Economical and smart meal planning: Guidelines to save you money, five ways to stretch your grocery dollars First, set a budget before you shop. For example, a couple should be able to spend four hundred and forty dollars per month If you plan ahead and plan properly Second, shop alone, children often convince parents to purchase unplanned items that range between five dollars and ten dollars of unexpected groceries and often want processed packaged snacks Third, plan meals once a week for the week and consider portion control We often purchase too much, cook too much and end up wasting food Fourth, make it yourself. You can easily make pizza, lasagna, pie, soups, broth, boil beans, chop fruit and vegetables, blend juice, cut up your own chicken etc. Do not pay for someone else’s labor even though it’s convenient. If you do not know how to do something or make something Just search online Fifth, buy fresh, local and in-season fruits and vegetables or if not possible buy frozen Fall to winter fruits and vegetables include beats, clementines, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage and grapefruit. Starting in January: kale, kiwis pears, potatoes, sweet potatoes and a selection of winter squash To learn more please visit our website www.rumanek.com