Stretch your dollar on groceries

January 6, 2009 6:23:35 PM PST
Anyone who wants to stick to a budget might want to take a lesson from our 'Super Saver' and online contributor Erin Libranda. The single, working mother of three stuck to a grocery budget of about $800 for a year. "I guess with the way the economy is, more people are gung-ho interested in doing a budget and learning different tips," said Libranda.

For Chessa Banks, 2009 is the year of the budget.

"With three kids and the economy as it is, the jobs that are available out there are not paying what they used to," said Banks.

Michael Gobert agrees and says that's why his new year's resolution is to cut back what he spends on food.

"It's difficult because you see things, and you want spontaneous, you want to buy things on impulse," said Gobert.

Super Saver Libranda has made budgeting a way of life and she offers three tips on sticking to it.

Number one: when you set your budget, be realistic.

"Aim to cut 20 percent off and then the next month, say 'okay we did that.' Let's cut another 10 percent off of that and do it gradually," said Libranda.

Tip number two: Hold yourself accountable. You can do so by keeping track of exactly where your money is going. It's how Libranda was able to stick to her $800 grocery budget last year.

"I took $800 and put it in an online savings account and all my budget money came out of there," said Libranda.

Tip number three: Make a list before you shop. Don't stray from it unless you find a great deal then you stock up.

"Stick to your list and you have some wiggle room," said Libranda.

Final tip: don't be afraid to negotiate, even at the grocery store.

"Ask the meat manager 'Can you mark this down from me if I take it all?' and a lot of time they will mark it down big time," said Libranda.

Both Banks and Gobert plan to take her advice.

"We don't have a choice. It's either that or cuts things elsewhere," said Banks.

To get more tips from our Super Saver, just CLICK HERE. You can find a Deal of the Day as well as free stuff on Fridays.

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