Tips for Sticking to your Grocery Budget

Have you been spending a lot of money on groceries each month and are wondering if there is any possible way to reduce your family’s food budget? In many cases, the answer to this is, “Yes.” With a little creativity and willingness to put in some extra time and effort, it can be possible to reduce your grocery bill substantially. Read on to find out how you can start saving on food today.

1. Eat at Home More Often

Are you in the habit of frequenting your local restaurant or drive-thru line? If so, you could be spending hundreds of dollars more on your food bill than you should. Although you may think that you can’t cook, there are several simple recipes online that can enable you to have a relatively quick and nutritious meal on the table for your family in 30 minutes or less each night.

2. Compile a Meal Plan

If you are in the habit of wandering through the aisles at your local grocery store and randomly placing items in your cart, you could be contributing to a higher food bill without even realizing it. Before going out to purchase your next round of groceries, take a few minutes to prepare a meal plan for the week. This will enable you to only purchase items that will be needed to prepare the meals on your list. If you would like to step the money saving up a notch, consider preparing the week’s meals according to what is on sale at your local grocery store.

3. Get creative with Protein Sources

When the topic of protein arises, many people still only associate this with various meat, fish and poultry products. However, other sources of protein can include various types of beans, lentils, and eggs. These can be used to bulk up a dish so that smaller portions of actual meat can be served, thus reducing your bill. If you are used to preparing cuts of meat with each meal, consider introducing one or two meat-free days per week – and see how much lower your food bill will be.

4. Frozen is Just as Good as Fresh

if you are craving a particular form of production that is not currently in season, you will pay more than a top dollar if your purchase it fresh. However, if you are willing to purchase it in frozen form, you could save quite a bit of money. An added advantage is that if you have any leftovers, they can be frozen and kept until such time as you would like to use them again, whereas, with fresh produce, you will have to use it all before it reaches its best before date.

As you can see, there is no need to exist on a diet of bread, rice, and beans if you need to drastically reduce your grocery bill in as short a time as possible. Making a few simple changes like the ones mentioned above will make a substantial difference to your budget.

Tips to Reduce your Grocery Budget

As prices of food and other grocery items continue to rise, it results in more and more people struggling to afford even the basic necessities in many cases. Although this often results in them thinking that they will have to do without some items on their shopping lists, this may not always be the case. Below are a few tips that can help you shave a good few dollars off your next grocery bill, as well as future bills.

Plan Ahead

Research has shown that anyone who shops without a list will definitely make several impulse purchases while in store. For example, while walking through the canned food aisle, you may be tempted to buy more items than you actually need for that week or month. Before leaving home, make a detailed list of the items you have run out of or are running low on. This will ensure that you don’t buy items you don’t need, while not going home with goods that you did in fact need.

Don’t Shop Hungry

This may sound strange, but you will almost certainly spend a lot more on groceries if you head out hungry. This is because everything you see will be appealing at that moment. However, not only will this be bad for your waistline; it will cause havoc with your grocery budget as well. Always ensure that you eat a decent meal before heading out to do grocery shopping – your budget will definitely thank you afterward.

Consider Trying Store Brands

Although store brands used to be considered awful, this is no longer the case. In fact, several store brand items are considered to be just as good or even better than some of the branded products available these days. When choosing store brand items such as ketchup, spices, herbs, dish soap and other items, you could find yourself saving up to 20% on your grocery bill. If you find that you don’t enjoy using store brand items, consider just switching to a cheaper brand of the item you are searching for.

Reduce the Amount of Meat Consumed

Meat is by far one of the most expensive grocery items, especially beef, and mutton or lamb. With the average household consuming meat for at least one meal per day, this adds up quickly. Introducing one or two meat-free meals per week can help reduce your grocery budget substantially – in many cases, by at least $20 to $30 per week, depending on the meat cuts your family prefers.

Although shaving $10 to $20 per week off of your family’s grocery budget may not seem like much, this can easily add up to over $1,000 per year! Money saved on groceries can then be put towards paying another essential bill or perhaps even a fun family day out at some point. In fact, you could even turn it into a game with your family to see who can come up with the most creative ways to save money on food.

How Much Should your Grocery Bill Be?

Many of us who read the posts on frugal food-related websites will most likely have seen a few posts along the lines of, ‘We feed our family of eight for just $xyz per month,’ or ‘slash your grocery bill by 90%.’ While the headlines of these posts may seem appealing, it can often result in readers thinking that they must be doing something wrong if they are not able to stick to a grocery budget of the same amount as that of the person posting the information. However, this is not the case.

Prices will be Location Dependent

The amount of money you will need to feed your family will depend on the part of the country that you are situated in because some states have more affordable food prices than others. For example, your grocery bill will be far higher in New York than down South. This means that a family of eight living down South will be able to get more value for money than one residing in New York.

Local Produce will Vary

When trying to slash your grocery bill, one of the easiest ways to achieve this is to ensure that you and your family consume as many locally grown forms of produce possible. Anything that has to be transported in from out of town or another country will send your bill skyrocketing.

Different types of fresh produce are grown in various parts of the country as well. This is another reason why you will not be able to replicate someone else’s grocery budget dollar for dollar – even if you prepare the same meals as they do and have a family that is the same size as theirs.

Sales Vary in Each Part of the Country

Another reason why everyone’s grocery budget differs is that sale prices also vary around the country. Although a friend or family member in another state may be getting excellent deals on their meat or chicken, you may not be. For example, chicken breasts may be $2.50 in one part of the country and almost $3.50 elsewhere when they are advertised as being on sale.

Your Family’s Dietary Needs are Unique

No two families will ever have exactly the same dietary needs, meaning that no family’s grocery budget will ever be the same as another family’s. For instance, you may have family members who have gluten or nut allergies, while another family may have a member who is diabetic.

Instead of trying to replicate another family’s grocery budget that you have seen online, it’s recommended that you focus on trying to get the best possible prices for items that you use regularly, as well as staples such as rice, potatoes, sugar, flour, meat, and chicken. If possible, compare the prices between different stores in your area that aren’t too far away from where you live or work. After all, you wouldn’t want to save a few dollars on your groceries, only to spend it on gas.

Drastic Measures to Reduce your Grocery Bill

If your family has fallen on financially difficult times, one of the first things you will want to do in order to reduce expenses as much as possible looks for ways to slash your grocery bill – without having to subsist on road kill, beans and rice in the process. Below are a few somewhat more drastic measures you can take to help reduce your grocery bill until such time as you are better off financially.

Cook One Meal for Everyone

These days, far too many families have allowed fussy eating to take over their homes. Not only does this make a lot of extra work for the person who does the cooking; it results in an extremely high grocery bill as well. It will also cause your electricity and/or gas bill to increase because of having to cook additional meals. For example, one family member may state that ‘they aren’t in the mood’ for a particular dish that has been prepared, resulting in the cook having to whip up something different for them.

It is recommended that you have a family meeting to inform everyone why things have to change with regards to meal preparation. Although there may be complaints from some family members, they will soon learn to eat what has been prepared if they are hungry. The only time you should be preparing a different meal for a family member to that which has been prepared for everyone else is if there is an allergy issue or specific dietary requirement.

Stick to a List

When grocery shopping, it is very tempting to place a few extras in your carts such as crisps, cookies and other junk food. However, these impulse buys can add up to 50% on to your grocery spend in little to no time at all. Although everyone deserves a treat from time to time, you don’t want to be spending the bulk of your grocery budget on items that provide no nutritional value to your family.

Before heading to the store, it’s crucial that you take a few minutes to check your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer to see what you really need and make a list of those items. This will ensure that you purchase the essentials without duplicating items that you already have. If there are items that are on sale that you use regularly, consider adding one or two extra of these to your cart – provided that you will be able to finish them up before their expiry date.

Another great way to drastically reduce your grocery bill is to shop less often. Instead of heading to the store for one or two items, wait until you have at least eight to 10 items on your list. This will not only save you time; it will reduce your gas bill as well because you will be making fewer trips to the store than before. You will also be less tempted to make impulse purchases this way.

Tried and Trusted Tips for Dealing with Picky Eaters

These days, one of the most common complaints that parents have is that their kids don’t want to eat – or even try – any of the new foods that are put on their plates. While many parents may not mind preparing separate meals for the picky eaters in the family, this habit can quickly become extremely costly – and inconvenient. Below are a few great tips that will help you deal with – and conquer – picky eating as effectively as possible.

1. Include your Kids in Meal Prep

If you take your kids grocery shopping with you, ask them to help you choose fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods (within your budget, of course). While preparing meals, have your kids help by rinsing vegetables or fruits or even with meal planning for the week. If they have a hand in planning the week’s meals, they will be more likely to eat what is being served.

2. Don’t Purchase Unhealthy Foods

Although everyone deserves a treat from time to time, many parents make the mistake of keeping a stockpile of unhealthy foods and snacks in the house – and then wondering why their kids refuse to eat at meal times. If an excess of crisps, cookies, ice cream and other treats aren’t readily available in your home; your kids will learn to eat the healthier options on hand if they are hungry. Ensure that you have a steady supply of fresh fruit or even carrot sticks on hand for the, “I’m hungry” moments between meals.

3. Eat at the Dinner Table

Nowadays, many families are in the habit of slouching in the den while having dinner. This can cause kids to become distracted and not want to eat as well. Whenever possible, ensure that everyone gets together around the dinner table or even in the kitchen to enjoy at least one meal a day together. This will help everyone to focus on their meal instead of the latest TV show – and it will enable everyone to communicate with each other as well.

4. Introduce Healthier Elements to Foods that your Kids Already Eat

Most kids enjoy cereal or pancakes and it is relatively easy to add a few healthier food items into these. For example, add a few fruit slices over a bowl of cereal or add fruit chunks into the pancakes that they already enjoy. It may take a little time for your kids to get used to the new food additions, but in time, they will learn to enjoy at least a few of them.

5. Don’t Use Dessert as a Bribery Tool

Too many parents make the mistake of using dessert as a bribery tool to get their kids to finish their greens. This will not only send a message to your kids that dessert is the best food on offer; it could result in them craving more sugary junk foods than before to satisfy their sweet tooth. Instead, limit dessert to only a few nights per week, as this will make it the treat that it is supposed to be and not something that should be expected after each meal.

6. Introduce New Foods More Than Once

Many parents think that their kids don’t like a particular food because they weren’t too keen to try it for the first time. However, research has shown that it can take as many as 15 tries before a child will actually enjoy eating a new food. Simply place a small serving on their plates and try not to make an issue out of it if they don’t finish all of it the first few times it is served to them.

7. Be Realistic with Portion Sizes

Parents often have unrealistic expectations when it comes to serving new foods to their kids. A general rule of thumb is that 1 tablespoon of food should be served for each year of a child’s age. For example, a 2 year old should be served 2 tablespoons of cooked carrots, while a 6 year old should be served 6 tablespoons. However, always serve a little less than you think they will eat, as this will ensure that they don’t feel overwhelmed by the amount of new food on their plates.

When dealing with picky eaters, it’s important to remember that a little persistence will go a long way. As mentioned above, it may take a few tries of a particular food before your child’s perception of it will change from “Yuck” to “Yum.”

5 Reasons to Go Organic

Although many people dismiss the consumption of organic foods as ‘just another fad,’ this is not the case. Organic foods are classified as those that have been grown or raised without the use of any chemical-based ingredients, hormone supplements or antibiotic ingredients and there are numerous reasons why you should do your best to consume as many organic meats, fruits and vegetables as possible.

1. Avoid a Large Number of Chemical Ingredients

Our bodies are exposed to literally thousands of chemical-based substances each day from personal care items, cleaning products, new clothing and furniture and of course in the foods we eat. To date, more than 600 chemicals have been registered for agricultural use in the United States, and this equates to each person consuming up to 20 pounds’ worth of them each year. Consuming as many organic fruits, vegetables and meat products as possible will help reduce your family’s exposure to pesticides and chemicals substantially.

2. Enjoy Better Tasting and More Nutritious Food

Numerous studies have revealed that foods which have been grown organically contain higher amounts of nutrients than those grown in non-organic environments. Minerals, vitamins, micronutrients and enzymes are all present in far higher amounts in organic foods because the soil they are grown in has not been depleted of its natural goodness. The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine conducted a review of 41 different published studies that compared the nutritional value of food that was organically grown to that which was grown conventionally. Results clearly showed that organic crops and meats contained far higher concentrations of nutrients.

The review further noted that five servings of organic fruits and vegetables are able to provide an adequate amount of Vitamin C each day, while the same amount of servings of conventionally grown foods doesn’t. Organic foods have the ability to provide up to 30% more Vitamin C and magnesium, and 14% more phosphorus than non-organic foods products. Another benefit of consuming organic foods is that their higher nutrient contents and the fact that they are grown naturally outdoors make them tastier than conventionally grown foods.

3. Avoid Exposure to Antibiotics and Hormones in Animal Products

If you and your family enjoy eating meat, chances are that you are consuming relatively high amounts of antibiotics and hormones if non-organic products are purchased. Growth hormones and antibiotics that are fed to conventionally raised animals are passed directly into the meat and dairy products that are then consumed by you and your family. Even cooking these meats at high temperatures doesn’t remove or reduce the hormone content in them.

Potential side effects of consuming these hormones and antibiotics on a regular basis include the development of tumors, early onset of puberty, a higher risk of developing various forms of cancer and a wide range of genetic disorders and conditions. A senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Karim Ahmed (PhD) said that the excessive use of antibiotics “is perhaps one of the most serious public health problems the country faces. We’re talking about rendering many of the most important antibiotics ineffective.”

4. Do your Bit to Reduce Pollution and Protect Natural Resources

All of the chemicals in pesticides and conventional fertilizer products are polluting the soil and environment in general – especially potable water supplies, which are dwindling fast. This is in turn destroying water supplies and valuable farmlands. When you support organic farmers, you are also supporting the use of safe and natural fertilizer products, which do not cause damage to these precious resources.

5. Enjoy Having a Healthier Family

When you choose to switch as many conventionally grown foods as possible for organic alternatives, you will be able to rest assured that your family will be healthier in the long term. Consuming foods that naturally have higher concentrations of vitamins and minerals means that you will need to rely less on supplementation to stay fit, energetic and healthy. Over the long term, you could find that your family is not sick as often as they used to be as well, which will save money on doctor’s visits.

If you think that it will be ‘too expensive’ to switch over to an all-organic diet, it’s important to consider the fact that it could potentially save you money on health care costs in the long term. When shopping at farmer’s markets, you could even find that you are able to obtain a wide range of organic fruits and vegetables for a fraction of the price of those being charged at popular chain stores.

Most Common Food Myths

Over the past few years, many myths about food have gained a tremendous amount of momentum. Below are some of the most common myths doing the rounds today.

1. Eggs Are Bad for You

Although large eggs may contain approximately 200 mg of cholesterol per yolk, extensive research has shown that most people are able to consume up to an egg a day without any risk of raising their cholesterol count to dangerous levels. Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD., R.D., a professor of nutrition at Penn State University said in this regard, “Epidemiologic studies show that most healthy people can eat an egg a day without any problems.”

Kris-Etherton further mentioned that the cholesterol you consume doesn’t have a significant impact on raising blood cholesterol levels because the body usually compensates by manufacturing less cholesterol itself. However, this doesn’t mean that you can consume an unlimited amount of eggs each week – instead, it is best to keep consumption levels to a maximum of one per day.

2. Carbs Make You Fat

Over the years, numerous people have been led to believe that consuming carbohydrates will make them fat. While refined carbs such as processed sugar, white bread and pasta and baked goods like cakes and donuts will cause you to gain weight when consumed in excess, the main reason why most people gain weight is that they consume too many calories overall, to begin with. Carb-rich foods such as beans, fruit and vegetables and whole grains should be consumed in moderate amounts each day to ensure that you get the necessary amount of fiber and nutrients in your diet.

Although it is possible to lose weight by adopting a low-carb diet, it’s important to remember that this type of eating can seem extremely restrictive in the long term – which can cause you to binge and gain even more weight.

3. Your 8 Glasses of Liquid a Day Need Not only be Water

Many people are under the impression that, as long as they are drinking 8 glasses of liquid per day, they will be able to flush toxins from their bodies. However, it is essential to ensure that you drink at least 8 glasses of pure water per day. This will help flush toxins from the liver and kidneys, which will help keep the rest of your body healthy. In addition, your skin will look more radiant and you will feel less tired during the day because you will not be dehydrated.

4. You Should Fast Regularly to Get Rid of Toxins

A lot of people have been led to believe that they need to fast every few months in order to perform a detox on their bodies. However, the body is able to detox itself naturally, thanks to the liver, spleen, and kidneys. These organs eliminate waste products and toxins from the body naturally, so there is no need for you to go on a restrictive juice fast or faddy detox diet. In fact, these diets can do more harm than good.

5. White Shell Eggs aren’t as Healthy as Brown Shell Eggs

When shopping for eggs, many people think that those with brown shells are healthier or more nutritious than those with white or pale shells. In fact, the color of the egg shells is determined by the color of the chickens that produced them. For example, chickens with white feathers and earlobes will produce white-shelled eggs, while brown-feathered birds will produce eggs with brown shells. So the next time you shop for eggs, you can rest assured that the cheaper white-shelled varieties are just as healthy as the brown ones.

6. Clear Glass Bottles are Better for Storing Milk

Although it may be better to store milk in glass bottles instead of plastic alternatives, it can turn sour quickly if the glass container is clear. Milk needs to be stored in an opaque container, as this prevents it from souring earlier than it should. A darker container will also help protect the light-sensitive B-vitamins and other nutrients that occur naturally in the milk.

Believing the food myths mentioned above could result in you spending far more on groceries than you should. When consuming foods such as eggs, dairy products, and fatty meats, it’s important to remember as well that all of these must be consumed in moderation. Increasing the number of vegetables that you consume will not only help reduce your grocery bill; it will also help reduce cholesterol levels, leaving you healthier than ever before.

Top 5 Kitchen Gadgets That Are Awesome

The things that people love in the kitchen are the little things in life. They are all of the things that make your meals go as planned for you and your family. We may even have a few little gadgets around the house that we may not even use or not as often as we would like.

You may have things for fruits, veggies, meats and more laying around your house. All of these little things can help with some many different things that you may want to create for your family. There are some side effects of having too many gadgets around the house. You may not have the room to store all of the little boogers. Some can be big and bulky and others may be just fine to hide away for the next time you need to use them.

While there may be some of these gadgets that may be of no use to you there still may be others out there that you may not be able to live without. We all have a few things that we can use for a variety of different things and we may never want to give those up. It’s never a bad thing to get out there and try some new kitchen gadgets.

Clip On Strainer

Once you have one mess to clean up it can always lead to more. We always want to find the easiest things to get the job done in the right way without a big mess. This item works very well with wide mouth pans, It is very easy to use and it is built to last for a long time. Also, it is made of some pretty for material. You can strain anything that you may need with not a lot of effort. Buy this one strainer and you can toss the others away.

Avocado Holder/Saver

If you want to keep as much money in your wallet as possible and don’t want to waste food then this is the right gadget for you. This little thing is a life saver when it comes to saving part of the food you want for another time. The holder/saver keeps the food fresher longer, holds the avocado in place and is a great way to help freeze them. Only one down fall about this product is you need to make sure you have the right size avocado to fit in the gadget.

Pot Clip for Pans

If you are like me and don’t want the mess on the stove or counter then I think this would be a good gadget for you. This little gadget hangs on the side of your pot or pan and helps hold whatever utensil you are using. These clips stay in place, are made of good material and very handy around the kitchen.

Storage Bag Holder

Do you like to help save your family money and time? Do you never know what to make your family for the week for dinner? Well if you want to do both of these things then invest in this great gadget. This gadget holds the bags up for you so it will be easier to put the contents of a meal in them. It can hold different size bags, very durable and very easy to set up. Also, it doesn’t take up too much space at all since it can collapse for easy storage.

Dip Clip Bowls

Most times you have a use a big bowl to put your salsa in for chips right? Also then you have to worry about sharing that same bowl with everyone else. If you are like me I like to have my own separate bowl so I know no one double dipped in it. These little dip clip bowls are perfect for a single person use. You can put anything you want in them and just clip it on your plate and go. These are also good for those people out there that don’t like their food touching. These little bowls are very easy to use, for both kids and adult use and very easy to clean up.

Benefits of Having Your Own Vegetable and Herb Garden

The constant increase in grocery prices has forced thousands of families to rework their budgets over and over again. While some families have been fortunate enough to be able to reduce their food bill and still eat healthily, many others haven’t. However, it is possible for most families who have yard space – or even a little space on a balcony or front porch – to grow a few of their own herbs and/or vegetables.

1. Reduce your Grocery Bill

One of the most obvious benefits to having your own vegetable or herb garden is that it will help reduce your grocery bill substantially – even if you only grow a few items at a time. This is especially true when it comes to herbs and salad items such as tomatoes and lettuce. Many herbs cost up to $10 per bottle or a fresh bunch, and in a lot of cases, most people aren’t able to use the full bunch before it goes bad. You could save anywhere from around $50 to well over $500 per year on food if you are able to grow your own.

2. Save Time

You may be wondering how having a vegetable garden will save you time. However, many people forget just how much time it takes to rush off to the store to purchase one or two forgotten herb or veggie ingredients for the evening meal. When you have these items in hand in your back yard, you can simply take a few steps outside and pick whatever is needed within a few minutes at the most. Another benefit is that you won’t have to sit in traffic in an effort to get dinner to the table on time.

3. Become Healthier

Another benefit of having your own food garden is that it will help you and your family to get healthier than ever before. Not only will you be consuming more fresh produce; you will also be spending more time outdoors while working in your garden as well. Digging, planting and nurturing your garden for a few hours a week will help burn calories and build muscle as well.

4. Your Meals will be Tastier

When growing your own produce, it will not only be easier for you to access; you will literally be eating it fresh off the plant or from the ground. This means that you will be getting the freshest vegetables and herbs possible – in many cases, produce that is on grocery store shelves could have been picked anywhere from one week to three weeks before you purchase it. By this time, there is not much taste or flavor left in it. After a few days, the overall nutritional value is usually severely depleted as well.

5. Your Kids will be More Eager to Eat Healthy Foods

Research has shown many times over that kids who have had a hand in helping to grow and/or prepare the food that is placed on the dinner table will be more eager to eat – or at least sample – it. Having a vegetable garden in your back yard and allowing your kids to help with planting, cultivating and preparing your fresh produce will allow them to see where food comes from and how it is grown. You could find that once your kids start helping you in the vegetable patch, they will be more eager to eat what they have helped to grow.

6. Getting Started

Once you’ve decided to start growing some of your own food, it’s important to remember that it will take time to learn how to produce the freshest foods possible. Many people make the mistake of trying to grow too many different things in the beginning and becoming despondent when they aren’t able to harvest everything. Instead, start off with a few items such as tomatoes, a few herbs or carrots – these are usually among the easiest items to grow. If you are unsure about growing items from seed, you can consider purchasing small starter plants from your local garden center.

Once you’ve managed to grow a few items successfully, you can add a few different varieties each year – until you have a wide range of fresh vegetables on hand. If you find that you have far too much produce for you and your family to eat, you can do a little research about canning or bottling some of the surplus – or even sharing some of it with friends, family or neighbors.

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Grocery Shopping on a Budget

Over the past few years, the cost of essential items such as groceries has risen substantially. This has resulted in many families having to change their eating habits just so that they can afford to put meals on the table each day. Although it may sound daunting to have to shop with a predetermined budget in mind, it actually isn’t. Below are a few great tips that will help you stay on budget while still feeding your family healthy and nutritious meals.

1. Buy Produce that is In Season Only

Many people think that in order to stay healthy, they need to eat all types of produce throughout the year. However, this can quickly drive your grocery bill up to horrendous levels. When purchasing produce, ensure that you only add in-season items to your grocery cart. This will still enable you to serve healthy meals to your family, but it will enable you to do so far more affordable.

2. Only Purchase what you will use

When shopping for fresh produce and other perishables such as milk, bread, and meat, a lot of people make the mistake of purchase items that are on sale – even though they know that they won’t ever use them or get through them before they reach their expiry date. Instead, only purchase foods that you know your family eats and that you will be able to consume before it goes bad. The only time you should purchase larger quantities of items on sale is if you have the means to freeze or store them in such a way that they won’t rot before being able to be used.

3. Prepare One Meal for Everyone

Too many parents have fallen into the trap of preparing multiple meals because each family member wants something other than that which has been prepared. The only time this should be necessary is in cases where there are allergy sufferers in a family that genuinely cannot eat a particular food. Although it will take time for everyone to come around and eat what has been prepared, your grocery budget will certainly thank you in the long run for adopting this behavior.

4. Freeze Leftovers

A lot of people are in the habit of simply tossing leftovers after a meal. However, in many cases, there is enough food over to serve another full meal. While your family may object to having the same meal served two days in a row, this can be countered by freezing the leftovers and serving them the following week instead. This will also enable you to have a fast meal on hand that only required reheating – perfect for busy evenings where there isn’t enough time to cook a full meal.

5. Prepare a Weekly Meal Plan

One of the best ways to ensure that you don’t go over your grocery budget is to plan your meals a week in advance. This enables you to only purchase items that will be used within the week and it saves you having to think about what to prepare for dinner when you’re tired. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could opt to do meal planning for 2 weeks or even a month at a time as well.

6. Stock up on Sale Items

Although it was mentioned earlier to only purchase what will be used within a particular week, an exception to this is when items you use regularly go on sale. In cases like this, stocking up on multiple units of non-perishable items or foods that can be frozen will help shave a few hundred dollars a year off your grocery bill. This especially applies to items such as toilet paper, toiletry items such as soaps, toothpaste, and shampoos – these items can usually be stored for quite a while.

7. Eat at Home

Many families think that it’s cheaper to purchase takeouts than it is to prepare meals at home. While this may be true in the case of the dollar menus, it’s important to remember that these items are seldom healthy or nutritious. Cooking at home more will enable you to reduce your grocery bill substantially – and your family will be healthier as a result.

Implementing even a few of the measures mentioned above will help ensure that you remain within your grocery budget. This will not only help alleviate a significant amount of financial stress; it will allow you to save a little more of your hard earned cash each month as well.

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