Anyone who has been to the grocery store lately can attest to how difficult it has become to stretch a grocery budget. There are numerous reasons behind it, but most point back to the drought last year and we’re now starting to see the effects of it when it comes to our final grocery bill. While many people already use coupons and know about matching prices, my wife and I have implemented a few more ways to help us stretch our grocery budget further.
Stretch Your Grocery Budget by Making Fewer Trips to the Store
I’ve not done a scientific study on this, but I would wager that most people/families go grocery shopping at least once a week. We used to be in this camp and would go to the grocery store religiously once a week. I grew up with my parents doing this and we always have. Thus, when my wife suggested we start going to the grocery store once every 10-11 days as opposed to once a week I was opposed. She believed that it would stretch our grocery budget and she was exactly right. I know it seems counterintuitive but it does work. By cutting down on our trips to the grocery store by once a month we’ve found that we’re averaging a savings of at least $50-75 per month that can be used to buy additional things when they’re on sale. This has also allowed us to significantly cut down on food waste as we now rarely throw perishables out any more. If we do run out of fruits or vegetables during the time we can make a quick stop at the store to get a few of them to carry us through.
Extend Your Savings With a Freezer
Are you looking for something to spend your tax refund on? If you’re out of debt and have adequate savings, consider using part of it to buy a deep freezer, which can be a big help in lowering your grocery bill. Having one in our family has allowed us to do some targeted stockpiling when certain items go on sale. We’ll buy ground meat, frozen vegetables, and milk when they go on sale and put them in our deep freezer. Now I know the first two are common, but you can indeed freeze milk. The key with this is to put the milk in the freezer once you buy it in order to preserve its shelf life. When you’re ready to use the milk just take it out the night before and put it in a sink of cold water overnight and you’re good to go the next day. Having three young children that go through milk like crazy, freezing milk has helped us save a decent amount of money over time. In addition to bulk buying, a deep freezer also helps you make the most of your leftovers, which is just another way to stretch your grocery budget.
Save Time and Money By Leaving Your Kids at Home…If you can
If you have children, then you know they always want something when you go to the store. While this is expected, it can be distracting and might also cause you to make unwise shopping decisions. We recently decided to split up the grocery shopping duties where one of us stays home with at least two of the kids. Not only does that mean we don’t get the chorus of requests for fruit snacks, but it also means we save time and keep to our grocery budget more consistently. It also gives us one on one time with one child at a time while we’re at the store, which provides opportunities to teach our children practical lessons about buying healthy food and spending wisely.
Have you noticed a rise in your grocery spending the last few months? What are some tactics you’re using to help stretch your grocery budget?
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