The ever-increasing prices of commodities, including our rents, fuel, and power bills, have truly immensely decreased the purchasing power of our dollar in the past couple of years. This has left us with no savings to spare from our monthly income. And in worst cases, we have no other choice but to look around for credit.
Looking for ways to save on groceries can be one of the possible measures to cut your expenses.
In the US, an American family spends an average of 9.7% of its income on groceries with the lowest income groups spending a whopping 35% on food. In contrast, those classified in the highest income groups only spend a little more than 8% on groceries.
But is it possible to cut on grocery expenses without changing our eating habits? Let’s face it. We have to eat, that’s why we spend on groceries. With the following tips, we can still eat what we want while saving money:
Plan Before You Go Shopping
If you make a full list before going to a store, you will avoid buying unnecessary items and missing some essential things. If you do, you must be driving your way back to the store which will cost you some more on gas, time, and effort. If possible, make a meal plan. This will assure you that you have food until your next shopping.
Schedule a Weekly Shopping
Shopping for a week-long supply of groceries can help you save more than when you shop for a shorter period. You can save on gas while avoiding price increases which can happen in days. You will also avoid buying other things that are not in your budget.
Avail of Promo Sales
Some non-perishable food items can be on sale. Buy only those that you regularly consume. If possible, buy more of the products but you should take note of their expiry dates. Most food items that are offered on sale are those nearing expiration.
Compare Prices of Brands
Cheaper brands do not always mean that they are of less quality. Their name may not only ring a bell because they are not from more popular producers but they are of good quality too. Discovering these brands can save you a lot of money.
Joggle Through Stores
Stores may not also have the same prices on the same products. Buying products where they have lower prices may mean joggling from stores. It may be inconvenient but it will lower your expenses, for sure.
Buy Food Which Is in Season
Some food items may be very expensive when they are off-season. These may include perishables like fruits and vegetables. You can also go for locally-produced products over their imported counterparts. Besides ensured freshness, they must also cost less.
Avoid Ready-to-Eat Food Items
If you compare the prices of deboned fish to one that is not deboned, there must be a big difference. The same is true when buying chopped vegetables. They cost more than vegetables that are not cleaned and prepared. Buying ready-to-eat or cook food items are always more expensive. To avoid this, you can buy unprocessed food items and do the prep work.
Look for Meat Substitutes
Meat and meat products must be the biggest consumers of your budget for groceries. One way to reduce spending on meat is to look for substitutes like tofu or pressed soybean curd. They can resemble the quality and taste of meat. If you are for the nutritional values of meat, they can be found in plant sources and they are even healthier. The prices of meat can also increase when they are out of season.
Use Shopping Apps
The use of shopping apps can be helpful also to reduce cost. Aside from not having to go to the store multiple times, you can use an app and add food items you need. The main advantage of this is that you may not be swayed to buy other products other than what you really intend to buy. You can also easily cancel some items when your bill went overboard.
Use Perishable Items First
Avoid wasting money by letting fruits and vegetables rot before you consume them. Cook also what you can eat at dinner time. You may not want to eat leftovers at breakfast.
Shop with No Extra Money
When making a list of the groceries that you are going to shop for the whole week, it should be complete with a budget. Don’t get extra money when shopping so that there will be no room for impulsive buying. Stick to your budget.
Indeed, as time goes more difficult to bring in extra income to our households and save something for the rainy days, it is important to look for ways to save money. Reducing our expenses on groceries is a viable option. It may seem immaterial at first, but when you compute your savings every time you go shopping after some time, it may be a significant amount.