Most people complain about the fact that more than half of their budget is spent on groceries, but there are ways to minimize your spending on such indispensable items. Find out here how you can start.
Always have a plan
If you go grocery shopping, make sure that you always have an idea of what you are going to buy. The chances are that you will end up spending less money than without a plan, and still get all the ingredients needed for cooking various food courses.
It is essential that you plan ahead. This will allow you to establish a budget for each grocery shopping session. Knowing in advance what you will purchase will give you a reasonable estimate of how much you are going to spend, too.
Fill your fridge
You can go even further with planning and have your refrigerator filled with all sorts of foods that you can later use to cook meals. Your pantry should go through the same operation. The fewer times you will have to go shopping for food in a month, the fewer the temptations to spend on things you do not need.
Stock on coupons, get the deals
Groceries can be expensive, but you can cut down their prices if you apply such simple advice. Coupons can bring you substantial discounts on products you need, and special deals offered by grocery stores can also help with that.
If you make this a habit, you will notice an important change taking place in your financial situation. At the end of the month, you will have more money than you first estimated, and that means that you can budget other expenses, or simply save up some cash.
Go for locally grown fruits and veggies
Imported stuff is expensive because the price of producing it is increased by costs with transportation, storage and so on. Locally-grown produce is a much better than imports for other reasons, too.
Fruits and veggies are fresh and you can also opt for other items, like meat and dairy. That will help you keep your family healthy and happy, too, while saving up some money in the process.
Invest in a good quality freezer
A good value fridge freezer is a thing you should consider for storing your groceries. When you get good deals, the temptation to store on the respective items is strong, but you will not be able to do so if you don’t have enough space. A fridge with its own freezer will offer plenty of storage space, and you will always have enough ingredients to prepare excellent meals for the entire family.
Be aware of overbuying
Even if it is a good idea to stock on stuff when it is on discount, as shown earlier, resist the temptation to overbuy. Getting enough cheese to last for three months may be a good thing, only if it remains practical; once you try to apply this discount-shopping theory to everything, you will just overspend on stuff that you are going to throw away before the three months are up.
Buying everything from the same place may sound practical, but the truth is that you will not always find the most affordable prices at the supermarket. There are also farmer’s markets, local stores, and places that sell in bulk that can offer you much better deals.
Check for stuff on sale
Stores often offer outstanding discounts on certain items that do not have much before their expiration date. That being said, these items are still good, but they need to be consumed fast. If you notice products that you usually use on a regular basis on the list, don’t hesitate to purchase.
But, the same rule applies. Don’t overbuy, and get just enough to last you before the expiration date on the packaging. You don’t want to waste money by throwing food away.
Flour, sugar, rice, tomato sauce, and other items that can be safely stored for months, without going bad, should be on your list. Of course, it is highly recommended to check your stocks once in a while and see which ones should be thrown away, before restocking.
Cook more at a time
People cook less and less today because they don’t have the time. However, this issue can be alleviated if you cook more food at a time. You can plan meals for an entire week, and cook on Sunday.
Neatly place the cooked food in casseroles, and store them in the freezer, if it is possible. This way, you will not have to worry about food for the entire week. Some people even cook enough food for a month, thus eliminating the problem with lack of time.
Don’t forget to check your receipt
How many times did you arrive home after doing the groceries, only to wonder how could you have ended spending so much without knowing what on? A very simple rule can save you from a lot of suffering.
Check your receipt once you are back home. See what items were really worth spending money on. See which ones were overpriced. And don’t hesitate to look at all the little things that you spent money on without really needing to do that. The next time you go grocery shopping, you will know what items to steer clear of.
Grab a basket instead of a trolley
Supermarkets have all sorts of tactics to make you spend more, from placing sweets in attractive packaging at the exit, before reaching the cashier, to using large trolleys. The larger the trolley you will get, the more tempted you will be to buy excessively.
The simple thing you have to do is to grab a basket instead. This way, you will know that you will only focus on the products you need so that you can have enough room in your basket for them all.