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Wilburn: Learn how to cut your grocery bill
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The Department of Labor estimates that the average American family of four spends $8,513 per year on groceries. That averages out to $709 per month.

For some families, that rivals a mortgage payment; groceries gobble up the biggest part of a family's household budget.

Do you want to find out how to lower your food bill each month? The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, in partnership with the Hall County Library system, will be offering a free program "How to Save Money on Your Food Bill" from 1-2:30 p.m. Jan. 29. The program will take place at the main library branch in Gainesville. Preregistration is recommended; please call the library at 770-532-3311, ext. 114.

And it gets even better - we'll have door prizes.

By attending the program, you will learn how to develop your own smart spending plan at the grocery store. You will also receive a packet of information that will help you and your family create a food budget that can save you money each month.

Have you ever felt like you're in a rut when it comes to meal planning? We'll discuss some creative, low-cost recipes that don't take all night to prepare.

Should you use coupons? Do you know how to use the unit pricing labels? Come find out.

There are some expenditures families can do without, but groceries are always needed. Saving money at the supermarket means that you can feed your family more nutritious meals, have more variety and manage your resources more effectively.

Just think, if you could change some of your shopping and spending habits you might possibly save $40 a week on your food bill. Multiply that by 52 weeks and the savings could be more than $2,000 a year.

Call to register today, and soon you can be saving money on your food bill. Get in touch with a friend or relative and ride together to the program - save gas and some more money.

Debbie Wilburn is county extension agent in family and consumer science with the Hall County Extension. Contact: 770-535-8290.