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VIDEO: How to Save Money Grocery Shopping

by Samantha on July 27, 2015

Here are 10 tips that will help you save money at the supermarket

vintage grocery

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! 😉

kids in cart

As a follow up to this post - How to Save Money on Your Grocery Bill - Top 10 Tips For Parents - I’ve provided tips via YouTube video as well, for those of you who may not have the time to read the full post.

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

 

Image courtesy of www.zazzle.com

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Simple money-saving strategies for families

Groceries

That will be $257.43, please.

Ouch! That hurt!

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 should cost 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:
  • Plan ahead
  • Have your coupons ready
  • Eat! Don’t shop while hungry
  • Frozen and canned goods can make cost-effective substitutes
  • Buy in season
  • Choose store brands wherever possible

RESOURCES

The Top 10 Coupon Apps for Android

The Top 10 Coupon Apps for iOS

VIDEO: How to Save Money Grocery Shopping

What are some of your tips and tricks for saving money at the grocery store? Tell me about it in the comment section below.

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Image courtesy of www.sheknows.com

 

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 brady bunch2

So what are you?

Are you “The Smart One?,” “The Responsible One” or do you get a free pass because you were “The Baby” of the family?

If you were the firstborn in your brood, it may be likely that you’ve displayed traits of maturity and responsibility a lot more than your siblings. Conversely, if you’re the middle child, you’ve probably heard that you have some type of “complex,” whether or not it’s true.

How realistic are these assessments of our character? Does birth order really affect our personalities, or is it just speculation, not based on any type of fact?

Sure - there have indeed been studies that seem to prove the idea that your position in your family with regards to your siblings indeed affects the way you behave and how well you do in life. That being said, there are always detractors, and there seem to be a fair number of those who discount the whole idea of birth order as an indicator of personality. And then, of course, there are those who say that it’s not that black and white; that the truth is somewhere in between, based on a variety of factors.

So what’s the real deal? Does birth order really affect personality? What do YOU think?

Leave me your thoughts and insights in the comments section below.

 VIDEO: Does Birth Order Affect Personality?




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June Cleaver

I was back on Huffington Post Live, this time to discuss the myth of the “perfect parent.” As we all know, he or she doesn’t exist, so why is it that we feel that we still have to adhere to this impossible standard?

Watch the clip below and let me know what you think!

VIDEO: The Myth of the Perfect Parent on Huffington Post Live

Image courtesy of www.babble.com

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Keeping Up With The Janeses - Grade School Edition


It’s not “keeping up with the Joneses” if you’re the parent of a growing girl.  It’s “Janeses,” not “Joneses” and as the  mother of a daughter who strongly wishes to keep up with the latest, at least when it comes to fashion and clothing, this post is all about girl envy.

“Jane’s house is really nice. She has such a beautiful bedroom and so many toys.”

“Jane has really cool new running shoes that are really expensive.”

“Jane wears really nice new clothes all the time.”

What do you do when your child has friend-envy and you can’t keep up? Here’s the scoop: my daughter has become increasingly aware of people, places and most of all, things. I guess it’s part and parcel of growing up and I should be thankful that my child is so observant. Of course, with any situation, there are always two sides to the story, and the flip side to this reality is that the “things” that she’s aware of are not always as easily acquired by moms like me.

The reality is that our family lives a middle-of-the-road lifestyle where discretionary income is just that: discretionary. If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you’ll know that I’m all about being frugal, saving money and getting the most bang for my buck as I can. They say that necessity is the mother of invention and believe me, saving money is a necessity in our household because there’s not a lot of it flying around.

That being said, I continue to stand by my love of bargains, saving money on purchases and general frugality. I’ve always been a bargain-hunter and, truth be told, even if I came upon a whole lot of money for some inconceivable reason, I’d still be looking for the best deal. The reason for this long preamble is to paint the picture about how money is spent around our home. If it’s not clear, I don’t believe in spending a lot of cash on what I see are unnecessary purchases. Sure - my kids get new toys and clothes and items that they like, but I’m loathe to spend hundreds of dollars on one pair of shoes for my eight-year-old that she will inevitably outgrow within a few months. This inherent value system is causing me great difficulties as my daughter strives to “keep up with the Janeses.” “Jane,” you see, has designer running shoes that cost three times what I spent on my daughter’s running shoes. She also dresses really well and I believe everything she wears is new. She looks great. She also has a beautiful home, three times larger than mine. Suddenly, I feel guilty and inadequate as a parent.

I know, it’s crazy, and my more logical side tells me to not worry about what others have and stick to my frugal guns. Even so, the twinge of sadness that I can’t provide the same goods for my girl is there, as irrational as it may be. I explain to my daughter that it’s lovely that her friend has so many wonderful items. I remind my daughter that she, too has many things, so many more than the average child outside the industrialized world (yes, I’m playing that argument now). In spite of these discussions and the truth behind these facts, I still feel guilty.

Why?

Is it because as a parent, I want to provide my child with everything they desire, and never have them feel like they are a “have-not?”

Is it because I can’t provide as “well” as these other parents, at least to the tune of designer clothes and shoes that, although impractical, do really look snazzy and cool?

Is it because my worth, my measure as a mom is being weighed in “stuff” - material goods - despite my better judgement? This mom should know better and she does, but it still doesn’t assuage the feelings of inadequacy about her ability to be the best parent she can be. Apparently succeeding at this title means buying your kid the newest, most expensive and best of everything, according to some parents. By their standards, therefore, I’ve effectively failed.
This situation exemplifies how we as parents (and moms in particular) put so many stresses and pressures upon ourselves to be perfect. To give our kids everything they want and to keep a perfect home. Even though we know better, that reality still remains in our heads and is brought to the forefront in situations like the one with my daughter. As a result, the scenario discussed here has forced me to reevaluate my family values, at least when it comes to purchasing.

The lesson here is that reevaluation isn’t wholly a bad thing. Stepping back and sorting out what your value structure is, what things are important to you and how you want to teach your children is always a good lesson. After taking a long hard look, this is what I’ve figured out: I’m frugal (some would say cheap) at the best of times and that’s not going to change any time soon. I enjoy getting a deal and appreciate a good bargain when they come around. Also, this family budget has a cap on it and the “latest and greatest” is not on the radar when shopping for my thousands of kids. Because of this, I’ll continue to pass on my thrifty values in the face of a child who wants to “keep up with Jane.” A difficult task, indeed, but I’ll keep trying.

Want more of my parenting advice and tips? Click on the image below to get your copy of my eBook today!

Image courtesy of www.savvymom.ca
Image of Marc Jacobs, Armani Juniors and children’s Dior dresses courtesy of www.NeimanMarcus.com

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