Do you feed a hungry family like I do? Need tips to save money at the grocery store? I do too. Come with me and let's figure it out together.
I feed a family of six. They eat a lot.
Okay, so I could stop right there and really the post could speak for itself. I mean, trying to feed today's family with today's prices on a limited food budget is a task to say the least. Of course, not only food items, but all of the household items we need as well, like toilet paper.
I have been failing quite miserably sticking within our food/household budget. I would say my husband and I do quite well balancing our spending yet when it comes to the grocery store, we (okay, I) tend to over spend. Don't get me wrong, I'm not buying gourmet food or caviar. I am buying the household items we need, ahem, want. I suppose we don't need the bag of chips I just bought today for $2.00. The family likes them in their lunches. I, as a mom, want to let them enjoy a treat.
I thought of 7 practical tips to save money on groceries to help get us started on trimming the grocery bill. So many, many, many posts and articles have been written concerning saving money at the grocery store. I'm sure you have seen them. However, not every post and tip work for every family. For example: I will never, ever, ever, forgo toilet paper in the house for cloth TP.
Not going to happen ever in this life I will eat worms and dirt first.
No cloth TP tips here, my friends, I promise. ;-)
I also like paper towels. I use paper towels. I don't use them often, but when they are needed, they are needed. I have cloth rags I use at times, but sometimes, just sometimes, something disposable is needed to get the grotesque mess off of the floor. No need to say more.
I say practical tips because I want to touch base on every way of shopping, not just the coupon cutting and sale ads. Those are great and I use them often, but sometimes, life happens and coupons don't get cut. They just don't. Know what I mean?
This Mom's 7 Practical Tips to Save Money on Groceries
:: Get a plan and stick with it
Yes, I do this. I will write out my grocery list and have everything ready to go. Only to get to the store and see something on sale that wasn't in the ad. I can't pass up that fabulous deal! It's a steal! Well, sometimes it is a steal. However if you grossly go over your spending amount, then it isn't a steal for you, it is for them. Don't feel obligated to buy everything on sale. Even if it is the best deal--unless of course it is on silverware. (Inside joke with my Bible Study Ladies.) ;-)
:: Avoid your favorite store
I have four stores I shop at to get the best deals. Each store has it's advantages and sale prices. I do have a favorite store and I know to avoid it when I don't want to spend a lot of money. They are known for their closeout sales and clearance items. I like clearance items. (See tip #1.) If it is my off grocery shopping week and I should only pick up a few items, I don't go to that store. Simple as that.
:: Is bulk better?
What about those bulk items everyone is talking about? Are they worth the money? Are you saving money? I just bought at 16 count roll of toilet paper on clearance. Probably the biggest package of toilet paper I have bought. I spent some time in the aisle holding that toilet paper deciding if it was a good deal or not. It was so I bought it, knowing I needed toilet paper. (See previous comment) Not every bulk item is a good deal. 86 granola bars that are going to go bad isn't a good deal for your family. Even at $.37 a bar. Spend wisely and go for smaller boxes if needed.
:: Coupons, Coupons, Coupons
Do you hate the coupon? Do you love it? Yeah, me too. They save me money, so I love it. They take time I don't have mostly for products I don't buy. Yes, for every 10th coupon I see, I can use. I do like the P&G coupons. They have great savings for household items, especially when you pair them with a sale.
Look, use coupons if you want to, but don't feel like you have to. Find the ones you want and will use in your home and hold on to them. I, personally, use the Kroger digital coupons often. Go to the Kroger website and search under digital coupons. Log in or sign up and get instant savings at the check out. Every Friday you can get a free digital download coupon good for one item. This week it was Forest Gummies. Hey, it's free and the kids like them!
:: Bake From Scratch -- Keep Reading!!
Scared some of you, didn't I? I know some of you would rather not cook or bake. I get it. I don't always have time for it either. (And I love to bake! Hence the name, Baking With Mom) ;-) Think of it this way: what could you make in a short time for your family and in the process save a lot of money each month?
Thought you would see it my way. Try small recipes. Take 30 minutes a day (maybe even less) for a week and bake something for the freezer. Maybe you can make French Puffs (sounds fancy, but it isn't. It is muffins with cinnamon/sugar!), 3 ingredient burritos (HUGE hit in my house for lunches), or gooey strawberry cookies for dessert instead of buying cookies. Search the recipes here and find easy items that fit your family. You will save money at the grocery store and your family will love it.
:: Stay Home
This one I took from my friend. If you don't want to spend money, stay home. You can't spend it if you aren't there. I know we all need groceries from time to time, but check out your cabinets and pantry. Do you really need anything? Could you skip this week? On weeks I may only need fresh fruit, I head to our local store. Their prices are extremely high so I will only buy what I came in for. It is a great way to make sure I only buy the fruit I needed. If I went to a bigger store, I would spend so much more because I would see I need this item and that item and this item and that item...
:: Decide What Is Important For Your Family
Does your family like chips in their lunch like mine do? Put it into the budget. Could they eat oatmeal every morning and skip the cereal? Cut out cereal. Could you make a batch of muffins for the freezer and let them grab one for breakfast? (There is the baking again!) Does your husband want leftovers for lunch? Make an extra serving for supper. Think through your family's wants and needs and decide what is important for your household.