Monday, February 10, 2014

10 Tips to Stretch the Grocery Budget

By Bill Branson (Photographer) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Would God recognize
the food in your
grocery cart?
Hi!  Glad to see you back again today!  I hope you had a wonderful, and restful, day of worship.  I am praying that God richly blessed you on Sunday as He did me.

Saturday, I shared that we have had some financial issues and that we currently use an envelope system to keep our routine purchases under control.  Today, I’ll share some tips on how we stretch our grocery budget.

I don’t claim that these ideas are original; I’m sure you can find these, and many other, fine budget stretching tips all over the internet and in self-help books everywhere!  But, I am a strong proponent of repetition!  The more you see something in writing, and hear the words ringing in your head as you read, the more likely some of it will stick.  Sometimes, it’s not what is being told, but rather how it’s being told, that sparks my interest and helps me retain the information.

Stretching the grocery budget – Healthy food and clean drinking water is important to our continued existence.  So, a moratorium on buying groceries isn’t likely to be very effective.  That’s why it’s important that we consider our expenditures wisely and make good choices with our food dollars.  The first assumption I am making is that you, like us, need to economize on your grocery purchases if you want to eat on a regular basis.

1 Timothy 6:8 (KJV) - And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

  1. First, Set a budget, stick to it! – Sometimes, grocery shopping isn’t a matter of what you want to eat; but, rather what you can afford.  If you don’t know what you can afford to spend, you’ll end up spending too much.  Been there, done that!
  2. Inventory your food stocks – Know what you have on hand before you go to the store.  It will save you time and money when you get there.
  3. Check the ads – Check the ads at several of your favorite local grocery store so you can take advantage of sale prices.  You may want to stock up on toilet paper if it’s on sale, and it’s even better when you have a coupon for an extra dollar off!  You might plan chicken twice this week if it is a good buy.
  4. Plan your menu – Once you know what you have on hand, and once you’ve checked the ads so you know what’s on sale, you can plan nutritious meals for the least cost.
  5. Make a list – Write down what you need, what you want, and where you’re going to buy it.  If you are familiar with the prices at your local stores you’ll know who has the best prices on non-perishable and staple items.  Think canned goods, shampoo, and toilet paper.  There are a couple of no-frills stores around our area that offer up great bargains on non-perishable goods.
  6. Clip coupons – Coupons can save you money if you are so inclined and have the time to clip them.  You can maximize your savings if you save the coupon until the item goes on sale.  I love doing that!
  7. Eat a meal before grocery shopping – Hunger pangs have overthrown many a budget, and caused much culinary chaos.
  8. Count the cost - Keep track of how much everything costs BEFORE it goes into the cart.  When you reach your limit, go directly to the checkout, even if you don’t have everything you wanted to buy.
  9. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store first – The fresh foods and perishables are generally at the perimeter of the store in refrigerated cases and so is most of the nutritional value.
  10. Avoid the center aisles and processed foods as much as humanly possible – I know this is a tall order; but dollar for nutritional dollar, you’ll get more bang for your buck in the produce section and the fruit and veggie section of freezer case.  Stay away from over processed foods, and junk foods, they wreak havoc on your health and your wallet.

These tips work for us when we work them; we are human, once in a while we find a bag of chips, or some cookies, have made their way into the cart; but most of the time we try to stick to these simple grocery shopping guidelines.

I’m sure you must have some tips and tricks you use at the grocery store.  Would you take a few minutes to share some of your great ideas with our readers?  Please write us a note in the comments section below and let us know what works for you and your family!  I would so appreciate your contribution to this topic; and I will reply to you as soon as possible!

My Prayer for Today…   Dear Lord, Thank you for your many blessings and for making our food dollars stretch.  Help us remember to eat as healthfully as possible, within our means, and to take care of the temple you have given us!

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I hope this post was a blessing to you and that you found something to help you in your daily walk with Christ. Would you please take a moment and share something that makes your home run more smoothly and aids you in your Walk with Christ? MarySmiles ;-)