If I were to ask you how much you spend in a month on food would you be able to say? Well by the time you take last month’s debit or credit card statement and add up all of the charges, you may be surprised. If you take it a step further, you can put into a few different categories, such as restaurants, grocery store, or other such as stopping for snacks. While it may be possible to cut back on food due to dieting, you still need to allocate part of your hard-earned income to food, so you might as well maximize any savings that you can.
Reduce Eating Out
This will probably be the hardest part of now watching where your spending is going is not having the luxury of just going out to eat whenever you don’t feel like cooking at home. While it’s still important to go out even once a week and on special occasions, but even packing your lunch for work, brewing your own coffee to take on the way, and doing some basic meal prep, your weekday meals can get a little easier on the wallet, not to mention your waistline from not eating out all of the time.
Make a List
Now that you are motivated to go grocery shopping instead of say, fast food, it’s a good idea to make a list before you leave the house. This will help in other retail shopping other than food as well, because as you head out with somewhat of a plan, either will happen, or even both: you purchase extra impulse items that you had not planned on spending, or you forgot the items you went to the store for in the first place. By taking stock of your pantry and refrigerator before you leave the house you can ensure you get all of the necessary items and not have to go back out for forgetting the eggs.
Never Shop on an Empty Stomach
In addition to having a list, you also may want to go shopping after dinner, that way you’re not on an empty stomach and can fill the cart up with every item that looks good at the time. When you’re hungry you’re likely to throw in your cravings, which add up quickly at the register, and let’s face it, are not healthy items, because who seeks out items that are good for you first.
Don’t Forget About Discounts
Just because the days of sitting down with the Sunday paper may be winding down for the general population, that doesn’t mean that you cannot use coupons anymore. In fact, you’ll probably notice that your mailbox fills up during the week with more ‘junk mail’ than you can handle. Also, don’t forget to check your grocery store’s website as you can load digital coupons to your card to be taken off at the register. In addition, they are always plenty of in-store sales like ’10 for 10’ or when you buy 5 of the ticketed items, you can save additional money off each.