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How to Keep Food Costs Low Feeding a Family of Four

how-to-save-money-feeding-a-family-of-t

The average family of four spends $245.90 per week on food, according to data compiled from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA also suggests that families can spend as little as $568 per month using a ‘Thrifty’ shopping plan. With more than $400 in potential monthly savings, every household should learn how thousands of families already enjoy healthy, nutritious, delicious meals for a cost less than $150 per week.

It seems impossible, but thousands of families already spend modest amounts of money on groceries each week. They don’t miss any meals nor have complaints about the food they eat, either. Join these families with the following money-saving grocery shopping tips. As soon as this week, you can save money on your shopping trip. Each week you’ll notice more and more savings as you learn even more supermarket shopping secrets!

How to Save Money on Groceries

Shop Around

Most of us have a favorite supermarket that we trust for its great selection and prices. But truth be told, most stores do not have the best prices on all the items your household needs. Shop around to find out and do not hesitate to shop at multiple stores each week if the savings are good enough.

Visit supermarket websites of your choice to view weekly sales ads. Or, download the app for more potential savings and other offers. While visiting, you may find exclusive offers unavailable elsewhere. Direct mail means sales ads may also show up in your mailbox each week.

Sales are Life

Each week supermarkets mark items in each department for discount. It’s called a ‘sale’ and customers love them. Chop a nice chunk of the costs of your shopping bill by purchasing sale items during your shopping trips.

Check the sales ads each week to find out what’s up for grab. Visit stores in person to check out the discount aisles and section where prices are sometimes 90% less than the original stocker price.

Stock up on essentials when they go on sale. With a large supply in-stock, you never run out. And, since you bought the items at discount, there’s even more reason to smile.

Join Loyalty Programs

Supermarket loyalty programs provide savings unavailable to non-members. Loyalty programs are free to join and oftentimes include special email offers, savings, and coupons.

Most supermarkets offer their version of a loyalty program, but smaller and non-chains may not. Provide your name, address, email address, and telephone number to receive your loyalty card of savings.

Buy Store Brands

Some brand names are worth the extra money. We all have those non-negotiable brand-name items. Limit those ‘must-have names’ to one or two. Most brand names taste just as good as the national version but cost sometimes as much as 75% less. A few examples of store brand versus national brand savings:

· Ritz crackers cost $3.98 for a four-row pack. At Wal-Mart, a Great Value brand version costs $1.98.

· Frosted Flakes cereal cost $3.64 for a 24-oz. box at Wal-Mart, while the same size box of Great Value costs $1.56

· Kroger brand Honey Wheat Bread costs $1.25 per loaf compared to $3.49 for a loaf of Nature’s Own Honey Wheat bread.

· Lucerne white milk costs $4.49 for one gallon at Safeway, but the Value Corner milk costs just $3.29 for a gallon.

· Hidden Valley Ranch costs $2.96 for a 16-oz. bottle while a 16-oz. bottle of Great Valley Ranch costs just $0.92.

These examples alone chop $10 off your shopping bill, so you can certainly understand the potential savings switching to store brands can provide.

how-to-save-money-feeding-a-family-of-t

More Money-Saving Strategies

Look at Unit Prices

We often grab packages labeled ‘Value Size’ or ‘double’ assuming they’re a better deal when oftentimes, purchasing two of the same item in the smaller size is not only cheaper but yields more product.

For example, the same Hidden Valley Ranch used in the example above. You’ll pay $3.88 for the 24-oz. bottle. Purchase two 16-oz. bottles instead for a total of 32-oz. For just 12 cents extra, you get 8-oz. more ranch dressing.

Double Coupons

Look for store coupons and manufacturer coupons to double up on your savings. Stores accept both coupons on a single item. When done correctly, doubling coupons can help you score freebies and almost-free items.

Check sales papers and online store ads for store coupons. Many supermarkets offer digital coupons as well. Then, check the Sunday paper and manufacturer websites for additional coupon deals.

Don’t Shop When You are Hungry

Shop when you are hungry and go home as the proud owner of aisle six. Research shows that people who shop when they are hungry spend 60% more than people who shop when they’re not hungry. Hungry people spend more money on food and non-food items alike.

Deliver It

Although delivery service eliminates the final markdowns and sales, you save time, won’t waste fuel, and resist those spontaneous purchases that tend to rack on costs to the shopping trip bill.

Nix the Meat

In November 2020, the average cost of a sirloin steak was just under nine bucks, while the average cost-per-pound for ground beef was about $3.32 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. For a family of four, that’s as much as $36 in meat cost for one meal!

Meat is the entrée in meals for many households. Meat also exasperates the cost of your meals. While transitioning to veganism is totally an option, simply cutting meat from the menu can save a ton of money. Include meat in a couple of your weekly meals and substitute other protein-rich foods the rest of the week.

Meal Plan

Meal planning saves money and gives your family access to healthier foods. Create meal plans before hitting the supermarket each week. U.S. News says to meal plan, do these three things:

1. Review recipes and choose the menu

2. Identify ingredients

3. Prep ingredients in advance

Check the pantry and crisper for veggies and ingredients before buying them again. In the U.S., more than 40 million tons of food is tossed in the wastebasket every year. That equals about $161 billion worth of food.


how-to-save-money-feeding-a-family-of-t

Some households prepare smaller portions to save money while other families double-up portions to freeze and serve later. Choose the option best for your family. Keep in mind that cooking extra can save money since you can take leftovers to work and avoid fast food stops.

Choose simple meals that require just a few ingredients for additional savings. Plus, you won’t spend as much time in the kitchen if you pick easy to prepare meals. Food.com has this awesome list of 100 5-ingredient dishes with a meal for every taste.

Sources:

https://www.bls.gov/regions/mid-atlantic/data/averageretailfoodandenergyprices_usandmidwest_table.htm

https://www.usda.gov/

https://www.rts.com/resources/guides/food-waste-america/#:~:text=Here's%20some%20%E2%80%9Cfood%E2%80%9D%20for%20thought,tons%20of%20food%20every%20year.&text=That's%2080%20billion%20pounds%20of,of%20the%20US%20food%20supply.

© 2021 Amanda Grace