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Eating Inexpensively

A syndicated columnist who is published in the LA Times business section recently brought on a firestorm of comments when she suggested that a waitress who was having a hard time making ends meet reduce her grocery bill to just $150 per month.

Comments ranged from “That’s not realistic” to “I feed a family of four for that much month.”

Grocery costs and consume 20% or more of the monthly budget for a military family. Here are a few thoughts regarding managing these costs:

  1. Shop at the commisary! According to the DECA website a family of four can save almost $3000 a year simply by shopping at their local commissary. (Based on average savings of 32% over retail.)
  2. Plan your menu and make a shopping list. The DECA website even had a page that helps you customize your list to the items available in your local store.
  3. Don’t go shopping while you’re hungry.
  4. Only use coupons on items that you would purchase even if you didn’t have one.
  5. Prices change frequently. For items that you purchase occasionally like laundry detergent or soap, look for price dips and stock up (within reason of course.)

The internet is full of other ideas, some realistic and others pretty wild. The bottom line is that if you pay a little attention to the shopping cart, you can easily save $25 a week, which could be saved towards your Christmas or vacation fund.

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