According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey, the average American family spends $537 per month on food — $312 directly on groceries. Food costs are still one of the most flexible areas in most families’ budgets. Start by using these helpful tips for a more fruitful, more frugal grocery shopping experience.
The secret to saving under any circumstance comes down to one simple trick- planning accordingly. Meal planning and lists provide tremendous savings, and more often than not, save time. Taking a few minutes to make a plan of attack could potentially eliminate unnecessary trips to the store during the week. Planing ahead also helps you avoid impulse shopping.
What’s in a name-
Many times consumers will consider brand names to be better than those that are generic. But, if you take a look at the ingredients contained in each product, they usually tend to be carbon copies of one another. The key here is flexibility. Shop at the store with the most affordable prices that week or buy the brand that is on sale or has a coupon for that week.
“More often than not you can get yourself through the week without ever having to set foot in the grocery store,” says Mary Hunt, author “Debt-Proof Living.” Dig deep in the pantry, and see what you can muster up. Chances are you’ll surprise yourself. Freeing yourself from the vast expense of constant consumption will give your budget a bit of leeway, as well. Use the money you’ve saved on groceries to pay down debt or solidify your savings account.
Fill up before shopping-
Going to the store on an empty stomach almost always leads to impulse buys. Always try hitting the grocery store after you’ve eaten or worked out. You’ll be more susceptible to making healthier choices. And most importantly, you’ll be saving money.
Coupons are great for non-perishables, but they also can serve as a temptation or you to buy buy items that are less than nutritional for you and your loved ones. Coupon cutting can also cause folks to have the tendency to purchase things that they normally wouldn’t.
Stray away from any type of food that is already prepared for you. Instead of going for the pre-cut fruit or meals, make it yourself. Not only will you save tons of cash, but you’ll also find that pre-packaged meals like stuffed peppers and mac and cheese are loaded with sodium and preservatives. Refuse to pay more for convenience. Whip out your knives and roll up your sleeves!