When you think about the bills you pay every month, you probably think about the mortgage/rent, car payments, utilities and maybe even your cable TV bill. People often forget about how much they pay to simply stay nourished. Yep, you need to consider your expenses at the grocery store to be a monthly bill, even if the amount varies from one month to the next. This is true for everyone who wants to save money. Lots of people will refinance their homes, purchase lower priced cars or even go without certain luxuries in order to save money. But very few people ever consider enacting an action plan to save money on groceries/food each month.
Just thinking about cutting back on food costs often causes people to panic. Food is not just something that we eat to survive; we have hard wired emotional ties to the foods that we eat. As such, people often think that if they try to cut corners on their grocery bills they will wind up depriving their families. No worries, though, there are some very simple things you can do to save money on food costs without feeling deprived or feeling like you are not providing your family with the foods they need and enjoy.
Replace Soda and Junk Food with Healthier Options
A soda every now and then is good, but drinking soda every day is expensive, and may also lead to health problems. Water is a much better choice, more affordable (especially if you drink tap water) and should be your primary source for hydration. Even if you buy just a 12 pack of soda each week, you could save close to $20 a month by cutting it from your shopping list. And you can replace cookies, chips and other junk food with healthier alternatives. Some say that it costs more to buy produce, but you can purchase a bunch of bananas for less than $2.00, while a package of cookies can cost upwards of $5.00. You don’t have to cut out all junk food, but eliminating it from your weekly shopping list can help you to save quite a bit of money on groceries.
This is a no-brainer, but people seem to ignore it – stop eating out at restaurants (even fast food joints) and start preparing more meals at home. You can purchase a lot of staple food items in bulk at stores, like Sam’s or Costco. By doing so, you pay less per serving, and are able to prepare lots of great recipes at home. YouTube is filled with great, affordable recipes that you can use to start cooking more at home. And if you have a family, make it a joint effort. You’ll be able to reduce the workload and spend some time together. Save those restaurant trips for special occasions, and you’ll be able to enjoy those expensive meals more; knowing that you’ve been stashing away money that you used to blow on eating out.
Save the Money – Actually Save it!
If you follow these tips and save money on food expenses be sure to actually save it. Don’t blow the extra cash that you have on other things. Instead, put that money directly into your emergency savings fund. And if you haven’t started a fund yet, a month’s worth of using these tips to save money at the grocery store is a great way to save up a “seed” amount of money to get your savings going full steam ahead!