Parents know the cost of raising a family can be considerable. While some of the expenses associated with raising a family, including healthcare premiums, are largely beyond parents’ control, moms and dads can take steps to cut costs and start saving money.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Annual Expenditure Survey, parents devote about 8 percent of their family spending to groceries. Families with more than two children no doubt spend even more on groceries, which may be stretching their budgets very thin. Fortunately, parents concerned about their grocery bills can employ various strategies to lower those bills and start saving more.
Never shop without first making a list. Modern grocery stores are much bigger than they might have been when today’s parents were growing up. While that might be more convenient by ensuring parents can find all their groceries under one roof, it also can lead to more impulse buys as shoppers stroll aisles and pass display after display. After checking your pantry and refrigerator to determine what you have and what you might need, make a list before heading out for the grocery store. Such lists can help you avoid purchasing items you don’t need.
Keep the kids at home. Kids have a knack for finding unhealthy snacks and beverages, and parents may cave to the temptation to purchase such items in an attempt to get youngsters to calm down. By keeping kids at home while you grocery shop, you can limit distractions and get out of the store quickly. That reduces the likelihood that you will buy items you don’t need, which will save you time and money.
Grow your own herbs and vegetables. Cooking with herbs is a wonderful way to add flavor to any meal, and vegetables are an essential element of a healthy diet. While store-bought herbs and vegetables may not break the bank, over time the cost savings of growing your own herbs and vegetables can be considerable. And many people find gardening a relaxing and rewarding hobby they can enjoy on their own or with their children.
Resolve to prepare meals with items that have been abandoned in your pantry. Few people, especially parents, wait until their pantries are completely empty to go grocery shopping. If your pantry is full, clean it out and place some of the older, unexpired items on the counter, resolving to use them for meals during the week. This is a great way to make use of items you already purchased but might have forgotten about while also ensuring your money is not going to waste.
Buy in bulk. Buying certain items in bulk can save large families considerable amounts of money. For example, buying a 100-count box of garbage bags for $15 every few months at your local home improvement store is more financially savvy than purchasing a 10-count box of garbage bags for $5 every couple of weeks. Avoid buying perishable items in bulk, as you run the risk of not eating the items before they expire, negating any savings you might have realized by buying in bulk.