I have learned a lot about couponing over the last three years. Sometimes I am really into it but sometimes not so much. I am working on getting my budget under control. I am making a conscious effect to spend no more than $550 a month on food, baby items, cleaning supplies, toiletries, etc. I know that it is going to be a little tough but I have faith in myself.
I think that I am probably around that but have never tracked the spending. So every week I am going to update you on how much I have spent and saved that week and how much I have spent and saved for the month so far. I will begin this on April 1st.
Here are few tips that I have learned to help with saving money on food,
1. ALWAYS have a plan.
-Never walk into the store to shop for the week and have no idea what you are going to eat. It just spells disaster.
2. NEVER go grocery shopping hungry.
– I have spent way to much money on food that looks so good because I am starving and didn’t eat before heading to the store.
3. Make a general meal plan
– For my family we cannot stick to a set food schedule. We have more flexible schedules and sometimes we just change plans or decide “we don’t feel like chicken tonight”. So I try to plan at least 5 dinners and plenty of breakfast and lunch options.That way when I head into the store I know what items I am going to need. Some people can make a schedule, put it on the fridge, and stick with it. Great for them I wish we could but it is not our style.
4. Shop Sales
– I was talking to my mom who said she tries to cut down on her groceries but all that she has time to do it meal plan. Which is a great step but she could maximize her savings but talking an extra 5-10 minutues to meal plan based on what is on sale that week. If boneless skinless chicken breasts are on sale for $1.88 a lb than try to do 2-3 meals that are different but have chicken breast as an ingredient.
5. Avoid Constant Shopping
-I try to go to the grocery store no more than 2 times a week. The first time is usually a larger trip and the second usually is a smaller trip focusing on coupon deal and stockpiling. I will use that second trip to pick up any little things that got overlooked on the previous trip.I know people who will go to the grocery store every day to get dinner for that night. I can only imagine the damage that can do to a grocery budget. I know from personal experience if we try to just run in to get something for dinner that can turn into a $30-40 trip.
So I challenge you to make a change in your budget. Try a few of this tips and see if they work and help put more money into your pocket. I would love it if anyone would want to share their success with me. I will start reporting my weekly totals on Monday April 2nd.