Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Cutting Grocery Costs

Grocery shopping can be overwhelming and wasteful, without a plan.  A few simple adjustments to your grocery shopping routine can make it more efficient and cost effective. 
Limiting the number of trips you make to the grocery store will reduce time spent shopping and unnecessary impulse purchases. 
First step, have a plan.  With a little time and preparation at the beginning of the month you will avoid the nightly struggle of what to make for dinner and avert your temptation to order take-out.  Which will both strain your wallet and expand your waistline.  Being prepared allows you to incorporate left overs and reuse ingredients from other recipes, which saves you $$$.  With a little practice these tips will have you enjoying, rather than dreading trips to the grocery store.

Tip #1 - Menu Planning: mapping out your meals ahead of time allows your daily meal prep and operation to run smoothly.  With a recipe ready and ingredients on hand, cooking will be enjoyable and time effective.  Some valuable menu planning tools include:
     • A meal calendar
     • Local grocery store ads
     • Recipes (For well rounded, low cost meals check out: kanecountyfoodsense.blogspot.com
     •Myplate food diagram

Begin by viewing the weekly grocery store ads.  Determine what foods are on sale, and find recipes that incorporate those ingredients. Aim for each meal to follow the guidelines listed on MyPlate.  MyPlate is the USDA's diagram to educate the population on how to eat a balanced diet.  Each food group is listed, as well as the proportion that should be occupied on your plate. Following these guidelines will ensure you are eating a balanced diet and benefiting from the results.  Like maintaining a healthy weight, reducing your risk of chronic diseases and promoting overall health.

Tip #2 - Make the Grocery List: This can be done while you menu plan.  Simply check your pantry and fridge for ingredients required  for your menu items and add what you do not have to your list. 
 ***Try keeping this list on or near your fridge so you can add items you run out of during the week.

Start Shopping: Once you have your list complied, you are ready to head for the store.  Resist the urge to impulse buy, and only buy what you have on your list.  
Avoid going shopping on an empty stomach, and try to shop with a time limit in mind.  This helps you avoid wandering and impulse purchases as well.

Effective grocery shopping will save you time and $$$.  Give it a try this week and notice the difference!

Get your menu planner calendar HERE, or copy and print below. 

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