Food can easily be one of your biggest expenses. When you live a pretty busy life, it becomes even easier to spend money on quick solutions that end up draining your pocket.
While eating out less and cooking at home more are common money-saving tips, there are plenty of other thoughtful ways to successfully cut your food bill this year.
1. Take the time to plan: Weekly planning is a key step you should consider taking if you want cut your food bill. It helps you create a set list when shopping, cuts back on the number of unnecessary trips to the grocery store, and prevents you from eating out at work or in school.
2. Coupons, Coupons, Coupons: Another great way to save money is by using coupons on your groceries. Lots of websites teach you about the great art of “couponing”, but an easy way to start is by planning your menu around the sales offered by your local grocery store. Pay special attention to more expensive ingredients, such as meat and alcohol.
3. Focus on health, not dollars: It can be more motivating for some people to maintain these practices as a foundation for healthier eating habits, rather than simply cutting back on costs. Indirectly, you still get to save loads of money by spending less cash on snacks, fizzy drinks and highly processed fast foods. Win win, right?
4. Try store brands: Don’t be afraid to try out store brands to see if they will work well for you and your finances. Although the quality may not always be great, they tend to be much cheaper than their name-brand counterparts.
5. Ignore eye level items! In case you didn’t know, the most expensive items on the grocery shelves tend to be right at your eye level, and that’s no coincidence!
Smart grocery stores do this on purpose, and their only goal is to get customers to pick what they see first and ultimately spend more money. Save yourself from falling for those marketing tricks by looking up and down as you shop. The most affordable brands could be higher or lower on the shelves. Think of it as a treasure hunt for the best price!
6. Shop online: Impulse buying at a grocery store can dig into your pocket much faster than you think. When you’re in a physical store, you are more inclined to buy items that you don’t need, such as the chocolate bars at the check-out counter, or the enticing dishes you smell at the deli. Save yourself more money by going online, buying the exact items you need, and then picking them up at whatever time works for you.