Here is a classic scenerio for the family in today’s world: You have paid all the bills and you look at what’s left for groceries. You discover that you only have $100 or less for groceries for the week. Oh no! You start to panic because you don’t think it can be done. So, how are you going to feed the family on just $100? The answer is you are going to become a very smart shopper.
It may sound difficult to grocery shop with just $100. The fact is that is will challenging but it will not be impossible. One hundred dollars averages out to $14.25 per day (100/7) and then the $14.25 averages out to $4.75 per meal (14.25/3). So, now that you know how much you can spend on each meal, let’s get shopping.
Clip Coupons & Hit Sales:
The newspaper is a great place to start in finding the food that is on sale. Most stores put a weekly flyer in the newspaper letting the public know what is on sale and the sale price. Shop around until you find the best price.
The newspaper is also a good source for coupons. Look through your paper and start clipping coupons. If you don’t feel like cutting out the coupons, there are several websites that offer coupons that you can print out using your computer. (Be careful as some websites will cause your computer to have a viruse.) If using the Internet, be sure to check with your local grocery store to see if they accept printed coupons. Also, check the back of your reciept because sometimes grocery stores will print a coupon on the back of the reciept.
Do not buy food from the sale or the coupon if you are not going to use it. This will be just spending money and then wasting it.
Dollar General, Family Dollar, and even Dollar Tree offers some non-perishable items. Utilize these smaller stores and get more food. For instance, everything at the Dollar Tree is $1. The Dollar Tree offers canned goods, rice, noodles, condiments,ect. So take around $20 of your $100 and go get rice, noodles and some of those canned goods. The rice and noodles will make any meal go further.
Buy store brands:
Don’t spend your money on name brand foods unless they are sale. Instead buy store brand goods. Store brand goods are basically the same thing as the name brand but they cost a lot less. You are basically paying for the name and not the product.
Buy in Bulk:
Most grocery stores have family packs of meat. Buying meat this way is cheaper than buying meat by the pound. For instance, you can get a 5-pound roll of ground beef for around $15. Then you divide that beef up into 1-pound servings, put them in freezer bags, and freeze until you are ready to use the beef. You just created 5 meals for the price of $15.
Chicken is usually sold the same way but the chicken is a touch more expensive. The chicken is around $20 for 10-pounds. Both chicken and beef are universal; which means that with a little creativity chicken and beef can be used for more than just beef and chicken. For instance, make chicken and dumplings with a package of chicken and for the beef, make chili, spaghetti, or vegetable soup.
Stores offer bags of cereal. Buy a bag and store in airtight containers and that could be a couple of days of breakfasst. However, if you are one of those people that like to cook breakfast then your best bet is to buy a box of pancake mix (or make your own) for around $2.50. This box of mix will also give instructions on making waffles. That is two breakfasts done. Eggs are fairly inexpensive as is a loaf of bread. Make some french toast for a breakfast meal.
The basics for breakfast food is: Eggs ($1.65), bread ($.89), sausage ($2.00), pancake mix ($2.50) and some cereal. Of course you are going to have to buy the milk and syrup but you can look for coupons for those items.
Get creative with some of the finds from the Dollar Tree. For instance; a can of tuna (2 for $1.00), a can of cream of mushroom soup ($1), a can of peas ($1), and a box of macoroni ($1) will make a great lunch. Add some baked bread with butter and garlic and you have made a filling lunch. If sandwiches are more your thing then mix up the tuna with some mayonnaise and add some eggs. Or perhaps you could get some tortilla shells and make a homemade pizza. The possibilities are endless when combining Dollar Tree finds.
Boxes of Jell-o and instant pudding mixes make wonderful desserts. You don’t just have to make them up and serve them. Make fun little shapes out of the Jell-o or mix the Jell-o in with some marshmellows and some shaved walnuts and make divinity. For the pudding, get some graham crackers and make a pie. Cookies are another good dessert because usually they are made from stuff that you already have in your pantry.
The most crucial way to spend that $100 grocery budget is to remember NOT to go shopping while you are hungry. This will cause you to buy whatever looks good and therefore, burn up that $100 rather quickly. That is not a good thing to happen. So to avoid this, eat a snack before you go grocery shopping.
These are just a few suggestions on stretching that $100 for groceries. There are plenty more suggestions floating around out there. Keeping your family fed on just $100 is challenging but you can become a pro at it with just a little practice.