When it comes to saving money every month on the food budget, it starts with avoiding going out to eat. While it’s nice to have someone else cook, clean, not to mention serve, it certainly comes with a top dollar price. From going out to lunch at work, grabbing carryout on your way home, or taking the family out to dinner, it adds up quickly. Even stopping for coffee every morning, while only costing a few dollars, think about there are roughly twenty business days every month so that’s at least $60 a month in coffee, and that it just counting stopping once. By avoiding going out to eat and opting for grocery shopping instead you can already watch hundreds of dollars saved every month, but you can even take the savings a step further with a few tips.
Never Leave Home Without a List
Whether it’s going to the grocery store, the mall, even online shopping, making purchases without a list is just asking for a spending disaster to happen. Going up and down each aisle is overwhelming and you’re likely to fill your cart with unnecessary purchases, not to mention even forget to purchase the item that you went in for in the first place. By taking stock of your fridge and pantry, you can ensure that you are keeping your head down and sticking to your list at the store, maximizing savings. Lump the items together based on the section of the store and you can avoid going back and forth, risking more opportunity for unneeded items coming in.
Eat Before You Go
If you’ve ever gone out shopping on an empty stomach, you know that everything looks good and there is more likely the odds that not only impulse items come in, but unhealthy as well, as you are less likely to crave something nutritious. By sitting down and eating a full meal before you go out shopping, you can go with a clear head and only come home with the items you needed. Also, if you wait to eat dinner, you can stop for something to eat on the way home, and that defeats the purpose of going shopping in the first place, as you’ve now spent money on groceries but still decided to go out to eat anyways, double dipping in your food budget that you are trying so hard to reduce in the first place.
Coupons are Still Key
While the days of newspaper subscriptions are unfortunately dying, at least in printed form, the days of sitting down with the Sunday paper and clipping coupons are a thing of the past, but that doesn’t mean that saving money has gone out of style as well. If you go to your grocer’s website, you may find that you can load digital coupons to your shoppers rewards card in order to be taken off at the register (provided you can remember which items you added the coupons for). Also, on that note, don’t forget to always use your rewards, as you can not only save money in-store, but also at the fuel pump as well.