For most individuals and families, food and groceries are among the main expenses in the monthly budget. It might not be the biggest, but since it is so frequent and can vary dramatically, it has a big impact.
If you can improve how you shop for food, not only can you reduce your food expenses, but you can also make better food choices. It can be very hard to keep yourself from spending money on your favorite foods or snacks. These tips will help you spend less on food.
Make A Shopping List
Most homes waste a lot of food because they don’t measure how much they need when they are cooking or shopping. If you only eat a banana a day, it makes no sense to get two dozen because, by the end of the week, the rest of the bananas will start turning brown and soft. To make sure you are wisely spending your money, you should make a shopping list and have in mind how many days or weeks you are shopping for. If you get your groceries once a month, buy things that will last at least a month. For perishable items like fruits and vegetables, you can always stock up when you need more.
Decide how much you can comfortably spend on food, and then work your way back from there. With your shopping list ready, you will know what things you need to get and how much of your monthly budget can you allocate. Instead of going for premium products, you can go for slightly less expensive alternatives.
Chances are, you get coupons in the mail every other day, but you rarely even see what they are for before tossing them out. While coupons might only help you save cents on an item, when you have coupons for an entire basket of goods, you could save quite a few dollars. They are especially useful if you are eating out. You can always save money at Pizza Hut just by using coupons. In fact, if you have enough of them, you could fund your entire meal through coupons. Moreover, through coupons, you can also be eligible for special deals and meals that might not be on the regular menu.
Shop At Superstores
Walmart is extremely successful largely because of its prices. As a general rule of thumb, big-box stores and large retail chains will give you better prices compared to corner stores and specialty shops. It might be a little inconvenient to go to a bigger store and walk around to find the things you need, but it can save you a lot of money. Also, if you want more convenience, you can always use their app or online store. You can get the goods delivered right to your door, so you won’t have to spend time shopping, and you’ll save yourself time and the money you would spend on gas. For the very specific items that can’t be found anywhere else, you have no option but to go to smaller stores but for generic items, the bigger stores are better.
Shop When You’re Full
There have been a lot of studies showing that compulsive buyers end up spending the most amount of money. Since they don’t have a list or a budget, they often spend a lot more than they had planned to. More importantly, if you are hungry, you are more likely to pick out all the things you want to eat right then and there instead of just what you need later on. When you go shopping on a full stomach, you are much less likely to purchase on impulse.
Another advantage to bigger retail stores is that they often have sales and discounts. In some cases, you can get things for 25% or even 50% of their original value. This is a great way to save money on food, especially on seasonal things like clothes, fruits, or vegetables. If you find a great deal on non-perishable items like diapers, you can save a lot of money by buying extra.
Canned Or Frozen
Exotic items and seasonal items tend to be the most expensive. Instead of getting fresh pineapple, you can get it canned for much less. This can also be a lot more convenient to use since the product is already ready-to-eat.
Spending less money doesn’t mean you have to get lower quality. In fact, you can get excellent quality if you manage where and how you buy food from. Going to a farm to pick up meat will not only be cheaper, but you will get a far fresher product. Also, look into locally manufactured products, as those are usually more affordable than imported options.