Monday, January 16, 2012

Food Budgeting ~ How to eat well, but save more!

Think your food dollar doesn't go as far as it used to? You're right. In fact, for many people, rising food costs are creating a significant household hardship. It would be one thing if skyrocketing costs meant that we needed to forgo extravagant delicacies at the family dinner table. Unfortunately, staples like bread, milk, cereal, meat, poultry, and eggs are hardest hit.

There are a number of reasons for the crunch, including oil prices that cause the cost of food production and transportation to rise significantly. It's also a factor that corn prices have more than doubled and soybean prices nearly tripled recently, thanks in part to the boost in ethanol and biodiesel. Weather disasters have devastated some crops, and a weak U.S. dollar and high global demand for food all figure into the higher bottom line.

The outlook for food prices isn't promising, but that doesn't mean you need to sacrifice at the dinner table. While you may need to make some minor adjustments in your menu planning, shopping, and cooking habits, there's no need to forgo either flavor or health while tightening your food budget. In fact, by stocking up on some basic staples, seasonal produce, and spices, you can serve your family meals that are delicious, healthful, and frugal.

Eat fresh:

Fresh fruits and veggies are economical, not to mention good for you! Shopping on Wednesdays are a great way to save as most retailers come out with their sale ad. 

Stock up when on sale:

Buy in bulk when cheap. Make room in your pantry. In the end it will save you $ and allow you to mix and match different dishes for variety.

Clip coupons:

Many times it is worth spending extra time to clip the Sunday paper's coupons. Another way to save money, but also buy brands of items you wouldn't normally purchase.

What are some ways you save money for your family?

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