With gas prices hitting records every summer, and food prices now on the rise, it is easy to see that many are looking for ways to cut their food bill. For many, this goal seems impossible reach. However, with some simple steps and a few adjustments to long-established habits, anyone can get the same amount of groceries, but at half the price.
We’ve gone through the exercise of executing these small changes to prove their value and advise on how they can be carried out:
1. Set a Firm Budget
As is the case with any area of finance and smart spending, the key is to define a budget and stick with it. If you don’t have a maximum already in mind, then you will spend on things you don’t need. It is extremely easy to buy things that are wants and not needs. This does mean you should eliminate things you love from your list. What it does mean is separating your wants from your needs, and then adding things in a way that fits within a weekly or monthly budget.
2. Use Coupons to Get Discounts
There are 100s if not thousands of places you can get coupons which will give you discounts to your groceries, You can usei online coupons too to get discounts, Howevver, beware of the trap some people fall into. If they have more coupons they start buying things that arean’t necessary just because they have coupons. Don’t fall into this trap. Only use coupons when necessary!
3. Buy the Store Brand
Brand names are made by large corporations who have lots of money in their budgets to market and push their products. That does not always make them the better brand. Store brands are just as good as the name brands, and come at a greater savings to your wallet.
The first question most shoppers have is – how can they be so cheap? There must be something wrong with them. This goes back to the simple packaging and the fact that they do not advertise. In some cases, although not made public, many of these store brands are made by the same company of the name brands.
4. Buy in Bulk
Buying groceries in bulk can save you lots of dough. Members of shopping clubs and warehouses see savings every month by buying what they normally use in large quantities. Pricing at warehouses is lower because their cost to carry items is lower, they do not pay for fancy packaging, and because they buy in bulk packaging, their costs are lower.
The trick is to buy those items you use often. Buying something in bulk that you just want to try out may end up being a waste of money if it ends up in the disposal.
5. Never Shop on an Empty Stomach
You’ve heard it a million times – never shop when you are hungry. The warnings are more for those looking to lose weight. Shopping hungry will steer your decisions to come from your stomach and not your head, and you will be strongly swayed to break from your shopping list, convincing yourself it will be “just this once.”
Solve this by eating before you shop. You will be guaranteed to stick to the list you worked so hard to create and one that keeps you on budget. Not only that, you’ll be saving calories, as well.