We all know that food costs are only rising, and finding new and creative ways to stretch your grocery budget is getting hard. There are still plenty of tricks you can use to lower your grocery bill, and feed your family for a lot less. You don’t need to eat beans and rice every night either. You can still enjoy those healthy and fun meals you’re used to having, but for a lot less!
Here is how to to make a $50 a week meal plan work for your family.
How to Stick to a $50 a Week Meal Plan
Learn effective meal planning
The number one cause for high grocery bills is impulse buys. They will quickly eat at your grocery bill until you are left with nothing left to spend. When you plan your meals ahead of time, you are ensuring that you are only buying what you need, and avoiding impulse purchases. Making a meal plan is always going to be your first step.
Related Resource: Free Meal Planning Printables
If you don’t have a coupon, and it’s not on sale, it doesn’t go into your shopping cart. When you’re making your meal plan, be sure to look at sales and coupon matchups before heading to the store. Strategically planning your meals around sales can help you save a lot of money. For instance, if chicken is on sale this week, plan your meals around that. You could make chicken fajitas and baked chicken that week.
Don’t make meat the main event
Meat will always make your grocery bill higher. A tip that will guarantee to lower your grocery bill is using meat to accent your dishes, not build them. Supplement meat for beans and add it to your dishes instead of offering it as a main course.
Go nuts with coupons
When planning your $50 a week meal plan, you should aim to have coupons for at least half of the items you are going to buy. You can even stack these coupons with sales and other rebates to save even more! Don’t be afraid to get a little crazy with couponing, just be sure you’ll use the items you buy. You can find hundreds of coupons online now, so you don’t even need to pay for a Sunday paper.
While this may be more time-consuming, it will be the one tip that will save big. Look at the weekly ads for all the stores nearby and find the lowest price on everything you’re buying. Costco might be a great place to buy your meats, but it may not have the lowest price for everything else. Dollar stores will always have great deals on spices and dried goods, but you probably won’t be doing all your shopping there. Shop around and compare prices before you blindly add it to your cart.
These tips may not seem revolutionary, but these are the same tips I follow to feed my family of four for just $50 a week! You don’t have to succumb to beans and rice just to save a few bucks. Follow these steps, and you’ll be feeding your family for less in no time at all.