I am thrilled to announce that I was asked to write a guest post for Ideas That Spark! You may have noticed the guest posts from Studio One Networks that run on Madame Deals every week or so. I will be working along with Ideas That Spark and Studio One Networks in the near future too.
Ideas That Spark: Mom2Mom
Make the Most of Your Grocery Store Budget
By Renae Chiovaro for Ideas That Spark
Spending a little time to learn to shop effectively and use meal planning strategies will stretch your food budget a long way. I have been able to buy better-quality and more gourmet food over the last year while cutting my weekly spending. So what’s the secret?
One of the easiest ways to spend less at the grocery store is to plan your meals around the store’s ads. Design your menu based on what’s on sale that week and check what you have in your pantry. For example, if chicken breasts are on sale, chicken should be the base ingredient for a couple of meals that week. This doesn’t mean that your meals have to be boring; get creative in the kitchen by trying new recipes.
Sales run in six- to 12-week cycles. That means that at some point within that time frame, items will be at their rock-bottom price. When your product hits rock bottom, it’s time to buy and stockpile. With chicken breast, buy extra, then place the breasts in a freezer bag full of marinade and freeze for later. A time-saving bonus: The chicken will marinate as it defrosts!
Cooking in season will reduce your grocery bill too, so plan your menu for seasonal fruits and vegetables. Buying fresh berries in the winter is costly, not to mention the loss in taste. Instead, plan ahead and buy or pick fresh berries in the summer, then flash freeze them for winter. Another example is canned soup. If you eat soup regularly or use it to cook with, stock up when it’s at its lowest price in the
Becoming a frugal grocery shopper is like learning a new game: There are strategies and different levels of involvement based on the time you have or make available. However, you do not have to be an “extreme couponer” to save a buck. Just plan your menu, learn your prices and cook in season to cut costs.
Renae Chiovaro is a mother of two boys who blogs at madamedeals.com on how to save money in all aspects of life.