry
Create your shopping list
Have you ever heard the ‘we were so poor’ stories of how people walked five miles to school, backwards, uphill, with no shoes, in the snow? I sure did. I could just see my father doing that! There may be a need to make sacrifices if change is going to occur. You may want to consider meatless main meals, involve the family in meal planning, teach the children to cook some of the simple less expensive meals, cook from scratch which is less expensive than cooking prepared foods, learn to make snack foods instead of purchasing the expensive one’s in the store, and purchase less expensive cuts of meat. Crockpot cooking is another way of creating less expensive meals.
For some great inexpensive meal ideas check out these blogs:
- Cheap Recipe Blog has a tab at the top of the page called $10 Food Day. You will find suggestions for a full day of menus to feed a family of 4 on $10 per day!
- One Income Family Living is a fantastic blog by a frugal Mom sharing menu ideas, grocery list and purchases on a $50 weekly budget! Click on the ‘weekly grocery’ links for ideas. You will also find links to the recipes like this one for Tortellini Soup
You do not have to give up healthy foods to cut your budget. You simply have to be a bit more savvy while shopping. That may involve shopping at multiple stores and becoming educated about the Sales cycles of grocery stores.
Grocery sales tend to repeat about once every 6 to 12 weeks with the most repetition between 6-8 weeks on common items. This is good information to know when you are budgeting. Let’s call this Extreme Budgeting. Of course you shop the sales but you can greatly reduce your grocery budget by stockpiling when certain staple items are at their lowest price.
Don’t be afraid of the idea of stockpiling. Let me explain. You will want to stockpile mostly staple items when they are at their lowest price such as toilet paper, sugar, flour, canned cooking soups etc.. Be careful not to stockpile too many of an item to the point of the date expiring before your family could use it. That would be counterproductive.
You don’t have to become an extreme coupon user to save money on your grocery budget. Most grocery stores have ecoupons these days. Simply register on your favorite grocery store website and download the ecoupons to your frequent shopper card. Of course clipping coupons and matching them to the current sales will net you an even greater savings!
How to Save Money on Groceries Without Clipping Coupons
This is a valuable post written by The Humbled Homemaker chock full of excellent advice and tips! I am an extreme couponer myself, but I go through seasons when I just don’t want to put the work into it! Can I get a witness? These tips are proven and I myself have resorted to them.
“Here are my top 6 tips for saving money on groceries–without using coupons”
Buy on clearance
- Shop at discount stores, like Aldi or Save-a-Lot
- Shop for bulk items at club-type stores like BJ’s, Costco and Sam’s
What are some of the ways you have been able to cut back on your families grocery budget?