Shop once a month and save!
A trip to the supermarket with kids usually requires a big deep breath and more time and money than you actually have. There's the treats that somehow hitch a ride in your trolley - and blow the budget, the painfully long check out queues and the ever-present fear of your toddler chucking a wobbly. While most of us don't have the luxury of hiring a baby sitter while we do the shopping, you can limit the number of times you have to step foot in a supermarket by shopping just once a month. Yes, it can be done!
Here's how you can shop monthly, save money and avoid unplanned visits to the supermarket.
Stock up and save
Forget the big-name supermarkets and visit a discount, or wholesale, store once a month for your everyday pantry needs. Buying 4x your weekly non-perishable items such as pasta, rice and tinned goods at bulk bins, or a similar discount retailer, is guaranteed to leave you with a fair bit of extra change. If you’ve got limited pantry space in your kitchen, stock a refil pantry in the garage or laundry with the extra tins and bottles.
Get your perishables delivered fresh
Put an end to the daily dash to the supermarket or green grocer and get your bread, milk, meat, fruit and vegetables delivered straight to your door direct from the supermarket or produce supplier. There are many suppliers that are affordable and guarantee that the fruit and veg will be fresh. You'll also be eating seasonally too, which is not only cheaper, but healthier for your family.
Order nappies online
Avoid a trip to the supermarket when you've run out of nappies by getting a little money-savvy and buying them online in bulk. Online nappy suppliers often stock brands you can’t find in the shops at prices that will put a smile on your face. Get your nappies delivered, and somone else will be carrying them inside.
TIP: Like the pantry backup cupboard, it's a good idea to have a spare storage area in the laundry, or elsewhere, to house your tower of nappies. Do this and you'll never have to scream "honey, we're out of nappies" again!
Plan your meals
Spend a little bit of time planning your family's meals and you'll not only reduce your shopping time, but your supermarket spend too. It may sound like a thankless task, but once you get into the habit of meal planning you really won’t look back. You can then build your shopping list with the ingredients you'll need. You'll be more focused on what you need when you shop and less likely to waste money on unneccssary items. Plus, if you shop once a month, you'll also reduce the number of times you (or the kids) are temped by extra purchases.
Grow your own herbs
Any meal can be spiced up with a few sprigs of your favourite herb. Growing your own herbs means extra flavour is just outside your back door whenever you need it! If you don’t have room for a garden herb patch or you live in an apartment block, you’ll be pleased to know that you can create an oasis of herbs in a pot with minimal cost. Here's how to grow your own herbs and salad food.
Make emergency freezer food
Let’s face it, there are going to be times when even the most organised mum gets thrown a curve ball. Unplanned guests for dinner? Busy day with no time to cook? There’s no need to scurry to the supermarket if you have a frozen meal or two at the ready! You can cook food specifically to freeze or just freeze some leftovers – either way, a stash of emergency freezer food will always save the day.
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This article was written by Jo Harris for Kidspot.com.au and has been adapted for Kidspot.co.nz