Shopping on a Budget Made Easy

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Grocery shopping is one of those financial obligations that one simply cannot get away from, regardless of how hard you try. In the USA, the monthly grocery budget ranges between 12.4% and 33% of the total household income according to data compiled by the USDA.  That amounts to a lot of money, especially if you have a myriad of other obligations you have to worry about as well. As a mom, you inherently want what is best for your family, and that includes having them well-fed and happy at all times. Luckily, there are a number of ways that you can easily create and stick to a budget. 

Shop around

As tedious as it may sound to browse countless brochures from numerous shops, or even to drive around to all of them, it may turn out to be very worth your while. Larger chain stores often have special offers and savings that small, privately-owned stores simply cannot compete with. It is, however, important to always factor time and gas costs into your shopping expeditions as you don’t want to drive an extra 30 miles for a $1.00 saving on a tin of coffee. Use your common sense when it comes to shopping, only traveling long distances if it is truly worth your while.

Combine your coupons with store sales (and credit card incentives)

Did you know that you can save up to 50% on everything you buy by using your coupons at a sale?  When there is a sale on something you use on a regular basis, stock up, but within reason. While you may benefit greatly from buying 3 boxes of cereal at a reduced price, buying any more may result in most of it going to waste (and costing you more money in the end). If you do find great specials on items with a very long shelf-life, try to find super-creative ways to store them. Most credit card providers offer their clients a range of incentives such as rewards, discounts, and cashbacks. Make sure you know exactly what is on offer and utilize it to its full extent.

Don’t fear meal planning

Meal planning can be a very powerful budgeting tool, especially if you have a big family. While there is no right or wrong way to draw up a meal plan, it does help to keep things varied, catering to the tastes of everyone in the family. Drawing up a monthly meal plan will make it a lot easier to buy only what you need, instead of filling your shopping trolley with heaps of ingredients you really can’t make anything with. There are a number of useful apps such as Mealtime and FoodPlanner you can use that will not only help you draw up a meal plan but also create a shopping list according to it.

In an ever-changing economic climate, a bit of frugality can go a very long way. Shopping for your family on a budget can be a lot easier than imagined if you follow the guidelines above and couple them with your own innovative ideas.

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