How to Make Your Grocery Budget Work for You
We are foodies! With five kids, I’ve had to learn a few things about stretching the dollar without losing on taste. With the kids growing like weeds, it can feel like the grocery budget is getting out of control. Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years to help reign in the spending, keep the food delicious, and spend more time with my kids.
Plan and Compare
In our neck of the woods, we get the weekly sales specials in the mail. By taking thirty minutes a week to plan our meals, we save time, money and gas!
I can jot down the deals of the week and price compare at Walmart. I begin planning meals based on where I can save the most money, the main dish or meat. From there, add a starch: potato, pasta, or rice. Then it’s veggies and bread.
Plant A Garden
It’s springtime, and planting an herb garden and a vegetable garden will give me about four months of tremendous savings at the grocery store. From tomatoes, dill, rosemary, peppers, squashes, green beans and more, planting a garden is not only money saving, but it gives you an activity to share with your kids. (Remember, you can even make pickles with the kids and call it science!)
Invest In A Bread Machine
I get my everyday sandwich bread from the store, but when it comes to specialty dinner bread, it’s outrageous what the super market charges for simple flour and water. Enter the bread machine. I know my time is at a premium, so I appreciate the ability to throw five or six ingredients into the machine, set it to dough, and time it to finish about an hour from dinner.
Creating fancy dinner rolls is not only cost effective, but I have fond memories of teaching my girls how to braid bread, egg wash it, and sprinkle sesame seeds. Yum!
Scour Your Recipe Books (or the Internet)
Necessity is the mother of invention, and when you need to save money, it’s time to find recipes that are simple, delicious and cheap. Based on what’s on sale in your area, begin a search online or in the index of your recipe books. You’ll be amazed at the creativity you can bring to the dinner table for just pennies.
Plan for Leftovers
There are a few dishes in our home that are created through leftovers on different evenings. If I have made a roast and then roasted chicken on two consecutive nights, I combine the leftovers and make a stew on the third night. This saves me one night’s meat purchase and ensures that we do not waste.
Saving money is important, but making a plan that incorporates savings, delicious meals, and spending time with the kids will pay off now and in the future!
Some personalities find menu planning and other planning tasks more enjoyable than others. Take our Planner Personality Quiz to discover your planner personality type and learn planning tips that fit your personality.