Budgeting Tips Every Parent Should Know When Shopping

Many U.S. kids eat more servings of fruits than vegetables, but most eat less of each than they should. Photo by USDA-FNS.

Setting a budget and sticking to it can be tricky for parents, with the necessities of the household and the wants of their children being put into consideration. However, every stickler for working within the budget would know that there are indeed various ways through which one can not only stick to the budget but also even spend less!

Below are some practical tips that every parent should keep in mind when going shopping:

1. Leftovers should not be left behind.

Leftovers are properly kept in the fridge for a reason – so that they may be reheated and consumed some other time. When leftovers are taken into consideration when coming up with a grocery list, you can be sure that said list will be kept short and will only contain items that the household really needs!

2. Stick to the basics.

Parents should avoid purchasing goods that are not “basic” needs in the kitchen. These include ingredients or spices that are not commonly used for the dishes that are being prepared on a daily basis. The shopping list should then only include the bare minimum – those that are actually used such as garlic, onion, ginger, and the like.

3. Keep your health priorities in check.

If you’re hoping your whole family would start eating healthy, then skip the chips and other unhealthy snacks. Rather, go for the more nourishing options such as carrots, plain yogurt, nuts, berries, and so on.

This does not mean you are depriving the whole family of their comfort food. It only means you must always keep track of your priorities in so far as their health is concerned and thereby, avoiding unnecessary purchases.

4. Look for cheaper alternatives.

Scout around your neighborhood and look for the grocery store that has the most reasonable prices. Take note, this does not mean the cheapest. “Reasonable” means you get the most value out of your money.

If you can get the goods at a way cheaper price elsewhere but it entails a long drive, then forget about it. The expenses for gas, parking, and your time as well, must also be considered. With that said, try your best to look for the best prices within a comfortable distance from your home.

5. Don’t go overboard on a sale.

There are those who tend to overdo their grocery shopping during a sale. This is somehow a double-edged sword. While it is wise to stock up on the essentials (i.e., detergent, soap, milk) when they’re sold at a discount, it is counterproductive if one overstock and simply lets them go to waste in the long run.

This applies more if what is being purchased in bulk are perishables. You may be duped into believing you have saved a lot of money with the purchase, but if the expiry date is so close, you may end up spending money that could have been used on something else.

The trick, then, before going gaga during a sale, is to properly assess what you always consume and use on a daily basis at home.

6. Take advantage of coupons.

Coupons are readily available to us but rarely do we truly appreciate them. As a parent, one must always remember that coupons are a great way to save money.

Take the time to go through each coupon that you have and find out what applies to your household. Make sure you read the fine print to find out if there are other promos being offered by said product.

7. Keep track of your expenses

Keeping all of these tips in mind would be useless unless you properly keep track of your expenses- be it your weekly, monthly, or yearly expenses. Once this is done, you can then analyze where your money is spent.

Is it on the household essentials? Food? Does Pet need? Identifying this would surely help you when you’re setting up a budget. It will also help you decide on the shopping habits you should keep or ditch!


Setting a budget and sticking to it may be difficult when you’re a parent but with these tips, not only will you be able to stick to your budget but also lessen your expenses. This will allow you to save more and prepare for any future needs.