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How to Master the Grocery Budget

Is there anything more satisfying and yet financially draining than buying food at the grocery store? Having good food on-hand doesn’t always have to cost an arm and a leg. Learn how to master your grocery budget with these few tips.

Know your budget
Winging it on meals, especially with a large family, will cost you. Know your grocery budget before you begin. 

Work with the seasons and the sales
If you pay attention to what's in season for produce, and what's on sale at your local grocery store, you can plan your menu around these items. Be sure the sale items serve a purpose and avoid buying them just because they’re on sale. 

Plan your meals
You probably already have a good idea of how much each grocery item costs. Keep this in mind when you’re figuring up how many meals and snacks you’ll need for the week. Your budget, coupled with the above information, should help guide you as to how simple or complex you can make each meal. Obviously the more complex, the more ingredients, the more expense.
 
Combine new and old recipes
We all have our tried-and-true favorites for the bulk of your meal planning. If your budget allows, pepper in some new and interesting recipes here and there too. 

Buy and prepare food in bulk
If you have a large family that eats in high volume, buying and prepping your food in correspondingly high volume makes sense. Meal planning will help you determine what you need in advance, and buying in bulk will help you get it at the best price.

Shop local
Check into your local grocery options for other bulk food purchases. You may find grocery co-ops, ethnic food stores, and local farmers markets can offer you great ingredients at a much better price than your regular grocery store.

Scanning receipts 
If you find you have a little extra time to search for savings, you may want to consider a receipt scanning app that will give you cash back for your purchases. It’s a fairly quick process that could save you some money each visit. 

Once you get into the swing of meal planning, you’ll find it’s easy to stick to your budget and still have plenty of good food on-hand. Hopefully you also discover local stores in your area that have great deals while you’re at it.  

Source: Your Money Geek