Have you ever said, "I stopped buying it because everyone just eats it!"?
I have, but I was referring to some of my family's favorite junk foods.
Like many moms, I do just about all of my household's grocery shopping. This, in itself, saves me money because the last time I sent my husband to the store, he spent way too much money -- even though he stuck to the list.
Regardless of who does the shopping, here are a few things that might stretch your grocery dollar:
- Meal Planning. Make a list of all the meals your family likes - the ones you're willing to prepare - then write up a rough schedule that takes evening activities into account. From this, make your shopping list. It may seem like a lot of work, but it can be done in less time than the "What do you want for dinner?" conversation.
- Avoid RoboShopping. (I probably just made that word up.) When you're at the store, do you have a system? I start at the back and work my way to the front. Systems are great, but if you're buying the same things you bought last time, you may come home and discover you still have a can-of-this and a jar-of-that you bought last time and didn't use. I decided to change this habit after accumulating six cans of chili in my pantry. Best to take inventory first!
- Coupons.I love coupons. But before I buy something I have a coupon for, I make sure the final price is actually lower than the competing brand or a comparable generic. Also, don't buy a product just because you have a coupon for it! Would that product have made it onto your shopping list if you didn't have the coupon? Be careful with the discounts for buying multiples. "Save when you buy two or more" is really only savings if you need two or more. The best coupons are for cleaning supplies, toothpaste and health and beauty items.