Helpful Ways to Save Money During and After a Divorce
Key Points
  • There are ways to save money at the grocery store without having to purchase the processed food. Compare priced, item-to-item and even store-to-store. Clip coupons for only the items you use, do not purchase something because you can get it for next to nothing but it sits on your shelf or you have to throw it away.
  • If at all possible, avoid any of the convenience items, it always costs more. Plan out your menu, do not go to the store hungry, it is easy to add more money to the shopping trip that you intended to spend if you are hungry.
  • Make a grocery list and stick to it. Do not take the children shopping with you, stick to your schedule and if you can shop only once a week to save time.

You can slash your food budget by at least 10 percent and eat healthy in the process. Here’s how:

  • Compare prices. Prices will vary item-to-item, store-to-store. Get to know the supermarket chains in your area. Keep within a close proximity to your home, and map out a time-saving route, by which you can hit two stores and get the best deals.
  • Clip coupons for stuff you actually use. Don’t buy it just because you have a coupon for it, and don’t spend more with a coupon when your brand is cheaper without one.
  • Avoid "convenience" stores like the plague. Convenience costs more.
  • Huddle the family team together and plan weekly menus. This is also a good time to delegate age-appropriate chores to be around meal time; such as setting the table, chopping the veggies, serving the entree, making the nutritious yet inexpensive dessert, clearing the table, loading the dishwasher, etceteras.
  • Eat! before you shop. If you’ve ever gone to the grocery store hungry, then you know the financial, caloric and fat-filled disaster that awaits you.
  • Make a grocery list and stick to it. Do you really need those organically grown vegetables that are on the impulse buy display in the produce section, when a green pepper has just as much vitamin B and flavor? Some stores offer free counseling on how to shop smart, cost effective and healthy.
  • Shop once a week. New coupons come out weekly. Stick to the schedule, be organized and save time. Make food shopping a pleasant weekly experience, not a daily grind.
  • Shop alone. No children: there are plenty of other ways they can help the team. This is not one of them. Take a child with you into a supermarket, and you’ll come out with more of what you didn’t want, less of what your family needs and a giant blip in your budget.
  • Buy the store brands. Go ahead, read the back labels and compare the ingredients. Most store-brand products match the big names line-by-line in content and nutrition. Why pay more for colorful packaging or slick advertisements?
  • Shop specials on meats and buy the larger portions. You can eat leftovers and cut portions off to freeze for later use. One caution on meat specials: Pick up a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pamphlet on understanding the dates stamped on meat packages, and the proper handling of meats. Most reputable supermarkets carry the free publications. Read them and follow their guidelines. Otherwise, what you save your family in food dollars may cost your loved ones in food poisoning.
  • Never buy non-food items at a grocery store. Use discount stores for trash bags, paper towels, light bulbs, cleaning supplies, cold remedies, etceteras. Include discount drug and household item stores in your shopping route.

As a final savings strategy, look over your shopping cart before you get to the check-out register. See what items you can put back. Doing without one or two will help and please you, too! Make food shopping a stress-free venture. Go there fed and prepared. Put your mind to work on this fairly easy and technical task. Browse the market. Do some people watching. Take the time by yourself for a pleasant experience. You’ve earned it!

Other money-saving ideas:

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