Dear Sister Knowitall,
I am raising two kids and a dog and a husband. I feel like I toss away food and my head spins at the checkout. There has got to be a better way to keep our families household expenses under control. Sincerely, Penny Pinched
I feel your pain. It is such a checkout shocker when your cart isn’t even full and hear your grand total. It is difficult not to waste some food as it is hard to know what to buy that the family will eat and then you have to remember what you bought in the first place. Hopefully, these ideas calm your reeling senses.
• Plan out a whole week of meals. If you can’t plan out the whole week, then stop every couple of days and only buy what you need for that meal. It will save you money and waste in the long run. You may be all about Taco Tuesday on Sunday at the store, and then Tuesday shows up and you the kids have a project that needs taking care of. Life is hectic and sometimes time savings are costly so here are some ways to save some money and still eat healthy, that may cost you just a little extra time.
• Eat before you grocery shop. Never shop hungry. You’ll eat yourself out of house and home.
• Buy staples in bulk, Pay attention to the per item price; toilet paper, paper towels and frozen items like chicken breast are often cheaper if you buy the bigger bag.
• Shop alone, I know impossible, right? If you can go alone, you will make a lot fewer impulse purchases. Kids and spouses are also taken in by clever marketing.
• Shop the perimeter of the store first for the nutritious and delicious. Aisles are full of processed foods. You will buy less if you shop the perimeter, fill up your cart with healthy nutritious food first and then go down only the aisles for specific items.
• Check dates on things that expire. Don’t grab from the front. Newest items are always further from your reach.
• Shop from the bottom shelf. The less expensive items make you bend over or squat down.
• Generic brands are often packaged differently but made in the same plant as the name brand and private labeled for the store. It pays to try generic.