There are many ways households can save money on groceries, and one way of doing so is by creating a food budget to help you organize your food needs for the month and beyond.
To do so, you will need to follow three easy steps: plan meals before you shop, purchase food items at the best price and prepare meals at home. By following these three steps, you can create a cheap grocery list that will help you stay within your food budget.
When you are budget meal planning, you will need to find areas where you spend more money on food and areas you spend less. Creating a budget will help you determine where and how you can reduce food costs, so that you can stretching each dollar to make sure it counts. Learn how budgeting will allow you to buy more nutritious and delicious foods for your family to enjoy by reading the sections below.
If you are going to create a grocery budget, then you need to follow the below steps to plan your weekly meals:
Related Article: Meal Planning 101
Finally, when skimming through coupons to make a budget grocery list, be sure to look for sales and specials for expensive food items on your list like meat and seafood. By doing so, you are often able to purchase foods that typically might not be in your budget.
Now that you are learning how to grocery shop on a budget, you are ready to head to the grocery store. When you show up at the market, follow the below steps:
When you add healthy foods on a budget, such as meats, you may worry that it will take up too much of your budget. However, you can drastically reduce the amount of money that you spend on meats by buying family-sized or value pack meats. Moreover, you will only be eating the amount that you need and freezing the rest, so most extra costs will be worth it.
Now that you know how much to spend on food per month, you are ready for the fun part; creating meals from the items you purchased from your food budget.
To get started, you will want to pick a day in which you can prepare large batches of your favorite meals, such as a day off from work or during the weekend. Then, refrigerate the amount of food that you and your family will eat that week, and freeze the rest in individual containers. By preparing meals in advance, you are drastically reducing your weekly cooking, while also preventing last-minute trips to your favorite take-out restaurant.
If after a few days of eating the same meal your family gets sick of eating leftovers, switch up your meals. Turn leftover meats into a stir-fry or throw chicken breasts into a garden salad. The more meal variations that you make, the more you are getting out of your food budget.
You have made it to the home stretch. You now know how much should you spend on groceries, but you have just made it to the checkout lane at the grocery store and are greeted by temptation.
While you may think that you have stayed on your food budget, the checkout lane is often where stores display hard-to-resist snack items, like candies and chocolate bars. If the sugary treats will easily tempt you or your children, try and choose a checkout lane that does not offer candy.
Lastly, make sure that you do not show up to the grocery store hungry. When you shop on an empty stomach, you tend to toss the food budget aside and head straight for the snack aisle. Therefore, to make sure that you stick to your budget, but sure to only go to the grocery store after you fill up on a meal at home.
Related Article: How to Combine Food Stamps and Grocery Coupons to Save Big