Travelling cost money, it doesn’t matter how you do it, whether it’s camping or staying in luxury hotels, you will need some money!
Lots of people think they can’t save for travel, it’s out of their reach. But if I, as a single mum, can do it so can you!
In this monthly series, I will give you tips on how to save in everyday life for your travelling goal!
This month I am talking about saving on your food shopping!
Food takes up a big chunk of your budget, so it is a good place to start to make cut backs if you want to save for travel.
The internet is full of inspiration for this, people who love to be frugal and are into simple living always seem to start with looking at your grocery shopping habits. So head to google for more info!
My food budget is an area that I constantly look at and monitor, and over time I have cut back my expenditure to $100 per week on grocery’s (including cleaning products, but that’s another post!) for my family of 6.
Here are a few ways I do this:
My number one tip….is to plan your meals! Meal planning is the most important step in saving money at the grocery store.It means that your not thinking about what you want to cook and solves the problem of dashing out to the shops in the arvo and potentially buying more then you need! I have meal planned in many ways over the years, I have had 4 meal plans that rotate over a month, I have planned for each meal over a fortnight period and I am presently working on a weekly meal plan where I have dinners organised but not on specific day to serve them. This is working out great at the moment as I can cook according to who will be present for dinner. I have also started involving the kids more in meal planning, asking them to contribute any ideas for meals that they have, they love that they an input and don’t complain about what is being served to them! We also try to plan at least one vegetarian meal, one egg based meal and one pasta meal to help cut down costs.
Writing a grocery list goes hand in hand with a meal plan. I begin writing my list at the beginning of the week from the plan and add any other incidentals. Before adding it to the list I check that it is needed and the list stays on the wall so I can add anything else that we might need as the week progresses. When shopping day comes I follow the list to the letter, it isn’t often that I buy anything that’s not on the list, and before I leave the shops I double check that I have everything.
Calculate the items you buy along the way. I use my calculator on my phone to add up the items I put into the trolley so that I know I that I am going to meet budget and I don’t have any shocks when the shop keeper tells me the total! If it looks like I might go over budget than i work out if it is necessary, if there is an alternative or we can do without this week. If I am going to be under budget I try to resist the urge to spend it, and either put it away for next week or put it into savings!
Make simple meals from scratch / non packaged food
Making your meals from scratch and sticking away from prepackaged food, saves you heaps of money. Its at this point that I have to mention…. i’m a terrible cook!, over the years I have worked hard to develop a repertoire of simple meals. Its amazing what recipes you can find on google, just make sure you put the word “simple” in front of what you want to find! I now hardly ever use jars of sauces,tinned food or prepackaged frozen items. I also don’t buy the kids any prepackaged school foods (like muesli bars, dippy biscuits, packaged cheese etc), I make muffins, popcorn, biscuits and they take fruit and sandwiches. Sometimes they will get pretzels or corn chips as a treat, but these are always purchased in a large bag and divided up. I also stick to making one meal for dinner, my youngest doesn’t eat certain meats for ethical reasons, so she will instead have an egg as a substitute for the meat, I respect her ideals but if I start making meals for everyone in the houses desires than I would be in the kitchen all night, and my food shopping budget would go through the roof!
So there is 4 tips to start you on saving money through your food shop!
I have more tips to share on this area, so keep tuned next month for part 2!
How do you save at the grocery store?
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