Guest Post from Karen Hutcherson and Ann Bender
If we look at our monthly budget, a disproportionate amount of our hard-earned cash goes to the guy down the street...our grocer. And the first thing we need to understand is that these grocery chains make a boat load of money and they’re directly responsible for our mangled nails, twisted muscles and home dye-jobs. You get the picture? If we can figure out how to save money at the store, we could spend more money manicuring, massaging and weaving our hair into the beautiful locks we deserve. Seriously.
We’ve heard a lot of this before but we need gently reminders so we stay on the fast track to saving money.
Have a weekly menu plan
The number one rule for saving money is to have a menu plan. Plan your weekly meals, make a detailed list and shop only one time per week. Studies show that visiting the store for only a few items leads to impulse shopping which leads us back to the poor house. Check out our weekly menu download - a weeks worth of delicious menus and the grocery list to boot!
It’s all part of the job
First of all, think of grocery shopping as a job. If you take an extra hour to shop the deals at two grocery stores and save $40, you’ve just billed your time at a nice hourly rate. Coupons and those spiffy little organizers are your best friend and can save you tons at the checkout counter. The newspaper ads will give you a heads up about the deals, so begin to study the ads, plan your route and hit more than one store.
Try to buy meat on sale and put it in your freezer for later use and those delicious breads and rolls are great to freeze too. Relish! uses boneless chicken breasts, shrimp, tilapia, flank steak, sirloin steak, pork chops and tenderloin on a consistent basis. When you see a buy-one deal, load up.
Make it a monthly ritual
Once a month do all of your paper, staples and snack shopping at a warehouse club or discount store. Prices are almost always better at these big-box stores, the quantities are bigger and the selection is better. If you plan to shop at a warehouse store like Costco, plan to visit your local horse-gear store, buy a pair of blinders to put on when you walk through the store. Do not go anywhere near that center aisle... all of you Costco shoppers know what I mean. No one needs another fleece jacket or snowflake turtleneck no matter how great the deals are.
Laugh all the way to the piggy bank
Now that you’ve saved about $100 this month on groceries and household items, plan to put your savings into a kitty just for you. Put the money towards a cleaning service or plan a nice vacation with your spouse. If jewelry is your thing, imagine the beautiful rock you could buy at the end of the year and make sure to flash it at your grocer as you click by in your new Pradas.
Karen Hutcherson and Ann Bender are the busy moms behind Relish!, a meal planning service that helps busy families put wonderful meals on the table every night. No sloppy casseroles or expensive kitchen blunders. It’s everyday food...with a gourmet twist.