Russ and Jen Orton are short on time. With 2 jobs, 2 kids and only 24 hours in a day, this East Peoria family relies on old habits to make it through the week.
We introduced them to our team of local experts, going through the Orton's routine expenses and lifestyle choices to help find creative ways to trim.
Amanda Newell is a Family and Consumer Sciences expert with Bradley University. She worked with Russ and Jen on meal planning and grocery habits.
With their busy lifestyle, the Orton’s try to shop ahead for the next work week, buying items they know will last. Their typical grocery bill is about 160 dollars per week. Jen usually shops with a list, going through the cupboards before heading to the store, writing down needed items.
Amanda explains working with a list, and sticking to it, helps cut down on time and money.
Amanda says, "The less time you spend in the store, the less money you spend. Something like every extra 20 minutes equals 30 dollars, because you keep picking stuff up."
She challenges Jen and Russ to keep a running list of needed items throughout the week, making them less likely to stray from the must-haves and more likely to bring all the necessities home in one trip.
Amanda also suggests:
-comparing the unit price of foods, to see if buying in bulk really pays off.
-making generic brands your go-to for staple items like pasta and canned veggies.
-steer clear of specialized ingredients in a recipe, such as unusual spices.
These little purchases can add up fast.
Amanda suggests combing your local paper and surfing the web for more coupon variety. Some manufacturers will even send you freebies!
Small discounts that could add up to big savings for the Ortons, and for you.