Here are 10 tips that will help you save money at the supermarket
We all know that raising a family on a budget is a challenge, to say the least! With the price of food skyrocketing daily, it’s more important than ever to find ways to stretch our family dollar as much as possible.
While the prospect of going to the supermarket and stocking up every week is daunting for most of us, there are some simple tips that parents can follow to decrease the amount of money spent on groceries.
Whether you’re dealing with spending too much money at the grocery store, or managing a meltdown in the cereal aisle, there are options that can make parents breathe easier while at the supermarket, with or without the kids. And speaking of kids, this is what I deal with when shopping with the children. Fun? You betcha! 😉
Check it out the video below and let me know what you think about the tips (either in the comments section below or via YouTube comments). Feel free to add some additional tips as well! If there are enough, I’ll include them in an updated follow-up post. And while you’re there, don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel to make sure that you receive the most recent video tips and advice! VIDEO: How to Save Money Grocery Shopping – Top 10 Tips For Parents
Traveling with kids can be stress free by following these simple tips
Us parents are a brave bunch, aren’t we? With the prospect of meltdowns occurring while we hurtle along the highway at rapid speeds, we hope that this year, it will be different.
No drama, no stress, no screaming or crying kids in the backseat – sounds like heaven, doesn’t it? For those of us who have braved the roads with multiple meltdowns happening just behind the passenger seat and beyond, we anxiously set upon each new family road trip with a silent prayer to the vacation gods that they will keep our kids not only safe but quiet as well.
As one who tempts fate yearly embarks on a road trip annually with the family on what has become a tradition, I’ve learned the hard way about what works – and what doesn’t. For the unprepared, a packed vehicle that includes three children and a lengthy jaunt to distant locales can easily turn into a recipe for disaster. Experience this scenario once and you’ll vow to never put yourself in that position again.
I was recently asked to provide my top tips and advice to the Toronto Star for an article in the newspaper’s Summer Driving Special Section. It was a (pleasant) surprise to see that it ran on the front page of the section as well as with a picture of the family packing up the car (see below).
Everything old is new again on the streaming service
DISCLAIMER: As part of the Netflix #StreamTeam, I will be providing monthly thoughts and suggestions about movies currently showing on Netflix. As with all content on this blog, opinions are completely my own.
Try to explain the concept of “Saturday Morning Cartoons” to a child who’s only known 24/7 TV, “The Google,” no less than a few thousand satellite channels and unlimited shows online via the likes of YouTube and other sites.
“The Good Old Days” exist only in the minds of said child’s parent, who bemoans the fact that waking up early to run downstairs and watch television every Saturday is a memory quickly fading.
How does one explain the growing anticipation of Saturday morning, the countdown to the end of the week, the adrenaline that wakes up kids at the crack of dawn, hours before anyone else in the household would even think of opening their eyes? There was nothing like it and likely won’t be anything like it again.
That is, of course, unless you start a new Saturday morning tradition. With the latest family-friendly additions to Netflix which include some of the classics of yesteryear, everything old is new again.
If you’re looking to recreate your childhood memories of Saturday morning TV viewing, consider introducing your kids to these shows, now streaming on Netflix:
Garfield and Friends
Garfield the Cat and his wacky group of friends were everywhere in the 80’s and early ’90’s. The sloth-like and sarcastic tabby who despised the thought of any type of work was a favourite among both kids and adults.
The Magic School Bus
A great combination of education and entertainment, this program keeps the kids glued to the screen as science was made fun. The Magic School Bus set out on a different adventure every weekend and now your kids can also travel along on an educational journey with the crew.
My Little Pony
Not exactly rainbows and unicorns, but close. Pastel colours, sparkles and characters with names such as Baby Heart Throb, Baby Cuddles and Sweet Stuff made this show a favourite in the ’80s.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
These turtles also double as super-heroes who battle criminals and bad guys, all in the name of justice. Oh, and they have names inspired by Renaissance-era painters. Cool, right?
Star Wars Clone Wars
Yup, your favourite Star Wars characters are all here: Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka Tano, and Darth Maul. The Clone Wars follows the Republic’s clone army in their struggle against Count Dooku’s Separatist forces and will keep your kids riveted (if they’re into this sort of thing).
If you grew up in the ’70’s or ’80s, you know the Spiderman Song by heart, and your kids should too.
If only for the groovy music, Scooby-Doo is a must-watch program for parents who want to relive their 70’s childhood and kids who want to get hip with the lingo of a groovy era.
What are your favourite “old school” Saturday morning cartoons? Tell me about them in the comments section below.
Want more parenting advice and tips? Click on the image below to get your copy of my eBook today!
Grocery shopping for a family of growing kids can be ridiculously expensive, as I’ve painfully found out. With a weekly shop a necessary requirement, a visit to the supermarket can bring on feelings of not only anxiety but downright fear as well. Pockets and wallets are only so deep and the thought of cleaning out the financial reserves in order to put food on the table can make any parent break out into a cold sweat.
With three growing kids and two adults, my grocery bill can be pretty hair-raising at times. Despite my best efforts, it’s definitely a challenge staying within a budget and making sure that my family dollars are stretched as much as possible.
That being said, there are some tricks that I’ve figured out that allow for greater savings and less money being handed over at the checkout. For anyone who’s been challenged to shop on a budget, these simple tips can really make a difference.
Here are my Top 10 Tips For Saving Money on Your Grocery Bill
1) Keep Up With Store Sales – Get ahead of the game by knowing what the best deals are in your local area. Check all of the store flyers regularly (both print and online) and scour them for deals. Sign up for email newsletters and store memberships (where applicable) and watch your savings grow.
2) Be Fickle! – Don’t commit to just one grocery store. In keeping with Tip #1, know what’s on sale and also where it’s on sale. If the product or food item that you need is cheaper at a location other than your regular grocery store or supermarket, make the trip to that location and make it worth your while, financially. Map out a course of action and pick up your needed food items wherever they’re most economically priced for maximum savings.
3) Use Coupons – Whether it’s a manufacturer’s coupon or a store coupon, take any opportunity you have to save using these items. Look at coupons as free money: you have the option of saving, so why not? To not use coupons on your frequently-purchased items is almost the same as throwing money away. With online options and digital downloads available for most coupons, they are easily scanned from your smartph0ne or mobile device – no clipping required. There are also a number of coupon apps that take the guesswork and tedium of coupon clipping non-existent. **Scroll down to the end of the post for the top 10 coupon apps for both Android and iOS**
4) Shop in Season – Quite simply, fruits and vegetables that are seasonal are less expensive than those that are not. Think of it: a mango in a New York winter or a pumpkin in the dog days of summer means that both items have been transported from far-reaching locales. In addition to the obvious carbon footprint that the item will have, you’ll also have to contend with the high price required to transport the item from distant locals to your local supermarket. Shop for fruits and vegetables that are in season and help both your bank account and the environment.
5) Buy Store Brands – A little-known secret of supermarkets as well as many consumer goods stores is that they often sell name-brand products under a “white label” banner. In other words, those store-brand potato chips or acetaminophen could very well be the more expensive name brand items (e.g. Lays Potato Chips or Tylenol) in disguise. It is a very well-known and common practice for the makers of many name-brand products to offer the exact same items to consumers under the particular store brand where they are sold. In other words, these items are just as good as name brands and, even better, you can often save up to a third or more off the name brand price. When it comes to groceries, consider buying store brand items for extra savings.
6) Don’t Shop When You’re Hungry – Perusing the aisles of your favourite grocery store on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster (pun intended). Before you head into the cereal aisle, make sure you’ve eaten enough that you’r full and not easily tempted by those unplanned snacks that beckon as you try to stick to your list. By eating before grocery shopping, there will be less likelihood that you will give in to a craving for the unplanned (and often expensive and unhealthy) food item in front of you.
7) Know Your Prices – To maximize the amount of money that you can save, make sure you go into the supermarket with a good idea of what things shouldcost and what your budget is for that particular day. As with any expedition, research and knowledge will help you achieve your goal – in this instance, saving money – and will arm you with the confidence to make the right food choices at the grocery store. Having a general idea about how much particular items cost will allow you to stay within your planned budgetary range and will lower your chance of overspending.
8) Buy Frozen or Canned Foods – Many foods that are frozen and canned are just as good for use in family recipes as fresh items, which are more expensive. If you’re down to the wire financially but are still on the hook to make a reasonably-balanced and healthy meal for the family, look no further than the frozen aisle of the grocery store and start saving. Examples of fresh food items that can be substituted for frozen in various recipes include frozen spinach in vegetarian lasagna, frozen peas for tuna casserole and canned tomatoes for homemade pasta sauce. (On a related note, always have some canned goods and non-perishable staples on hand so that you can rustle up a meal when you’re down to the wire and have to go grocery shopping. These included tomato paste, canned tomatoes, pasta, flour, sugar butter, etc.)
9) Make A Meal With What You’ve Got – Once a week, go through your cupboards, pantry, fridge and freezer and get creative! Make a meal out of your existing food items to make sure that nothing is going to waste. Doing so will not only save you money but will give you a better perspective on what foods are being eaten – or not.
10) Buy in Bulk – For certain items, buying in bulk can make a considerable difference in your total weekly food bill. Whether it’s stocking up on staples such as flour or rice, or purchasing “bulk size” items such as toilet paper or diapers, check your prices, particularly the unit price and start saving.
So as you can see, following a few simple strategies while grocery shopping can result in considerable savings for a family on a budget. All it takes is a little bit of planning in order to get the most “bang for your buck.”
Remember, before you go to the supermarket:
Have your coupons ready
Eat! Don’t shop while hungry
Frozen and canned goods can make cost-effective substitutes
Whose fault is it when kids refuse to eat what's put in front of them?
We’ve all dealt with the picky eating habits of our kids at one time or another. Whether it’s a disdain for broccoli or a dislike of asparagus, most parents have had to negotiate with their children about certain types of food that said child has deemed “gross.” I’ve done it myself and have used every trick in the book to get my kids to eat what I think to be a balanced and sufficient meal.
But what about those kids who consistently decline most food items put in front of them, demanding, instead another meal selection, snack or pronouncing a downright refusal to eat at all? What about them? Where did they get their chutzpah?
At the risk of being scolded, may I suggest that it may very well be from their parents?
Yes, their parents.
It’s safe to say that many kids are picky eaters because their parents have coddled them. Through fear that they will eat nothing and – gasp – go to bed hungry, they have been provided with their own personal chef and concierge, taking orders and serving meals on demand.
In many households, it is the child (or children) who have been allowed to dictate what is being served. In these homes, the parent(s) gives in to the child’s demands and makes special or separate meals for them. How many of us have given in and said, “okay, if you don’t want to eat this, I’ll make you something else?”
As parents (and mothers in particular – there, I said it), we worry about our children’s every need. Whether it’s the fact that they have a runny nose, a fever or the fear that they haven’t had enough to eat (in our opinion), so many of us feel the need to rectify the situation at any cost. It’s this parental instinct that takes over and shifts the balance of power from the parent to the child.
In the case of picky eating, the tendency for the parent to give in to the child’s refusal to eat sets up an expectation that all demands and requests will be accommodated.
In these scenarios, the child feels that they are in control and they don’t have to try anything. Also, it sets them up for unrealistic expectations as adults that they will be given in to whatever they ask for.
Allowing kids to set the stage for meals is just one example of the growing trend towards a child-centred philosophy of parenting. The rise of “helicopter parenting”and an age where over-protection is the norm, not the exception, just feeds (pun intended) kids desire to have all of their demands fulfilled.
Unfortunately, giving in to these demands just sets up kids for unrealistic expectations in the future. As difficult as it may be, it’s in our kids’ best interests to not always give in to their demands, particularly regarding food choices. In the absence of a specific allergy or inability to digest certain foods, what’s on the table for dinner should be just that – dinner, with no option for choice. At the risk of sounding like an old fogey, when I was a kid, there was no choice – each meal was what we were eating and that was it. No consulting with us kids about whether or not they wanted to eat it, what they wanted instead, or why they didn’t like it. Not eating meant that they’d likely have a grumbling tummy and a voracious appetite the following morning.
It’s a hard thing to do, denying your child their preference for food, as there’s always the fear that they’ll starve. They won’t. Especially if there’s a fridge full of food and a healthy balanced meal in front of them that they have chosen not to eat. As difficult as it may be, as parents, we are obliged to teach our kids that there are not always choices in life. As they grow up and later when they become adults, they will need to know that sometimes, the luxury of choice is absent. More importantly, it’s crucial that children learn early to be flexible, accommodating and that sometimes they will have to just go with the flow and deal with the situation at hand instead of assuming that there will be an option. There won’t always be one.
Is your child a picky eater? How do you respond when your child won’t eat their meal? Do you give in or say “no?” Tell me about it in the comments section below.
Want more parenting advice and tips? Click on the image below to get your copy of my eBook today!
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