HOUSTON - Can you feed your family on $100 a week, despite inflation?
A Colorado-based blogger described in Buzzfeed how she does it. So we asked her to share her secrets.
Sydney Martin helps families save money through meal planning through her Instagram blog, @SydneyinSuburbia.
Martin has a husband and three children, all under the age of eight. We asked her how she keeps her grocery spending to $100 a week.
"If I’m going over budget, I can change out recipes or different ingredients. If a recipe calls for chicken breasts, but chicken thighs are on sale that week, it will be a better move for me to use chicken thighs instead," explained Martin.
Martin says she starts by planning meals for a week, choosing recipes that use some of the same ingredients, so she can buy fewer items.
Referring to a package of 12 chicken thighs, she explains, "Most of the time, a recipe I’m looking at for my family, you really only need five or six. So I’ll buy that one pack, utilize six, but save the other ones for a different recipe."
She uses her grocery store app to find coupons and items on sale.
"Usually stores, on a certain day, might have sales that are doubled up. Like on Wednesdays, they will have sales from the previous week and the coming week," Martin tells us.
Martin prefers to order groceries online, so she can see the total cost and swap out ingredients to stay under budget. It also prevents impulse buys that happen when shopping in the store.
She focuses first on dinners.
"I tend to focus most of my budget on dinners, because I can utilize all these meals later in the week as lunches," she said, showing us some of her dishes.
And she chooses generic or store brands.
"For example, dried oats. I always buy the store brand. This container is going to cost me $2 at my store. But if I’m looking at a name brand, the price is going to be doubled," she said.
Her advice to families looking to save is to look at what you're spending money on and make gradual changes.
"Can I budget for $10 less, $15 less? And really find out where your sweet spot is," she said.
You can follow Sydney on Instagram at @SydneyinSuburbia and send her questions.