So last time we talked about the importance of making a meal plan and shopping list based on what’s on sale instead of the other way ’round (making a meal list and *then* your grocery list). Just doing this alone can help reduce your grocery bills.
Doing it this way does not mean you only have to rely on sale items each week, though. Another key factor in controlling your grocery budget is stocking up on items and keeping a well-supplied pantry. This is not the same thing as hoarding; we’ve all seen people who hoard food, and it’s not pretty.
Remember those nine cans of tomato products I purchased? We didn’t use them all in a week. Their price was good enough, though, that I bought what I hope will last us ’til next time canned tomatoes are on sale. Now, if spaghetti noodles and ground beef happen to go on sale in the future, I can make spaghetti without also having to buy a can of tomato sauce at full price; I can just pull a can out of my pantry. If I’m cooking soup and want to make it go farther, I can pour in a can of tomatoes… tomatoes that cost me seventy-five cents instead of $1.25. Fifty cents may not seem like a lot of money, but I bought nine cans of tomatoes…. that’s $4.50 worth of savings, just with that one product!
Maybe you can’t buy loads of extra things at once; that’s more than okay. Every little bit makes a difference. Can you afford one extra can of beans? Do it, even if you don’t have any plans for it that week. Maybe you find a bag of tortillas marked down to an excellent price; buy them and throw them in the freezer. Next time you want tacos, that’s one less ingredient you’ll have to get. Is there a dinged up can of vegetables in your store’s clearance section? Buy it and put it in the pantry for soup in the future.
No fancy huge walk-in pantry like you see on TV shows? No worries! There *are* still places to store extra food in your home… we’ll discuss those next time.