We all know the drill – a trip to the grocery store for the basics soon becomes a mountain of a shop as you pile in many unnecessary items into your basket as you walk down the aisles. That small amount you had set aside for your grocery shop for the week has been obliterated. For many families, grocery shopping is one of their largest expenses, and while you have to feed your family, it helps to know how to buy groceries on a budget.
To help you make your grocery budget stretch further, and to avoid overspending, here are some tips on how to save on groceries, while still not having to go without.
Rethink Your Dinners
Yes, most of us love the idea of a big homemade meal with all the trimmings, and possibly even dessert, but that just isn’t feasible. Not only are you putting huge pressure on yourself to cook big meals every night, but your family simply does not need to eat like that. Hot dogs, omelettes and big salads are easy and cheap meals that your family can have for dinner some nights. Eggs are your best friend – they are inexpensive and can make a whole host of different dishes. Here are some wonderful Meat Free Monday ideas!
Count As You Shop
The best way to avoid any surprises at the till, and to ensure that you stick to your budget, is to keep a tally of how much everything costs that you are adding into your cart. This avoids you being surprised with a huge amount when it comes time to pay, and you can ensure you have enough money to pay for what is in your basket.
Make A Meal Plan
You will know exactly what you need to buy, and avoid any items you don’t need, by having a set meal plan. Sit down on the weekend and plan your meals for the week ahead, and incorporate what you have in your pantry. You can even look to make a little extra for dinner to carry over for lunch the next day. Look up meal plans online and see if you can find different meals that have similar ingredients so that half the bunch of spinach leftover from Monday night’s dinner can be used on Thursday, and not land up in the bin.
Only Pay With Cash
This rule really does work! The best way to stick to a budget and to ensure that you don’t overspend is to only pay in cash. Withdraw as much money as you are prepared to spend on the grocery shop and only take that with. This will help you prioritize what is important, and what can be left behind. If you have a little leftover, you can then go back for the ice cream and biscuits.
Stick To Your Shopping List
Finding something on special at the grocery store which wasn’t on your list is great, but it might bust your budget. Try your best to avoid any budget-breaking buys, and instead stick to buying only what is on your list. You might be lucky and find something on your list on special, and that might make room for the extras.