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By Thea Theresa English

How families can save money at the supermarket

Food prices are increasing and this puts a dent in your grocery budget. Thankfully there are ways that families can save money on groceries while still being able to purchase their favorite brands. Purchase the items you use the most on sale in bulk so that you will always have them on hand and not have to make frequent trips to the store to buy these items.

Take inventory of pantry and refrigerator

So often families buy things they do not need at the supermarket because they are not aware of what is already in the pantry and refrigerator. You should take note of which items you have in the home and determine which items you need to buy more of. This reduces overspending at the store and you waste less food. You want to do this each time you get paid so that you will know how much of your money should go toward groceries.

Get coupons

While you do not need to be extreme about this method, coupon usage is one of the best ways to save money on groceries. Subscribe to manufacturers' mailing lists and receive coupons by email or through snail mail. Supermarkets also have weekly coupons and sales ads you can use to save money.

Purchase cheaper cuts of meat

Meat gets expensive but you can save money by getting cheaper cuts of meat such as ground beef, leg quarters, pork chops, beef sirloin, ground turkey and chicken drumsticks. Look for creative ways to prepare these meats. For example, instead of making spaghetti and meatballs with the ground beef, you can make stuffed bell peppers with cheddar sauce. Or you can take pieces of beef sirloin and prepare a lasagna with vegetables.

Choose a different supermarket

Some supermarkets are better than others when it comes to prices so it would be a good idea to compare the prices of different stores and then choosing the store that offers the best prices. By doing this you save more money and your budget will not break.

Ditch ready-made boxed meals

Those ready-made boxed meals might take less than 20 minutes to prepare but they are pricey. You can save money by purchasing fresh ingredients and making these meals yourself. The same tip would apply to frozen dinners. Freshly made meals are also healthier than the boxed ones.

Purchase generic brands

Most generic brands do not taste much different from regular store brands and they save you money in the long run. Generic canned vegetables are especially great to purchase in bulk and this enables you to get your daily vitamin intake without going broke. Other items you can buy generic include flour, butter, sugar, milk and rice.

Don't buy just because it is on sale

While we all love bargains, it is unwise to purchase things we rarely use just because it is on sale. For example, your family does not eat a lot of wheat bread but because you have coupons for it, you stock up on this bread unnecessarily. Not only do you waste bread, but you waste money.

With these simple strategies you will have a better food budget.

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