If you have several mouths to feed, your family household budget likely includes larger grocery-related expenses. The more children you have, the more groceries you’ll need to feed your family. Moreover, grocery costs have consistently been on the rise, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. So what can you do?
There are many ways you can cut down on your grocery expenses, including through grocery discounts, coupons, or assistance programs like SNAP or WIC. Keep reading below to find helpful strategies.
If your family expenses don’t allot you much money to spend on groceries, it’s a good idea to start with federal and state assistance programs. Most of these programs are income-based, but the income guidelines you’ll need to meet often vary by program.
The two largest food assistance programs are:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
SNAP, more commonly known as food stamps, provides monthly benefits that you can use to purchase food for your family. Your monthly allotment is based on household income and household size. If you are approved, you can use an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card to purchase a variety of nutritious foods.
On the other hand, WIC is available to qualifying pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, as well as infants and young children. Like SNAP, benefits are provided on a monthly basis. However, the WIC food list provides you with the specific brands, types of foods, and quantities you can get from a WIC store. A WIC grocery store is any store that accepts WIC and carries the foods you can get through your benefits.
Another tip for saving money is to search for and use available supermarket discounts. There are many supermarkets that provide rotating supermarket discounts to their customers to instill loyalty and beat their competitors’ prices. Many of these stores provide print, digital, or mailed advertisements you can sign up for and take advantage of.
Grocery coupons offer another great way to find grocery discounts. You can find coupons in print ads and newspapers, on other products, or online. Some coupons are only specific to an item or brand, but others may require you to purchase additional products or more than one item.
Another strategy for reducing your grocery family expenses is to visit your local food bank. Food banks provide families in need with food to help supplement their groceries. Food banks commonly operate on a monthly, weekly, or biweekly basis, and the amount of food you can receive is generally related to the number of people in your household.
The closest grocery store to you may not be the cheapest grocery store, so you may consider traveling a bit further. Take your basic grocery list for family and shop around at different grocery stores in your area to determine the cheapest one. Grocery stores set their own prices, and some offer better deals than others.
Lastly, create a cheap grocery list and stick to it. Getting in the habit of sticking to your grocery list can help you reduce impulse buying, which leads to higher grocery costs.