One of the biggest expenses for many families is the grocery budget. As your children grow, you may find that your grocery bill is growing as quickly as they are. It can be difficult to get this aspect of spending under control. While some people are very successful at using coupons to reduce their grocery bill, others struggle to find the time to really make it work. If you are busy, but you need you to cut back on what you spend at the grocery store you may want to consider shopping just twice a month instead of every week. These tips will help you make the transition.
One of the benefits of shopping every other week is that it takes careful planning, which can allow you to save money. If you know that you will not be back the store for two weeks, you will spend extra time on your list making sure that you have included everything you needed for the week. It also allows you to create a two-week menu plan. This allows you to buy the meat in bulk and to spread it out over two weeks instead of one. This means you do not have to chicken every night of the week, if you find a great price on chicken, it is easier to spread it out. It is also easy to incorporate leftovers into your menu plan and lunch menus if you plan ahead.
Time Saving Tip: If you hate to plan out menus take the time to plan two menus for two weeks with no repeating dishes. Then switch back and forth between the two menus each time you shop. You will save time on your planning, and you can add a few items you need specifically for the week to an already existing list.
Another benefit of shopping every other week is the amount of time you will save. A big grocery shopping trip does not take much longer than a traditional weekly trip, since you are simply putting more items in the cart. Just as you may make one monthly trip to a discount store for your bulk items you can do the same thing with your grocery shopping. Additionally you can save money on gasoline, since you will not be running to the grocery store as often to pick up the little things throughout the week.
Money Saving Tip: You will save time by not worrying about the sales items as much. However, you can quickly glance over the sales paper and pick up the staples as they come on sale that week. It only adds five minutes and can save you a bundle.
Shopping just twice a month makes it easier to cook ahead on days that you know you will be too busy to get a great meal on the table. If you know you are going to be busy the next day throw dinner together the night before, so all you need to do is put it in the oven when you get home. If you have a slow cooker you can make it even easier to do this. Cooking at home is less expensive than picking up a meal on your way home from work, and a lot less daunting if you know that you already have everything ready to go. You can also chop items ahead of time to save time on your busiest days.
Money and Time Saving Tip: If time is a real factor in how much you eat out you should consider once a month cooking as well.
About the Author: Heather Green is a freelance writer for several regional magazines in North Carolina as well as a resident blogger for onlinenursingdegrees.org. Her writing experience includes fashion, business, health, agriculture and a wide range of other topics. Heather has just completed research on types of nurses and infection control certification.
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