Grocery planning hacks can help you live a better financial life

Have you ever taken the challenge to feed your family with full nutrition and taste and stick to your budget? You often feel the squeeze on your wallet while making a visit to the grocery store. On the other side, most of the times you find your kitchen bin is overfilled with spoiled ingredients and veggies. Maybe this is the perfect article to know how to change your unorganized food shopping and meal planning habits. So take the challenge of eating well and not to push yourself into credit card debt.

Eating well within a budget is an art. Here are some guidelines on how to feed your family without breaking your budget.

Step 1- Hunt your scullery

Have a look into your freezer, cupboards and refrigerator to get an idea about what you have before going to supermarket. Come up with a weekly plan for each meal and shop according to it. Jess Dang, founder of “Cook Smarts” said, It’s easy to forget that you bought two pounds of chicken breast when it was on sale”. So try to shop looking on what you already have in your kitchen.

Step 2- Plan your weekly menu

Make your weekly menu plan and browse the grocery store to collect the items. If you plan your menu early, you can prepare healthy meals as well as you can get advantage of getting things at lowest price. As you have a pre plan, you can manage the whole process in a systematic way. There are some apps such as Weekly Ads & Sales or Sunday Saver where you can find out store circulars. You can easily buy what's on sale as you already know what you are going to prepare in coming week. Thus, you can also maintain your wallet’s health .

Step 3- Make your healthy yet frugal menu

Don’t be seduced by expensive ingredients to make junk foods for your family. You have so many options to make healthy meal as well as stick to your budget. You must be creative while shopping. Frozen veggies, beans, grains, tomatoes are some effective and healthy cost cutting ingredients. On the other hand, you can use these ingredients in variety of dishes.

Step 4- Go for seasonal local buying

Try to be a regular customer of your local farms, shop. You can get great discount from them if you shop in bulk. You can find catchy deals on organic products. Try to buy seasonal veggies, fruits , grains as they can be available in low price. Seasonal items are healthy and your meals become tastier as well .

Step 5- Batch cooking can cut down expensive dining out

Frequent dining at restaurants can break your grocery budget for the whole month. Save your money for eating lavish food on a special occasion and try to make healthy meals at home in normal days. You can easily finish your dinner at home even on a lazy day if you have done all the preparations of cooking previously (in weekend). Yes, “batch cooking” is perfect for families who are busy during the whole week. You can put healthy meals quickly on table if you give some extra effort on weekend to get ready most of the part of a meal. You can easily have some ready to eat meal such as Casseroles, vegetable dishes, some pasta dishes like lasagna or baked ziti. Meatloaf, Shepherd’s pies, some soups are also good options for batch cooking.

Step 6- DIY farming or gardening

You can easily grow herbs, veggies, organic fruits even if you have small space at your home. Try to grow plants in pots in balcony, yard, or in a square foot garden. You can easily cut down spending if you get daily veggies from your own garden. Organic fruits & vegetables are very nutritious as well.

Some quick tips to reduce grocery budget
  1. Preserve foods and save money (freezing, canning, and dehydrating).
  2. Stock up foods and reduce expenses ( Dried beans, grains, flours, nuts & seeds, fruits. )
  3. Eat vegetable proteins instead of meat every day to reduce big expenses.
  4. Try to pick up value pack of many items like (frozen ham, fish, sauce)
  5. Make a shopping list based upon your menu plan while you visit grocery store.
  6. Do not forget to bring calculator when you visit grocery store for shopping.
  7. Try to stick to your menu plan.
  8. Use coupons to reduce your food budget.

Eating healthy doesn't always cost sky high prices. If you smartly manage your household budget with little practice, you can easily save money and eat healthy, tasty and nutritious food as well.

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