In these tough economic times, many people are lookign to save money on meals. Here is a great article all about how to save money on family meals.
(ARA) – Ah, family dinner time. A meal lovingly prepared and family members gathered around the dining table sharing stories from their day. While a special meal is a time-honored tradition, the planning, time and the cost involved may leave some without an appetite.
Many shoppers are on the hunt for affordable and simpler shopping routines and they are looking to save money on meals. Regardless of whether you’re planning a holiday feast, a birthday celebration, or just day-to-day meals throughout the year, it’s easier and more cost effective if you go into grocery shopping prepared.
Consider these tips from national grocery retailer Save-A-Lot before your next shopping trip and save money on meals:
Plan for several meals rather than just one -Many grocery shoppers make the mistake of only planning for a big special meal when they can cut time and cost by planning for several. Decide ahead of time how your family might want to use leftover meat or veggies from the meal, and buy extra ingredients to extend your meal into the following week. For example, if during the holidays your family craves the leftover turkey sandwiches as much as they love the big roasted bird, be sure to stock up on bread, mayonnaise, mustard and lettuce in advance.
Create a weekly meal planner -This is a good idea year round, but it’s especially helpful to do so during holidays when your schedule gets more hectic. Think about what you and your family members typically consume each day. If there is a particular food item or meal idea that your whole family enjoys, make sure to stock up when it is on sale. Ask each family member to pick a meal for dinner. Make contingencies such as quick and easy lunch items for kids who may be home during a school break, or snacks for visiting family members.
Visit grocery store websites for tools and deals -Grocery retailers frequently offer tips and tools for meal planning, as well as exclusive online bargains. This is your chance to really save money on meals. Check to see if your store is offering discounts in exchange for signing up for their shopping clubs year round. For example, Save-A-Lot offers a $5 coupon for signing up for its Smart Shopper Club.
Take advantage of store brands -Many grocery stores offer their own private brands of foods and everyday items, and frequently these items are of equivalent quality as more expensive national brand names. By using store brands, you can save a little money on your grocery bill and splurge on something special, such as a celebratory dessert. Store brands are great for helping to keep your weekly grocery costs down.
Keep track of ingredients to replenish - You’ve got everything laid out to make chocolate chip cookies, but you forgot to buy the baking soda – nothing is more frustrating than having to make a return trip to a store. Keep track of ingredients you frequently use in your cooking. Then, as soon as you use up an item, immediately add it to your ongoing grocery list. By the end of the week, not only will your shopping list be complete, but you won’t be stuck in the store trying to remember what is or is not in your cupboard. You also won’t be tempted to buy something you don’t need. What’s more, be sure to use measuring utensils so you don’t use more ingredients than necessary – which can be costly to your family’s waistline and budget.
Eliminate shopping hassles - Grocery shopping can be a time-consuming hassle, especially for busy, on-the-go families. Some retailers offer discounted, everyday prices that can help eliminate the need to map out complicated store-to-store routes, or navigate through a maze of aisles to find the best deals. Save-A-Lot’s stores not only deliver savings of up to 40 percent, compared with conventional grocery stores, but also feature, small, efficient formats designed for a quick and convenient shopping experience.
With these few simple tips, you’ll not only save money on meals by saving at the grocery store, but you’ll have more time to enjoy cooking and celebrating with those you love.
For more tips, visit Menu Planning Central – and learn the quick and easy way to get dinner on the table and enjoy more quality tim with your family.