“I got more month than money.” Have you ever said this? Well, then this article is for you – getting toward the end of the month, and you still have to feed a hungry, growing family, but there’s not much money left over for groceries.
Let’s talk about how to conquer that grocery or discount food store. Let’s discuss clever hacks and tips that’ll have you gasping at your savings at the check-out counter. Let’s figure out a way to feed your family nutritious meals at a fraction of the cost you’ve had to spend before.
Let’s discuss six ways to make those grocery dollars stretch!!
Know where your grocery money REALLY goes: make a menu first; make a list next
You know y’all eat out too much. YOU KNOW IT. That’s where your extra grocery money goes. So if you’ve taken a vow (and you should) to eat out less and prepare dinner at home more, follow some of these suggestions below for great ideas on how to make that happen:
Admit where your grocery money really goes and make a menu
I know this happens all the time at my house – how about you? “Crap, it’s 4:00 pm and I haven’t set anything out for dinner yet.” And you also know what happens next – “Honey, on your way home, will you run through the drive-thru and get us something for dinner? THAT’s where your grocery budget goes.
So get ahead of this money trap – commit to making a menu for the next two weeks. I swear, it’ll keep you away from the expense of take-out – just hear me out.
The trick is to build in a few super easy to make, 15-minute meals for nights when you want to just get take-out. Expect that you’re going to be super tired (and a little lazy) a few nights a week, and account for it.
Another great idea here is to DOUBLE the recipe of your one-pot meal and freeze it – an instant “get out of jail free” card for one day in the next few weeks when you don’t feel like cooking.
Yes, making out a menu takes a little bit of time. But the time you invest now literally doubles or triples in the time you get back during the next two weeks in having to figure out what to have for dinner.
Armed with your menu, make a grocery list – and stick to it.
I know, I know – everyone says “make a list first.” But really, this is the best way to go in getting exactly what you need and nothing you don’t need. You know all those last-minute “gotchas” you throw in the basket? (“it’s Friday, and the kids sure would enjoy those powdered donuts for breakfast tomorrow.) Yes, it takes just a little bit of time, but it’ll help you search for the best products for your money.
Keep a running list of your menu meals – you’ll thank me later
Once you’ve made a menu for your next two weeks’ worth of meals, start a running list of meals. Then, several weeks later when you’re trying to figure out a meal, BOOM – go back to your full list of menu items and simply select several dishes from the running list! See how that works? Over time, this menu-makin’ stuff pays you back in time, brainpower, and energy.
Ok, we’ve made our menus, we’ve included super-fast meals we can make for a night where we’re tempted to order take-out, and we’ve created a list. What’s next? Well, here’s where the money-savings part kicks in.
Check out the electronic flyers at your grocery and discount food centers
See what’s on sale that’s ALSO on your grocery list. Make note, and maybe stock up on sale items your family eats a lot.
Look for coupons online for those items on your list that’re on sale
You don’t have to keep a giant folder full of coupons to take advantage of savings from coupons. In fact, I don’t recommend that when you have a house full of kids and a busy work schedule – who has that kind of time? Start by simply looking for coupons on items that are already for sale – you will DOUBLE your savings that way.
Not sure where to search for good coupons? Here are a couple of great places to start:
- The Krazy Coupon Lady – You haven’t run across this site before? Oh man, you’re gonna love it. This woman looks for and finds deals you can’t believe, and they come from normal, discount stores we already shop at – Family Dollar, Walmart, Dollar Tree, Sam’s – you get it.
- Smart Source – plug in your ZIP code, and see the latest discounts in your area.
- Coupons.com – you probably already know about this one. It has mainly manufacturer’s coupons, but those are usually big discounts.
Remember: you’re only looking for coupons for the items on your list – not every item you might ever need/want.
Meats are expensive – make your protein choices wisely
Ground chuck is around $6/lb these days. Good luck finding pork chops for less than that too. Meats are gonna be the big “gotcha” on your list, so you’ve got to be smart about this. Plan ahead and buy proteins that will be delicious and your family will love plus won’t break the bank. Good examples include:
Stock up on your King Cotton Meats for great value and tasty full-flavored meats
Ok, yes – this suggestion is a little self-serving, but it’s absolutely true that King Cotton Meats are extremely affordable and can be used in a ton of really fast dishes. Remember your plan to buy super-fast menu items for nights you’re tempted to order take-out? King Cotton corndogs. Your Friday night menu item is hot dogs? King Cotton Plump ‘N Tender hot dogs are the way to go. Kid’s daily lunches? King Cotton bologna or smoked ham lunchmeat is a no-brainer. Click here to find out which of your stores carry King Cotton – I guarantee it’ll be an inexpensive, price-conscious store.
Buy your meat in bulk
There’s a sale on hamburger meat? You’re at Sam’s, and they’ve got a special on a 20-pack of chicken thighs which are a family favorite? Stock up now, and break it up when you get home into your family’s sized portions and throw it into the freezer. Easy as pie and smart savings shopping.
A little time spent now doubles or triples your time savings later
So hopefully you’ve learned a few things about saving money at the register that you didn’t know before. There’s no worse feeling than getting to the end of the month and not having a ton of money left over for groceries that’ll last until the next paycheck.
If you’ve followed a few of our suggestions above, you can rest assured that you won’t get that panicked feeling toward the end of the month, you won’t agonize each night on what you’re going to serve – and you’ll pocket more money than ever before.
Try out some of these hacks and let us know how much YOU saved!