The idea of cutting your household budget sounds good in theory. However, the problem is that budgeting “tips” and “secrets” often require that you make fundamental changes to how you behave. Even if it feels like you should be able to make those changes, the truth is that you spend the way you pay for a reason. Asking someone to change everything about how they spend money is an easy way to make that person feel overwhelmed and discouraged.
However, the right approach to spending on basic necessities can help you adapt to spending lower costs, and you’ll be surprised to see the massive amount you can save with simple steps and measures. Figuring out how to save money on groceries can save you thousands each year.
You can make some serious contributions to your savings goals by perfecting your grocery budget. This certainly does not mean skipping meals or totally exempt from going out with family and friends. Here are some effective tips for saving money on your next grocery run.
Raid your pantry
A fun way to save money is to challenge yourself and look through your pantry or fridge and see the kinds of meals you could throw together with the ingredients you currently have. This is a great way to use all the ingredients you don’t use on a daily basis or end up being thrown out because of their expiry date. It can also help you get creative around the kitchen, especially if you like to eat new dishes and find cooking therapeutic.
Make healthier choices
Eating healthy can actually save you a ton of money. These savings come from reducing portion sizes and buying fewer high-calorie foods that tend to increase the amount spent at the grocery store. People tend to spend a lot on those “extras”, such as foods that add calories but little nutritional value, like sodas, bakery items, and chips.
You can get more for your money if you consider the nutritional value of food for the price. For example, sodas and flavored drinks deliver mostly empty calories and could easily be replaced with less expensive sparkling water with a splash of 100% fruit juice like cranberry.
Plan your meals in advance
Before going out grocery shopping, make sure that you know exactly what you’re going to eat so that you can calculate your projected costs before you start spending. This reduces your chances of going over budget and encourages you to get creative with the types of meals you will create that week.
Collect and use coupons for grocery
Most grocery stores offer loyalty programs that are free to join. By signing up, you can benefit from member-only discounts that automatically deduct at checkout. You also maximize your savings by clipping coupons for additional discounts. These are often distributed in the weekly circular in mail and magazines.
Now, digital options are just as easy to use; download your favorite grocery store’s mobile app, browse available discounts and click to load coupons onto your digital loyalty card. Then when you checkout in-store, the discounts will automatically be applied.