21 February 2014

Getting a Grip on the Cost of Groceries

We've covered a lot of tips and ideas in my previous posts. Saving money at the supermarket is something many family planners try to do every week. With our money being stretched further than ever, sometimes it seems impossible. The honest truth is that it can be one of the easiest ways to get control of your budget. If you're looking for ways to save money at the supermarket, keep reading.

Plan ahead -- The very best way to save money at the grocery store is to plan ahead by creating a menu, a grocery list, and double checking your inventory to ensure that you don't waste anything. Take a look at your calendar and mark off days where you know you have no choice but to eat out, or where you have plans for a date night, or nights you know the kids won't be home. Then start planning your meals for the rest of the days.

Eat seasonally -- Certain types of food will be cheaper when it is in season and is available in abundance. Get to know your farmer's market, local farmers and co-op for alternatives to typical grocery shopping. You can save a lot of money if you are willing to pick your own.

Check the flyers -- Always look at your weekly circular, either in your paper or online at the stores you shop at. You can inform yourself about what is on sale, what coupons are available, and consider those items when you create your menu.

Frozen is fine -- When the fresh version is too expensive, consider frozen. Today most frozen foods are almost, if not more, fresh than raw produce. It depends on where you are buying. Obviously, if you're at a farm, that's the best. But, on your supermarket shelves the produce was often picked before it was ripe, and has been warehoused for sometime before you get it. Frozen produce on the other hand is usually frozen within hours and even minutes from being picked ripe.

Vegetarian options -- Eating beans and rice is a great option to eating animal products. In fact, you can make many meatless meals that are healthier, and less expensive than their meat counter parts. It simply takes a little creativity and experimentation to find out what will work for your family.

Portion control -- Most of us eat far too much these days. Sadly, we are often over fed and under nourished. Starting today, if you buy high nutrient rich food over processed foods and control portions based on the kilojoule needs of each member of the family, you'll find that you save money.

Grow your own -- If you can, growing your own produce is a great option to help you save money on your grocery bill. Even if you don't have a yard, maybe you have a friend who does who would like to share in the bounty of your work, on their land? All you can do is ask. More and more community gardens are popping up, giving you the ability to rent plots to grow your own food. Check with your local Council for any near you.

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