Is Your Grocery Budget Out of Control?

If we think in terms of eating healthy, not filling- up with junk food, then perhaps grocery costs are out of control. A couple with kids could go bankrupt feeding their children, especially if teenagers. We can serve them the biggest protein packed meal, and an hour or two later their starving. The cheapest items people bought in the past have become unreasonably expensive. How can we still eat right keeping within a budget?

My first suggestion is head to the nearest dollar store for many of your everyday items. I purchase a lot of my miscellaneous items there like baggies, foil wrap, laundry detergent, canned goods, cookies, shampoo, razors, and so much more. Maybe not everything is brand name, but saving around $200-$240/month makes a huge difference. Those saving can be converted into milk, lunches for kids, more meat, and some treats that currently puts our budgets totally out of whack.

I like the concept of meal plans purchasing what we will eat weekly reducing what I call fridge wastage. Part of this is my thought process in stretching meals saving money. As an example instead of purchasing chicken breasts I'll buy thighs much more economically. The greatest starter filling the belly is chicken soup incorporating lentils, carrots, celery, and served on egg noodles. Next on the menu homemade coleslaw lettuce too costly, served with dollar store dinner rolls. Then taking the thighs from the soup putting some barbeque sauce on, broil having a tasty crispy main. Sides could be potatoes, frozen peas, and baked apples for desert. The most frugal versatile protein is ground beef, meatballs, spaghetti sauce, meatloaf, chilli so many dishes. The trick is buying it in bulk keeping it economical.

Grocery saving flyers are great, but just because something is on special be sure you'll eat it. I buy specials that are within one to five dollars, but make sure it will be eaten. In the summer picking berries freezing them or making jams. As well growing vegetables in a garden also freezing them for winter when pricing goes through the roof.

As sidebar I believe technology is cutting into many aspects of our budgets including food. If we look at our monthly service provider bills, how much are we spending to get more data, multiple cellphones, and variety of other costly features? I bet if we cut back on a few of those, we would have more for groceries and eat better.

My perspective is that our dollar has no value anymore, inflation has become unreasonable, and buying just the basics including taxes is a burden on most working poor people. Regardless we all still need to live, eating is not a luxury but a necessity. Therefore to keep our grocery budget in control we need to shop smart, reduce our wastage, stretch our healthy meals, and working people should be able to eat steak monthly without hardship. Hopefully my tips above will help others to achieve those important goals. Eat well and prosper!
By Arnold Nadler

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