Life as a mom who has her hands full
I read somewhere, that all the major food companies are beginning to get wise. Instead of raising the prices of their products, they have decided to shrink the amount that is packaged. Instead of 10 oz of pasta, you might be left with only 8 or 9. Some companies have even decided to use it as a marketing ploy touting..” giving you smarter portions”. As if the food companies really care about the rising obesity epidemic in this country. So while their profits continue to rise in this sluggish economy, so will your grocery bills. But what can you do? Here are a few helpful tips to help you combat the high food prices.
1. Join a wholesale club. If you haven’t already been to Sam’s or Costco you should check it out. A smart shopper can find great deals on meats, frozen foods and snack items. JUST BE WARNED.. make sure you actually need a gallon of Mayo before buying it. Some items might seem like a great buy but if you won’t eat them, you waste money in the long run.
2. Forget the Coupons….I know that this seems contrary to what you would think, but most coupons now a days require that you buy 2-3 of their products to save the 50cents. If you don’t need those products, it is a waste of money..or you may find that those products are actually cheaper than the brands that the store already has on sale. When you factor in the time it takes to scour papers for coupons, the amount saved is usually negative. There are some exceptions however….diaper coupons and formula coupons really do add up in savings.
3. Make a Grocery List… My mom has been telling me this for years, but it actually does work. When you make out a list, AND STICK TO IT.. you really eliminate the impulse buys. You probably don’t need the marshmallow coated graham crackers if you really think about it!
4. NEVER go shopping on an empty stomach… When you are hungry, you tend to buy more. The same is true for when you are thirsty. Once I bought 4 bottles of juice, 3 -12 packs of soda, bottled water, milk (both white and chocolate) and lemonade mix when I was thirsty. If I had a glass of water before I left the house, I would’ve probably only bought half of that!
5. Only shop on the perimeter…all grocery stores put the fresh food on the perimeter of the store and the packaged processed food in the middle along the aisles. If you concentrate your shopping on the edges of the store, you will be buying fresh fruits and veggies, meats, cheeses, dairy and bread. All the essentials without any frills. The packaged foods are the ones that are more expensive..mac n cheese, etc.. While you will have to browse some of the aisles..planning to use fresh fruits and veggies will not only be better for your waistline..it will also be good for your budget.
6. Buy the STORE BRAND…most generic items are as good as the more recognized name brand and can be half of the price. You might not notice that you are using generic pasta if your pasta sauce is exceptional. Who cares if your hamburger buns are generic if your hamburger is out of this world!! More often than not, we buy name brands because we grew up with them and our mothers bought them. If you haven’t tried generic products, now just might be the time.
If you would like other money saving tips try this article by Octopus Mom and as always..try my parenting website!