Managing your grocery budget is probably one of the most frustrating and difficult things you face on a weekly basis. Hopefully you have a grocery budget. If you don’t, make a date with your spouse and discuss what the both of you think would be an appropriate amount of money to budget for each person in your household. Everyone’s budget will be different and tailored to meet their needs. Managing it, however, is universal. Here are some tips to help you manage your grocery budget so you get the most from it.
It’s easy to set a budget, but sticking to it can be difficult. By pulling out a lump sum of cash at the beginning of the month and using it throughout the month to meet your grocery needs, you’re forced to stick to your budget. Once you’re out of cash, you’re out of cash! There’s no making excuses for an item and putting it on a credit card. As a bonus, when you use cash it makes your transaction much more real.
This might seem obvious, but by shopping sales you can save a ton of money in the long run. For example, if you have a local store that’s selling 10 cartons of eggs for $10, buy $4 worth. That should last a family of 2-4 people around a month if you eat eggs everyday. Buying on sale simply takes a little creativity. If you shop only sale items you need to make sure you have a general idea of how you will use each item.
Make a List
Before you hit the grocery store, look through their weekly ad and make a list of items. Pay careful attention to stipulations like limits on quantities and container sizes. In addition to writing down the item you want, write down however many you think you’ll need of each item.
Eating vegan is more than just a trend. It’s also quite healthy. Try replacing one to two dinners a week with a vegan option like spicy lentils or a pasta dish, and you’ll immediately reduce the need to buy meat for those nights. Lentils and pasta are incredibly cheap, yet very healthy.
It’s easy to rely on convenience items to make fast meals, but cooking in advance and eating leftovers will always be the smarter choice. Cook a little extra at dinner so you have lunch the next day. If you find yourself with a little bit of everything left over, try just mixing it together (within reason) and making an entirely new dish. Get creative and try new things!
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Photo Credit: By Dwight Burdette (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons