Over the past few years, my husband and I have experienced both un- and under- employment situations. We've had to tighten the belt and curtail spending like so many Americans these days. We can do little about taxes. Saving on utilities is marginal, and only with some effort. So our focus now is on saving on our food bill. Groceries and dining out account for a fairly large proportion of our overall spending, so here are some of the things we are doing to save.
In no particular order – 10 easy and practical ways to save on your food bill each month.
- This one is a no-brainer. Eat before you shop. Hungry tummies prompt you to buy more.
- Plan your meals ahead of time, and buy just what you need. The easiest way to do this is to make a list and stick to it! Wait...I think this one is two ideas.
- Shop alone, or at the least, without kids. The more shoppers, the more eyes to land on tempting point-of-sale displays, which results in impromptu buys.
- Use coupons. While it may take a little more time, the money saved makes it worth it.
- Grow your own. Fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs are fun to grow and provide unmatched taste, along with cost-savings. Growing healthy foods might even entice kids (or adults) to try them.
- Match coupons to grocery store sales. Find the best deals and save the most money by using coupons for items already on sale. The Grocery Game is a subscription site that helps you do just that. For more information, visit www.thegrocerygame.com. If you decide to sign up, I'd appreciate if you entered me as the referring member. They give 12 free weeks for every three members referred. Use this email address: Sheryltut (at) Comcast (dot) net.
- Buy generic if you don't have coupons for a particular item. Often there is little difference between the name brand product and generic equivalent.
- Frequent shopping trips often result in more money spent. Even though you may only plan to pick up one or two items, it's too easy to add more. Try shopping just once weekly.
- Cut out the junk food. Highly processed foods typically cost more because they have to pay for all that...well, processing (duh). Cutting out junk food will not only save you money, but provide you with healthier eating choices too.
- Eat at home versus eating out. Keep it interesting by trying different menus. Have your ingredients for meals on hand (from the list you made in item 2), but have a few easy meals ready also for those evenings when cooking isn't an option.
What do you do to save money on your food bill?
Please share your tips and tricks in the comments. I'm looking forward to reading your ideas on saving money on the food budget!