Feeding the Family on a Budget - How to Save Money on Groceries
Work the Sunday Paper into the Family Budget
The most important step in saving money on groceries is using coupons, and the easiest place to get them is your local Sunday paper. The price of a Sunday paper varies from city to city, but check with your local dollar store, they may offer your Sunday paper for a dollar.
Save Money on Groceries by Using Your Scissors
Sit down first thing Sunday morning and cut out ALL of the coupons, even if it is for something you don't usually buy, with the exception of the obvious things you don't need. Come up with a way to organize them. If you are serious about feeding your family on a budget then a simple coupon envelope will not be enough. I recommend The Krazy Coupon Lady's system of organization. The website contains detailed instructions on how to organize and also gives you some tools you can print out.
Feed the Family on a Budget by Checking Your Mailbox
Depending on the area you live in, your local grocery store circulars should arrive in your mailbox on Tuesday or Wednesday of each week. The front page of these circulars is the key to feeding the family on a budget and saving money on groceries.
Save Money on Groceries by Combining Coupons with Loss Leaders
A "Loss Leader" is a product sold at an extremely low price in order to get people into the store. You will usually find these items on the front of the store circular but sometimes they may be found in a special section in the circular. Check the circulars for all of your local stores and cross reference them with your coupons. Also, some grocery stores such as Safeway will print coupons on their circular. These coupons can be combined with the manufacturers coupons from the Sunday paper. Some loss leaders such as fruits and vegetables may be low enough that you do not need coupons. Write a list for each store and attach the appropriate coupons to each list. Plan your week by stopping at each store when it is convenient for you.
Stick to Your Budget by Sticking to Your List
Don't forget this important rule when trying to save money on groceries, stick to your list of loss leaders and then get out of the store. Don't buy anything else at the stores that offer the loss leaders. The purpose of the loss leaders is to get you into the store to buy the other higher priced items. Don't fall into this trap; purchase your other necessities at a discount store such as WalMart.
Plan to Eat the Food You Buy
Make a menu plan for the week, base it on the food you have on hand and write a list for any other items that you need to complete your menus. Do this shopping at a store that you know has low prices. Stick to your menu plan, this will avoid wasted food and the temptation to eat out.
- Would you believe that you can get away with paying under $2 per pound for meat if you follow this plan? If you see a type of meat on sale and you are not familiar with how to cook it, be adventurous, do some research and try something new.
- Dust off your slow cooker. Many cheap cuts of meat can be made into delicious, tender dishes using this method of cooking.
- If your store has whole pork loin on sale for a reasonable price but you don't want to cook a whole roast, ask the butcher to slice it into chops. Most stores offer this service for free, then you can take it home and freeze the chops for many future uses.