One expense that pretty much everyone has, whether rich or poor, is buying groceries. In fact, those with less income often spend more at the grocery store because they do not dine out as often. Despite the fact that it’s a necessity, spending money on groceries is not fun. You likely do not want to spend more than you have to while keeping yourself and your family well fed. Luckily, there are easy ways to plan your shopping so that it will cost a bit less. Follow these tips and you’ll find some easy ways to reduce your grocery bill.
- Grow your own produce – Anything you can grow yourself is something you don’t have to buy. Consider the price for vegetable seeds compared to the price for fresh vegetables. It makes an even bigger difference if you are buying organic or specialty produce. As an added bonus, working in the garden is a great workout and gives you the opportunity to spend time outside too.
- Buy in-season – When you do buy your own produce, buy items that are in season. Have you ever noticed how cheap watermelon is in July, and how expensive it is in December? There’s no reason to pay more than you have to. As an added benefit, in-season produce is often tastier and locally sourced.
- Shop the sales– Check out what items are on sale each week and stock up. Items like paper products and health and beauty aids should never be purchased at full price. As far as meats and vegetables go, plan your meals around the sales. This makes planning for dinner a breeze, since you are allowing the sales to dictate what you eat.
- Clip (and trade) coupons – Clipping coupons makes sense. However, one caveat; don’t buy something with a coupon that you don’t really want just to use it. Look through the coupons to find products you use or like anyway and use those. You may have even better results if you trade coupons with your friends and neighbors. Finding several copies of a coupon you really like can save you a large sum of money.
- Cook and bake from scratch – Those frozen dinners don’t seem TOO expensive, do they? Think again! For the price of a family size frozen macaroni and cheese dinner, you could serve your family a much bigger portion of homemade macaroni and cheese and two vegetables on the side! Buying a bakery cake for a birthday may cost you $25 dollars, while one you make from scratch or even from a mix may cost around $5. Most things are cheaper to bake yourself, it just takes a little time and effort.
- Plan for leftovers – You often save money if you buy larger packages, so why not make multiple meals at once? Leftovers have a bad rap, but you can make several meals at one time and save money. You may find that taking leftovers for lunch is more appealing that eating a sandwich, and cheaper than going out every day. Planned leftovers are a money saving trick that will cut your grocery costs!