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The Busy Mom’s Guide to the Grocery Store

Grocery shopping for anyone can be a hassle, as well as expensive, so for parents around the world it can most definitely be difficult – even if you don’t realize it. There are always ways to reduce the price of your weekly/bi-weekly grocery shops to save money for other essentials and make your life just that much easier. Grocery shopping, especially as of the last 2-3 years, has gotten very expensive and hectic for my family of 10 (not including our dogs, cats and other animals that require food as well) and we found it easier than we thought to save money on our food and still have some money to spare. With simple methods that can save you tremendous amounts of time and money, we’re going to go over the best ways for a busy mom to save money and time in the grocery store every time you go for your shop.

Budget grocery shopping, which we’ve done for a number of years, can be difficult, but it is not impossible. Shopping for groceries can be simple by following a few simple steps.

If payday is a week away and there are only a few dollars in the bank, how can it be stretched to make ends meet? A lot of preparation and a little know-how will ensure that there are tasty and satisfying meals on the dinner table.

Preparation for Budget Shopping

Get ready to plan the shopping. This step will take as much, if not more, time than the shopping trip. But spending an hour at home will ensure that purchases are what is needed. Collect the grocery fliers, a pad of paper and a pen, and the coupons in the kitchen. Take a look at what is already in the pantry.

The Well-Stocked Pantry

Take into account the items that are on hand. There may be a bottle of olives that could be made into a Tapanade or a can of cream of mushroom soup from the last sale. For example, if there is a can of salmon, it could easily be made into delicious salmon cakes by adding an egg and bread crumbs. Use these items to plan the list around them. By using what is on hand, the budget can be stretched further. Also, a simple but filling appetizer can be made with toast, a clove of garlic, a tomato, salt, and olive oil. Bruschetta anyone?

Budget Shopping List

Stick to staples and buy only what is need at the time and what will be eaten. A can of split pea soup will only benefit if it is eaten. One sample shopping list is here:

One unpeeled bag carrots, one bunch green onions, one celery stalk, one head iceberg lettuce, one sweet onion, one clove garlic, two tomatoes, one bag potatoes, one dozen eggs, one package ground meat or frozen chicken, one loaf bread, one bag of rice or one bag egg noodles, one can green beans, cheese, milk.

Shop in Season, Shop Locally

Shopping in season at a local farmer’s market or grocery store will enable fresh food and save on shipping and handling. By purchasing straight from the growers, the middle man is cut out. A head of lettuce may be $1 buy one get one free at a farmers market but $1 at a grocery store.

Rewrite The $50 Shopping List

Edit the items on the grocery list. Compare the list with the coupons and the fliers and make any adjustments necessary. Rewriting the list will ensure that everything necessary is being taken into account, and remember to take taxes into account when totaling.

Budget Shopping Time

Time to shop. Take the list to the grocery store and stick to the perimeter whenever possible. That is where the freshest food is. Going into the aisles only when necessary will help avoid temptation.

A great tip is to bring your own reusable grocery bags. Fred Meyer issues a 5 cent savings for each of the reusable shopping bags you bring. It saves money and does a good deed for the Earth.

Shopping while on a budget can be difficult, but with a few tips and a bit of preparation, anyone can make meals that will satisfy and stay within budget.

Implementing this guide into our weekly and bi-weekly grocery shops has helped us save tremendous amounts of money and is one of the best things we’ve implemented into our life as of late. Saving hundreds of dollars a month using these simple methods has leftover lots of money for other necessities, as well as things for the kids and adults to enjoy.

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