It’s no surprise that families are spending their grocery money on bills, leaving little or nothing for food. As a result, more people are filing for food stamp benefits at astonishing rates. However when some people receive their foodstamp benefits, they don’t know how to use them or make them last. Well, I know how to make $300 last all month for a family of four.
1. Meal Planning
3. Sales Papers
4. Stocking Up
6. Invest in a deep freezer
When you sit down and plan your meals for the month you know what you’re going to have everyday and can shop accordingly. As you plan your meals, be sure to try new things, keep your menus fresh and for Goodness sake, don’t try to cook everyday. Write out your grocery list for each week and STICK TO IT! Instead of buying cupcakes, salty and sugary snacks, buy whatever fresh fruit is on sale. Don’t try to buy your food for the whole month; it’ll be eaten faster and some of it might spoil. Get you some recipe books, surf the web for new, easy recipes and try more fresh veggies. You don’t HAVE to have meat everyday. If you plan your meals right, you should have leftovers that you can serve the next day or even put in the freezer for another time. On the weekends we have “leftover buffet” which is everything we’ve had all week, warmed up and set out buffet style. It’s fun (sometimes) and we don’t waste food.
Ok, my Mom calls me the coupon queen. I match up my coupons with the sales papers every single week. At first I was only saving like $5-$6 per shopping trip. Then I got so good at it that I left the grocery store with $300 worth of groceries for $160! I felt like I hit a lick! I then came to the realization that I AM THE SHIT at grocery shopping. This is what you do; go through the Sunday paper for the coupon section, go to websites and print off coupons, even look for in-store coupons. But the best, best, best thing is double and triple coupon offers. Check to see if your grocery store offers these because this is where you save the most. For example; a loaf of bread may be $1.99 regularly, but it’s on sale for $1.49. If you have a coupon for $.50 off and the grocery store offers double coupons, you’ll only end up paying $.49 for that loaf of bread! If the store offers triple coupons that bread will cost $.00! You’ll end up getting that bread free! Once you get the rhythm of it, it’ll be a piece of cake.
Every week grocery stores send out new ads. All you have to do is see whats being offered for what price and match up your coupons for those items IF and only IF you need them. Just because a store offers 10 for 10 items doesn’t mean you have to buy 10. Not unless you’re…
If the grocery store has an item for an unbelievable price and you’ll need it, by all means stock up. Stuff like the boxed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, etc. all have good shelf lives and can be used two to three months later. Sometimes some stores even have good sales on meat, but be careful. It may be on it’s way to spoiling.
If your friend or neighbor has too much of something that you need and you have too much of something she needs, when y’all trade off this called co-oping. There’s nothing wrong with it. People do it all the time. For instance, I had 10 boxes of Caprisun and my sister had a few extra small bags of chips. We traded a box of Caprisun for 10 bags of chips. So neither of us had to spend extra money for what we needed. But you’ve gotta be careful though. Be sure to do even trades and, if you have to, write all trades down.
Invest in a deep freezer
My deep freezer is my best friend. I keep it loaded! It’s the best way to store food you’re not going to eat immediately AND it’s your own little restaurant. Whenever I have some freezable leftovers I put them in small ziploc bags and label them by what it is, the date, and how to warm it up. Banquet ain’t got nothin’ on me!