Author: Silvia Cortes
Have you read enough information about saving money on groceries? Perhaps, however, it seems that I learn something new from every article I read and find inspiration to keep looking for ways to spend less and keep more of my hard earned cash. I’ve gathered my top tips for saving money on groceries for working moms and would like to share them with you. Ultimately, the best way to save money and be sensible is to keep trips to the grocery store to a minimum because as a working mom most grocery store trips happen after work with kids in tow and seem to cost an extra $50 so what can we do?
- Have a plan. Add items to the grocery list as soon as they run out to help you know exactly where to go once you are in the store. Plan your meals for the week to help you have an idea of what to buy. If meal planning feels like a major task you can theme the days of the week to certain foods so it takes care of the difficult decision making. Include your family to help decide the theme each day should be to help them look forward to it. For example, Slow Cooker Sunday, Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, Fish or Seafood Friday. The best part is that leftovers day can be any day of the week. Know what you have planned for the week and if you are going to be out over a few hours or all day, have a bag to take with you filled with water, juice, P&J sandwiches, nutrition bars, and other snacks to help you avoid the drive through restaurants. Plan for lunch the next day by making extra at dinner time and when everyone is finished eating, the leftovers can go straight into individual portion containers and are ready for a grab and go lunch to take to work.
- Inventory your pantry. Plan meals around items you already have especially items close to the expiration date. Build your pantry to be able to create a meal in a flash with items such as canned fish, canned chicken, canned beans, pasta, and sauces that can be prepared for a delicious meal. Pick your favorites to help you subscribe and save from your favorite retailers for home delivery. I love the email that reminds me to update my subscription by adding or skipping items before it ships. My Amazon box has two different flavors of KIND bars, two different flavors of Health Warrior Chia bars, fruit leather and dryer sheets that I receive every other month.
- Buy in bulk. Buy in bulk even if it does not instantly save you money because it does save extra trips to the grocery store. Be selective about the items you buy in bulk because it can be wasteful if items expire or go bad before you use them. Items we buy in bulk are dish soap, toilet paper, laundry soap, toothpaste and nutrition bars. The POM toilet paper from Sam’s Club usually lasts us 6 months and for a family of 5 that is a real money saver.
- Love leftovers. Favor food that tastes better the day after it is cooked. Something you cooked today can be changed to be a little different tomorrow. As mentioned before, I usually make extra food for meals in order to have leftovers to store in individual portion size containers to eat later or freeze for longer storage. Cook a pound of ground beef and use half in spaghetti one day and the other half for stuffed bell peppers or hard shell tacos the next day. The shredded chicken one day can be used for soft shell tacos and combined with cream of mushroom sauce and pasta the next day. I say I love to cook but the truth is I would rather be doing yoga, reading a book or going for a run but I do it so our family has food to eat so anytime I can save time and avoid waste food is very satisfying to me.
- Avoid food waste. Be familiar with expiration dates in your refrigerator and in your pantry to use that food first. Make time to go through your pantry and rearrange foods so they are not forgotten. If your kids are leaving too much on their plate have the tough conversations to help them understand the importance of eating their food. My 3 and 5 year old understand mom and dad work very hard to buy food for us to eat and it is important they finish all of it. They have also heard real world problems that people are starving in other countries and wish they had food to eat. They often hear that if they eat all of their food, they will be able to jump higher, run faster, and grow taller than us. Eating the food we have at home helps us achieve our ultimate goal of minimizing our grocery trips to help save time and money.
Hopefully, I have inspired you to incorporate some of these ideas into your life and can see the difference in your grocery spending habits. I am always looking for ways to improve my relationship with food that helps my family save money, what are you going to do today to save money on groceries?