I have always prided myself in knowing that I can feed a family of 7 on $100 (or less) a week! And trust me when I say I don’t do the couponing thing (but I have tried it before) and I don’t go to a bunch of different stores. I shop at one grocery store, but I am smart with what I purchase. I check the ads the day before or the day of to see what’s on sale. I plan my meals around the sale items, and if something is a really good deal, I stock up as much as I can on those items.
Some tips that I shop by:
- I don’t pay more than 99¢/lb for meat – we mostly eat chicken and ground turkey meat as a substitute for ground beef. Although, it’s usually just over $1/lb for ground turkey meat, it can go a long way for a meal, so I think it’s worth it.
- I purchase more fresh fruit that is 99¢/lb – I like to purchase oranges, apples, bananas, and pears (when they aren’t too expensive) for my family to eat. I generally get more of the fruit that is less expensive, but I like to sprinkle other fruits in as well, so I sometimes end up getting a few pears or nectarines that are a bit more expensive, but not a lot of them.
- I purchase enough of the on-sale items to make larger meals – this yields more leftovers that can be eaten throughout the week, saving money on additional groceries.
- I freeze bread – I purchase the 99¢/loaf wheat bread and freeze at least a couple loaves at a time. This gives us additional bread to use throughout the week without it getting moldy.
- I stock up on inexpensive items (that are on sale) for lunches – I like to have an array of foods to choose from for lunches, such as hot dogs, Mac & Cheese, frozen pizzas (I get these for $1 each – or less), sandwiches (bologna, PB&J, etc.), Hot Pockets (when they are on sale), pot pies, and salad items. I like to trade off what I purchase each week to change things up so we don’t get tired of the same old foods every week.
- I don’t buy snack foods – snacks are fruit…period. It’s so much healthier…and cheaper…than the cookies, crackers, etc. This also leaves me more room in my budget for other specialty items that I may want to purchase. Now, I do bake a bit, so we do have sweets sometimes as a snack or desert, but I purchase the mixes or I make it from scratch.
- I don’t purchase soda anymore, either – unless it’s a special occasion. Soda isn’t good for adults or children anyways, and if it’s not in the house then they can’t drink it.
My kids really don’t ask for junk food, fast food, cookies, cakes, soda, etc. anymore. They know that fruit and water are the healthiest choices and I’m so happy that these are the things they ask for now! My youngest (she’s 7 now) will choose water over soda when given a choice at the store. I’m so proud of her! Making healthy living a lifestyle instead of a choice is important in beating and warding off child (and adult) obesity.
How do you save at the grocery store?