Grocery Shopping on a Budget

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on November 4, 2008

I just recently shared with you some tips for making shopping with the kiddos a bit easier, but do you have a hard time staying within your food budget when you head to the store? As I shop for my family of eight, I certainly find myself struggling to not overspend. But sticking to a budget doesn’t have to mean sacrificing wholesome, nutritious family meals.
grocery shopping, saving money, budget, frugalityHere are some of my tricks to staying within budget:

Plan a big shopping trip. Extra trips throughout the week sure add up, and can cause you to blow that budget, let me tell you! Instead, plan a big trip every two weeks, to purchase the items you need to complete your menu.

Buy the essentials in bulk. What do the following food items have in common – eggs, milk, bread, cheese? Around here, we go through these items very quickly! I just did some calculating and we’re up to 8 dozen eggs, 15 gallons of milk, 14 loaves of bread, and 15 pounds of cheese each month! If we purchase these items at a wholesale food outlet, we can save quite a bit of money, simply because we consume so much. It also cuts down on those quick trips to the grocery store, during the week.

Make a shopping list. Check it twice. And, don’t leave home without it! I find that when I make a list I very rarely deviate from the list and can prevent buying unneeded items. This takes some self-control and discipline but if I can do it, trust me, you can too!

Cut back on the junk food. This is tough for our fishy-lovin’ family! I have found that cutting back on the crackers and chips and giving my kiddos healthier, and more inexpensive snacks, like hard-cooked eggs, saves quite a bit each month. Eggs are a great choice when it comes to affordable and nutritious foods. At an average of $1.93 per dozen, eggs are one of the most affordable sources of high-quality protein available, and can help stretch other foods in the refrigerator or pantry, since almost anything can be used in an omelet, frittata, quiche or strata.

Use coupons and watch the sales. Clip or print those coupons and use them, whenever possible. If you shop smart, by watching sales and coupling coupons with the sale prices, you can stock up and save!

What are some of the ways you stay within budget?


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Tara November 4, 2008 at 1:55 pm

Okay…so you have no idea how much I needed those simple little tips. Just needed to hear it from someone else!! I have 7 to shop for it’s so expensive, but i know there are ways to keep the cost down…this should help!! Thank you!

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wv_mom November 4, 2008 at 2:47 pm

I do really good by checking with other bloggers about deals at the grocery stores I shop at.

And you need to get you some chickens girl LOL. With 10 chickens we were getting about a dozen every day or two.

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Sarah November 5, 2008 at 7:48 am

I agree with the comment of making and double checking your shopping list. I also go through the ad and different blogs to read through the sales, and add those to my list if chosen. Then I go through my coupons and put then into an envelope with my list. I’ve grown to hate going through my coupons at the store, plus it helps me stick to exactly what’s on the list!

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gdireneoe November 5, 2008 at 2:05 pm

Hi! Thanks for the validations! I would like to add though…I ALWAYS peruse the manager’s meat specials. I’ve found that is a really easy area to save money, AND buy cuts that I wouldn’t otherwise. I have three Krogers to choose from here in my city, and know when each meat counter manager marks his product down each day (most are usually between 8am and 11am). One of my favourite Mommy Shopper experience was the time I purchased nearly $125 worth of meat…for $30! It was a Friday, so I spent that weekend roasting/baking/sauteing it all. At weekend’s end, I had enough prepared meats to last FIVE WEEKS. No joke. All I had to do for nearly a month was supplement our dinners with fish (a “because I told you to in my house”…hehehe)

Also, I keep an eye out for the markdown cart in the bakery center of my Kroger(s). I’m a baker, so I hardly ever buy baked goods but, it’s always nice to have frozen goodies on hand that I hardly ever bake (schneken, cinnamon rolls, etc). The unfun mom (courtesy of my kiddies) that I am, we all split a roll…stretches it even further (and helps me keep my sanity as an unfun mom!). ;) C.

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