Have you seen the prices at the grocery store lately? That seems to be the question everybody is asking. Food prices have soared in recent years and most families are looking for ways to cut costs. Fortunately, unlike many necessary expenses, food is an area where we can save money. The key to success at saving food dollars is planning!

Think about expenses for the month, including household expenses, school fees, activities, etc. Budget for each activity. During this time, it is crucial to also set aside a budget for food that will sustain your family for the month, including food that may be purchased at restaurants as well at the grocery store. This budget should be made prior to the first day of the month.

For many families, the beginning of the year is a time to improve on various aspects of everyday living. One thing that the whole family can be involved in this year is meal planning. Planning meals with your family is a great way to get input from younger and senior family members. Many households have picky eaters or members with food allergies, so planning together will give everyone an opportunity help select menu items that they too will enjoy throughout the week.

First of all, plan for the seven day week. Most of the time we only plan meals for special occasions or one or two days out of the week, at most. During the planning stage, use sale flyers from your local grocers. Most of these can be found online, while a few grocers still have the print versions in the store, or in your weekly newspaper. Many grocers also have apps that offer discounts you can use. If you have young learners in your home, meal planning can be an excellent time to begin teaching sight reading. Have children search the print grocery flyers with you to identify various fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, dairy products,…

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