Utah mom shares grocery budgeting tips
Feb 2, 2023, 2:38 PM | Updated: Oct 19, 2023, 1:01 pm
SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah mom is sharing how she is beating inflation and cutting costs on her grocery bill, and KSL TV’s Tamara Vaifanua got to tag along to see how she does it.
Lisa Park, a mother of three from Stansbury Park, has perfected her strategy over the last decade. Now with increasing food prices, it’s paying off, and she’s saved a fortune.
She says you too can stay on budget with some extra planning and persistence.
All Utahns are feeling the sting of high grocery prices.
Prices on supermarket staples rose about 7% in December over the previous year. Experts say in the first six months of this year, prices will increase by 5%.
Park shares her love of grocery shopping with her Instagram followers. But these days, it’s been more challenging.
That’s why she shops once every two weeks.
“Studies have shown that if you go into the grocery store a lot of times, you walk out with more than what you’re actually going to purchase,” she said.
Tamara tagged along on her biweekly trip to the grocery store. Park said she sticks to a budget.
“Our budget for a family of five is $625 a month, which is $125 per person a month.”
How does she do it?
First, she takes inventory of her pantry and meal plans.
“Plan out your week of meals or two weeks of meals and write down what you’re going to buy and then head to the grocery store.”
Park’s list has the staples: tomatoes, pasta, bread and cheese — which she freezes to save money.
She also buys generic brands.
You can usually find cheaper prices on the top and lower shelves.
Lisa adds the pricier must-haves like milk, eggs and butter.
So, for snacks, she looks for bargains.
Lisa recommends buying items in bulk that your family will actually eat, like meat.
“Look for those sales. If you go into the grocery store, make sure you’re only picking up those sale items that are on the sales flyers.”
One thing that helps Lisa stick to her meal plan is buying groceries online.
“As you are looking through the things you need to purchase, you can see the total amount you’re going to spend. And if you go over your grocery budget, then you can take a few things out of your online cart.”
This formula works for Park’s family of five.
She said by implementing one step today, you can save more, and worry less.
“Don’t feel pressure to do everything at once. Maybe you won’t get it down to $625. I’ve been doing this for years. But you might lower it to $800 — $200 is so much money.”
Lisa used to be a big couponer. But it took a lot of time.
If you use coupons, she said to pair it with a sale or a deal or you’re not going to save money.