Week 2 of the P&G Mom Family Financial Challenge was all about food. This week we learned different ways that managing the grocery budget helps to keep your family on track.
Here are the 3 that I use:
1. Meal Planning
Meal Planning is the easiest way to control you family grocery budget. In our family we rarely eat fast food. Perhaps McDonalds once a month at most when the situation calls for it. And by “situation” I mean like earlier this week when it took me almost three hours to drive home through a ridiculous snow storm and I wasn’t about to try to cook dinner at past 7:30pm, so McDonald’s it was.
Meal planning means that you only buy what you need, eliminating the problem of food that just sits in your cupboards uneaten. It also means that for every meal I want to cook, I have all of the ingredients I need.
Meal planning also ensures that I have a meal I can prepare every day of the week, even if it means pancakes with bacon for dinner (best. dinner. ever, by the way).
Yes, cooking every day can be a huge time suck, but in addition to meals I make from scratch, I also buy meals that are quick and easy to throw together, like the kid’s favourite Kraft Dinner with hot dogs and easy taco salad for me and the hubs.
Leftovers are also a big part of my meal planning. Most meals I cook provide enough leftovers for the hubs and I to take to work the next day. And when they don’t, canned soup and sandwiches are cheap and easily portable. I stopped buying lunch at work sometime last spring.
3. Couponing… kind of
Yes I collect and redeem coupons. Yes I forget those coupons at home 75% of the time. Thankfully, I recently discovered two apps that are 100% better than me trying to remember to bring my coupons to the store every week.
App #1 – Checkout 51 – This app provides a cash back credit for purchasing items on their approved list of select products. It’s super easy to use. You go grocery shopping and buy the items that are approved for cash back. Then, you upload your receipt to their system using your cell phone camera, check off the items you want to claim, and they credit your account! That simple. When you get to $10 worth of credits in your account you can ask for a cheque to be mailed back to you. I’ve been using this app for about 2 months now and I’ve received $7 in credits. I plan on putting the cash back I receive in my savings account for a rainy day.
App #2 – PC Plus by President’s Choice – This app is a new points program that PC recently launched. When you sign up for the program and load your special offers into your app each week, you earn points for things you buy every day. 200 points for every dollar spent on onions here, 1000 points for no name shredded cheese there. Those points add up fast! You can cash in points for cash towards groceries. 20,000 points = $20 in groceries. Since January I’ve received $60 in free groceries. Best. App. EVER!
My favourite GVO Money Rule for this week? Rule#126 – Don’t pass up free money!
Through the month of February I’ll be blogging about the P&Gmom #SavingMadeSimple Family Financial Challenge and sharing the weekly financial tips and challenges with you. Join me as I journey through this challenge and learn how I’m getting my family through these “daycare years”.
Want to follow along with the #PGmom team as we take on this challenge?
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Disclosure: I am a P&Gmom/mamanP&G. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events and opportunities. The opinions on this blog are my own.