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Managing the Family Food Budget

As you know, families are dining at home more and more these days as a result of challenging economic times. And, for the most part, they’re being penny-wise when cruising the aisles at the grocery store. However, according to a recent survey commissioned by Hormel Foods, there are some items Americans aren’t willing to sacrifice: More than half (54 percent) of Americans refuse to say farewell to fresh meat or poultry purchases, despite the current economic situation. Familiarity is also playing a part in purchasing decisions with more than half (53 percent) buying tried and true products more often because of the current economic climate, rather than something new.

While there are many items that your grocery carts can’t do without, there are a variety of different ways to regain control over family food budgets without sacrificing freshness or their favorite brands. Joan Hanson, test kitchen director for Hormel Foods, suggests implementing these simple practices into shopping routines that can help save money in the long run:

  • Reduce your supermarket stops. One of the most common financial mistakes when shopping is impulse buying, which can create havoc on your food budget. By limiting visits to the supermarket, you reduce this possibility and are forced to plan ahead.
  • Create a meal menu. Plan your meals for the week, and concentrate on only buying items that you need.
  • Build a budget. When you get home from the grocery store, multiply your bill by four and you will have a fairly accurate estimate of your monthly food costs. Stay within this price range every time you go grocery shopping.
  • Search for sales. Check the Sunday paper or in-store fliers each week to stay informed of the sale items.
  • Lavish your leftovers. Creating multiple meals from a dish saves a tremendous amount of money and shopping time. For leftover recipe ideas, check out www.HormelFoodsRecipes.com.