Thank you to our guest blogger, Bobbi Pack, from MyMilitarySavings.com!
Everyone loves to save money for that awesome vacation or that amazing pair of boots….right? So, where can you cut a little, but not too much? Where can you save a little money but not give up too much…..how about shopping a little smarter at the Commissary? I am talking about getting everything you need and most of what you want without draining the bank account…..and, making sure what you are getting is healthy for everyone.
1. Always make a shopping list….always! And, you have to stick to what is on the list! I know that is super hard…trust me! But, it will save you time and money at the Commissary.Check out our free shopping list at: http://www.mymilitarysavings.com/shopping_list
2. Buy fresh fruit and veggies for your family. Yes, they are more expensive than canned or frozen but they are so much better for your family and you can use them in so many different ways. You can steam, grill, broil, use as an addition to meats and you can rest assure they are fresh and healthy. Check out some awesome recipe ideas at: http://www.mymilitarysavings.com/recipes
3. Make sure you look for coupons and only use the ones for items you already have on your shopping list. Remember it is only a deal if you were already going to purchase the items.
4. Eat a healthy meal before you head out to the Commissary. If you go hungry you may not follow your
shopping list and come home with a bunch of Keebler cookies and Kellogg’s Pop-Tart and no fresh fruit and veggies.
5. Come up with a budget for the Commissary trip. I will come up with a budget for the month….usually I spend $350 a month on groceries. So, I will divide that into two (2) shopping trips one at the beginning of the month and one in the middle. You will need to figure out your budget based on your household size, I have four (4) in my house and believe it or not, I can feed us for a month on $350 and still have food left over…..it’s all about budgeting.
6. Have your kiddos help out! My kiddos love to help me shop at the Commissary. My oldest, who is thirteen (13) is in charge of the calculator and she is to tell me when I have hit my budget. My son who is nine (9) is in charge of marking off the items we put in the buggy from the shopping list. If your kiddos are younger a fun thing is to bring star stickers and let them put a sticker on the items…not just marking them off.
7. Plan out your weekly meals and allow the kiddos to help. My kiddos love to write out our weekly menu on a poster board and then hang it up. This is so much fun and it helps with their handwriting and spelling skills…so it is two great things in one!
8. Cut-out the items you really….really…don’t need. This will be something different for everyone. Some people cut out store bought cookies and do homemade, which I personally think is better and you can turn that into a fun family night “event”.
9. Check out the prices at the Exchange too. Sometimes specific items will be on sale and you can grab them from the Exchange while you are at the Commissary. I know every post we have been stationed at the Exchange is either right next to the Commissary or across the street….So why not hit them both if needed. And, don’t forget you can use coupons at the Exchange too.
10. Be smart about your Commissary trip. If there is an item on your shopping list, but there is a better deal with another brand do not be afraid to get the better priced item. This is always a good idea as it may only save you a $1.00 but that adds up fast.
Just be sure to have some fun when you are shopping smart at the Commissary. Stressing out about your grocery shopping is never a good idea and will only make you go off track…and you need to keep your goals in mind. This way you will have a smart and successful trip to the Commissary.
Bobbi Pack is a contributing writer for MilitaryOneClick. Bobbi has over ten years experience in marketing and broadcast as well as a BA from Ottawa University and an MSM from Baker University. Bobbi has many years experience being a military spouse and loves to share her experiences, challenges and highlights with other military spouses.
To read more of Bobbi’s blogs, click here.