Everyone is cutting back on spending these days, and one of the easiest ways to save money is by menu planning and budgeting at the grocery store. No matter the size of your family, knowing exactly what your weekly menu is and what to buy when you go to the store can help you avoid impulse buying and cut back on food items that may be adding unneeded costs to your budget.
First, take into consideration your family size. It goes without saying that smaller families will need less food overall, but looking deeper at individual needs is also important; some families have children or other members that eat more at a meal, while some families consist of nibblers and snackers. When grocery store shopping, keep these things in mind but also begin to practice portion control at meal times. Buying a limited amount of snacks for the week may reduce the amount of between-meal nibbling, which can be great for the budget and for your family’s health.
Couponing while grocery store shopping is another great way to plan out the weekly menu. Before you go to the grocery store, search online and through newspapers for local store deals and plan your meals around what is on sale. Couponing can be easy once you get the hang of it and know which websites or flyers carry the best sales information and coupons. Don’t forget the coupon booklets that come in the mail! These can contain valuable savings.
When planning your family menu, price matching is just as important as finding coupons or sale items. Take the time to check the local grocery stores and markets; you might be very surprised to find just how much more one store is charging for the exact same brand or item. Price matching may take a little time, but once you know where the best deals are, it’s far easier to plan a budget and save money.