SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — You might have noticed a bigger bill at the checkout line.
The cost of putting food on the table is the highest its been in forty years. Economists say prices have not soared like this since 1981.
“I would say a guesstimate is at least $20 more,” says Meijer shopper and Springfield native Sylvia Peshek.
That is how much more she is spending on every trip to the store.
But grocery super mom, Meghan Birch, has been finding ways to save even before the spike. It is a game she always wins, and the key is strategizing.
“When you have a big family, there’s a lot of planning that needs to happen,” says Meghan. “So, this really lends itself to somebody that needs to plan because you want to make sure that your kids are well-fed.”
Meghan has garnered a big following on her YouTube channel, Planting Birches, thanks to her money-saving tips.
She has a total of nine mouths to feed in her house between herself, her husband, their five kids, and two pets.
“To be able to do once-a-month grocery shopping, I think you really need to go in with a meal plan for your whole month. That might include leftover nights [and] going out to eat,” explains Meghan.
She says it saves her anywhere from $3,500 to $6,000 a year. Meghan was spending anywhere from $300 to $500 more a month on household necessities before she started shopping this way.
“The more we pop into the store, the more impulse buying we have,” says Meghan.
So how do you make one trip possible?
“Look for those things that you can buy in bulk. Toilet paper. What is something that you use often? Meat. Buying that in bulk, then splitting it up when you get home so you don’t have to buy small, little packages,” she shares.
Meghan buys things that can go bad quickly like produce, dairy, and bread once a week.
One of her other big tips is to go for the store brand. Ditch the big brand items when possible.
“Lots of things are missing on the shelf. That’s what bothers me the most,” says Peshek. “I go to three grocery stores. It’s crazy.”
Meghan has a solution for that, too.
“Thursdays through Saturdays are our biggest stock days,” says Meghan. “Everything is well-stocked. So, we don’t have to keep going back to the store.”
You can easily find out the stock days at your go-to grocery store, too. Just ask at the customer service counter.
Meghan also says to treat your fridge or pantry like the grocery store first. Take an inventory of what you have at home.
“Go through every little cabinet before you head to the store. Cross that stuff off of your list, and then you’re saving money,” says Meghan.