Tips For Grocery Shopping On A Budget It is by nastynas

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									Tips For Grocery Shopping On A Budget
It is hard for many families to live within their means in today's economy. As a stay at home mom of two I had to figure out how to make the most of
my grocery budget with prices constantly going up. Here are a few tips that have helped me and will hopefully help you too.


Planning Your Budget


The best way to live frugally is to plan ahead. It is always a good idea to head to the grocery store with a plan and a budget in place. Here are a few
tips on planning your grocery budget that may help you stretch food dollars:


1. Calculations - Get a rough estimate of the cost to feed each person in your household. Throughout the years, I've found that it takes approximately
$30 - $37 dollars a week to feed one person - it may be more or less, depending on how much your family eats and where you live. Here is a simple
formula to figure out your weekly grocery budget:


(number of family members) x $34 (average) = (weekly grocery budget)


For instance, there are four people in my home; I have to have $136 allotted to groceries. With any luck I can bring this down with coupons and store
sales.


2. Plan your meals for the week and write them down. Keep them simple: meat, vegetable, carbohydrates. If possible, plan to use the same type of
meat twice in one week; you can buy in bulk, which is generally cheaper than buying in small amounts. Hamburger, for example, is a good meat to use
twice. One day you can make hamburgers; two days later, you can make tater tot casserole.


3. After you have planned your menus for the week make a list and put the price next to each item. You can easily get this amount from the sales ads
and estimate the other items on your list. This doesn't have to be exact. If you generally buy the same items often then you probably have a good
idea of the cost.


4. Round up to the nearest dollar. Even if you're buying something that's $0.39, write it down as a dollar. Those pennies add up; I end up spending
$10 to $20 less than I planned to, using this rule.


5. Add up the totals as you shop. Since you are rounding up you can probably keep a running total in your head. Once you have reached that total,
stop and check your meal plan. If you're at the amount that you allotted yourself for and only have three meals covered, you need to reassess your
menus.


Although every household has a different level of how much they eat or how many people there are, this is a good start for budgeting groceries. You
may have to fiddle with it a little to match your family's needs.


Eating Healthy on a Budget


A lot of people say that it is hard to feed your family healthy foods on a budget. Even if rice and pasta become your main staples it doesn't mean you
can't round out the meal plan with healthy fruits and vegetables. The next time you make a list keep these things in mind:


Not all vegetables are created equally - meaning that fresh isn't the same as frozen, and frozen isn't the same as canned. Buy frozen if you can't afford
fresh. The juice in canned vegetables is where most of your vitamins are. Not so with frozen vegetables; the vitamins are still in the food itself. Buying
frozen vegetables generally gives you more for your money as well.


Buy potatoes, noodles or rice, but use them sparingly. Give larger amounts of vegetables, with the starches as a side dish.


Buy carrots as snack foods for the kids. You can buy a large bag for low cost, peel them and then cut them up. Not only do they get vitamins this way,
but they're also low calorie. Most kids like carrots because they're sweet and this is a great way for them to get more vegetables in their diet.


Buy in Bulk


Whenever you can - and if you have the freezer room - buy your meats and vegetables in bulk. Though it's sometimes more expensive to buy this way,
that's generally not the case. Meats, especially, tend to be cheaper in large amounts.


You can do many things to cut costs at the grocery store; these are just a few tips. However, the biggest thing is to look at cost vs. amount. While
generic foods may look like a better deal, the contents of the container may weigh much less than name brands. Do your research - though it may
take more time, you will end up saving more money.


About the Author
Are you looking for ways to reduce your household expenses so that you can be a stay at home mom? Visit Wahm On A Budget for frugal tips as well
as ideas to earn money from home.


Source: http://www.article-idea.com

								
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