Keeping a big family fed is a full-time job. From planning meals to shopping, cooking and cleaning up afterward, feeding a large family can seem daunting – and that’s not even taking food costs into consideration. Feeding a large family is expensive. In fact, Americans spend more on food than on any other expense besides home and car payments, according to CNN Money. Fortunately, we’ll help you navigate the aisles and learn how to save money on groceries. Follow these tips to get started:
In today’s busy world, menu planning – and, by extension, grocery shopping – often takes a backseat to other activities. This leads to frantic, last-minute trips to the grocery store and the purchase of more pre-made, “short-cut” foods that tend to cost a whole lot more. Avoid the weeknight rush – and the pricey, pre-prepared foods premium – by planning ahead.
Each week, set aside 30 minutes and create a three- to five-day menu plan. Grab the coupon flyers, check out what you already have on hand in your pantry and choose recipes with ingredients that overlap. Create an inclusive grocery list. Most importantly, once you’re at the store, stick to the list and avoid impulse buys.
Coupons can really save you money, as long as you don’t fall into the trap of visiting a million different stores to save a few cents on different items. Use coupons to buy the items you need and would buy anyway. Save even more money by matching coupons to items that are also on sale and visiting the store on days when weekly coupon deals overlap, usually Sunday or Wednesday.
Generic or store-brand items are almost always less expensive than name-brand items. According to Smart Money, generic brands cost 40 to 44% less than name-brand products. Best of all, most store-brand items are actually manufactured by name-brand companies – the only difference is the packaging.
Buy in Bulk
One tip that will help larger families save money on groceries is to buy items in bulk. Check your grocery store’s bulk bins for staple items like beans, nuts, rice and flour. Even extras like candy usually cost less in bulk. Though most charge a yearly membership fee, warehouse clubs offer savings on household staples, from juice to toilet paper.
At least once per week, prepare a vegetarian dinner. Meat is usually the most expensive part of a recipe, but it can easily be replaced by protein- and nutrient-rich (and inexpensive) options like legumes, eggs, nuts or tofu. Fill the plate with whole grains and in-season fruits and vegetables; not only do they taste great and cost less than meat, they’re healthy, too!
How do you save money on groceries? Share your tips with us on Facebook or leave a comment on our Blog.