The following easy tips will help you save major dollars on groceries, minus the cheap processed junk foods. Take note and in no time, your family will be eating well with money to spare (voracious teens included).
All About the List1 of 11
Every parent lives by lists, and groceries should be no exception. A detailed list helps you navigate the store quickly and efficiently, while discouraging expensive impulse buys. Seriously crunched for time? Try creating a master list of your family's weekly staples to keep at-the-ready on your phone or in your wallet, then simply cross-check in the kitchen before heading out to stock up.
Meatless Mondays (and Beyond)2 of 11
Basing meals on beans, lentils, eggs, hearty vegetables and grains, rather than meat, goes a long way toward filling up a family on a budget. And the benefits of adopting a Meatless Monday tradition don't end there. Veggie-based meals are also great for the planet and can pack a healthy nutritional punch.
Embrace Breakfast Bargains3 of 11
Every parent knows breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it's also a great bang for your grocery buck. Staples like oatmeal, yogurt, eggs and fresh fruit are nutritious, filling and easy on the budget. Encourage your family to load up in the a.m., and maybe even mix in breakfast-for-dinner once a week.
Frozen Assets4 of 11
Use your freezer to store leftovers that would otherwise go to waste, including main dishes, baked goods, fruits and vegetables. When your local market has a sale, the freezer is your friend again when it comes to stocking up on bargains. Not only do these "frozen assets" save you money on the front end, but your budget also benefits when you're crunched for time and tempted to order expensive take-out.
Have a Pizza Party5 of 11
Before you pick up the phone to order your next pizza delivery, consider making it at home instead. You'll save on the restaurant mark-up, delivery charge and tip, and you can trim calories, too. Plus, as far as family activities go, pizza-making is always a hit!
Swap Out Sweet and Salty Snacks6 of 11
Chips and sugary treats call to kids and grown-ups alike from every checkout aisle. While the occasional indulgence is definitely permissible, an excess of processed junk foods can be a drain on your budget and body. In place of chips and candy, stock up on crunchy vegetables and fresh fruits instead.
Just Say No to Single-Servings7 of 11
This pitfall is easy to avoid! Even if they feature good-for-you foods like nuts, dried fruits and cheese, single-serve packages come at too high a price. It is far more advantageous to spend a few minutes creating your own versions at home.
Clip and Save8 of 11
There's almost always a stack of coupons folded into the Sunday paper that can save you considerable coin on groceries. You might even try assigning the task of clipping to an enterprising child as a lesson in money management. The reward? A percentage of the savings, of course! And, don't forget to check online for double- and triple-coupon offers to save even more.
Buy in Bulk (Thoughtfully)9 of 11
Buying in bulk can be an amazing way to save a great deal of money, especially on non-perishable items like rice, pasta, canned goods and cereal. Make sure, however, to keep your eye on the price-per-unit, as not all bulk items are bargains. Likewise, stocking up on an item without a proven track record with your family can also backfire on your budget.
Don't Shop Hungry10 of 11
Finally, heading to the market on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster. Hunger hinders your decision-making capabilities, making poor food choices irresistible (Double chocolate chunk cookies, anyone?) and distorting portion sizes (Let's get three boxes, just in case...). Try to shop after a meal, or enjoy a healthy snack beforehand. Your wallet and your waistline will thank you!