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Dinner Diva | Economics and groceries

The economic climate still isn’t pretty. You hear the TV pundits pontificating ad nauseum about how crummy everything still is. The real estate market? Forget about it right now. The banks? Scary…Retail? Double scary.

And it’s taking its toll. In March, the American Psychological Association reported that 80 percent of Americans feel stressed by the economy, 60 percent are angry about it and another 52 percent are having trouble sleeping.

Those are alarming statistics, but what’s even more alarming is just sitting around doing nothing about it. One of the best ways to take on the economy is tackling your own economy by getting your budget in line and your finances handled.

So how is this done? In my opinion, the number one way to really get a grip on reducing your spending is via your grocery bill. I’m sure you have heard me say it before, but I’ll say it again, you can only turn off the lights and hang your laundry out to dry to save a little. When you eat at home you save a TON.

How’s this done? The biggest way to save money is by planning your meals. I know it’s not a lot of fun, I know you think you can handle your local grocery store without a grocery list or meal plan. I know that. We like to think we can just scoot by the seat of our pants and get it done. We go to the grocery store week after week without a weekly menu planned and no grocery list. Is it any wonder your budget is out of control?

Start TODAY. Get your menu planned. You need to feed that family of yours breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks 7 days a week. So sketch it out on your computer. Write down everything. What does your family like for breakfast, lunch and dinner? What about snacks?

Remember, too, you’re the gatekeeper of your family’s nutrition, so make sure you’ve got plenty of good stuff that will keep your family healthy and not just merely entertaining their taste buds.

It’s a tough job being the family nutritionist, food manager and chef. Plan your meals wisely, you’re growing a family!


For more help putting dinner on your table, check out Leanne’s website,, or her Saving Dinner book series (Ballantine) and her New York Times bestselling book Body Clutter (Fireside). Copyright 2008 Leanne Ely. Used by permission in this publication.

augusta free press
augusta free press