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5 Ways to Stretch Your Food Budget This Fall

Fall is finally in the air, and many of us are looking forward to cozy sweaters, football games and all things pumpkin spice.

However, fall can also be a time when many families feel a pinch in their grocery budgets, especially after summer vacations and back-to-school expenses. With the arrival of fall treats and fun activities, it can be hard to find the right balance.

Follow these tips to help stretch your food budget this fall:

#1: Make Meal Prep Fun

You've probably heard this advice before. While planning and preparing your meals in advance is a great way to save time and money, the challenge is maintaining variety and interest.

Prevent mealtime boredom by adding a creative twist, like a theme (Meatless Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, Soup Sundays) or by using flavorful spices, dressings or condiments in your dishes.

Another tip is to seek inspiration from cooking shows or try recreating a restaurant favorite!

#2: Go Generic

When you're on a mission to reduce your grocery bill, simple swaps can make a big difference. Store-brand products often offer the same great taste and quality as their name-brand counterparts but for a fraction of the price.

​When it comes to fresh produce, pay a visit to your local farmer's market, where you can often find in-season fruit and vegetables at budget-friendly prices.

#3: Buy in Bulk (When it Makes Sense!)

If you have room in your pantry, buying in bulk can help you save better in the long run. Just be sure to buy shelf-stable products or staple items you know you'll use before the expiration date.

#4: Look for Deals Before You Shop

It's easy to rush through grocery shopping without thinking about deals and discounts. Make sure you don't miss out by doing a little pre-shopping planning:

    • ​Download the apps for your favorite stores and “clip" digital coupons
    • Compare stores for products that fluctuate in price, like meat and dairy
    • Join store loyalty programs and check your mail for coupons and flyers

#5: Track Your Food Spending

Food expenses can be a sneaky budget-buster. That's why it's so important to track your monthly spending so you know exactly where your money is going each month.

With Wright-Patt Credit Union's (WPCU) free Money Management tool, available through Mobile and Online Banking, it's easy to track all your purchases and analyze your expenses.

Money Management lets you see all your financial accounts in one place, with one login, so you can look for trends and opportunities to cut back on food costs.

Put More Money in Your Pocket This Fall

With a little planning and discipline, you can spend wisely on food while enjoying all the fun that fall has to offer!

Looking for more ways to improve your financial wellbeing this season? WPCU has helpful budgeting tips, tools and resources to help you at every step of your Financial Flexibility and Freedom® journey.

Visit our online Education Center or stop by a Member Center to meet with one of our friendly Financial Coaches.