I probably don’t have to tell you this if you’ve been in a grocery store or restaurant lately, but food prices are on the rise! This can be especially hard on single parents, retired folks on fixed incomes, and those who are between jobs. With the average family spending in excess of $500 on food every month, we could all use some tips to trim this budget category! Here are four things that you can do, when used together, can save you up to 50% on your monthly food bill.
- Use Cash! People spend 12 – 18% less money when they are shopping with cash instead of a credit card. There’s actually a scientific reason for this. Did you know that when you buy something with cash, it actually registers as pain in your brain? When you have a fixed amount of cash in your wallet for groceries and dining out, it automatically makes you think twice about what you’re buying. This means that you will be more likely to compare brands and unit prices at the grocery store, and pass up the $3.00 soda in favor of water next time you’re out to lunch. All of those choices add up big time!
- Buy Things on Sale, Not When You Need Them! Most people buy a particular item at the store when they are out (or almost out) of it at home. It doesn’t matter if the item is on sale or not, it has to be purchased this week because we NEED it! Next time you see something that your family loves on sale, buy a 90-day supply of it and you’ll save a ton of money (be aware of product expiration dates). Here is an example: Your family LOVES peanut butter! You go through 2 jars of it every month. Your favorite brand is $3.75 per jar which means you spend $22.50 on it every 90 days. Next time that peanut butter goes on sale for $2.00 per jar – don’t buy just one!! Buy six jars! This would only cost you $12.00 for a 3-month supply of peanut butter, a savings of $10.50 ($42.00 for the year). That may not seem like a lot of money saved, but multiply that times all of the items you regularly buy at the grocery store. You can see how that would save you hundreds of dollars, especially if you apply it to you non-food grocery items like deodorant, paper towels, and cleaning products!
- Use Coupons! I can hear your groans from here, “But I don’t want to spend hours clipping and organizing coupons, only to forget them at home!” Well, great news! There are no scissors needed in today’s digital world of coupons. You can have coupons sent directly to your smartphone from mass retailers like Target. Just show your phone to the cashier and she’ll scan the barcode on the screen and your coupons come right off your order. Many retail giants like Kroger and Meijer have electronic coupons you can select on their website to add to your Kroger card or M-Perks account. No more worries about forgetting your coupons at home.
- Do some Meal Planning. Americans throw away about 30% of the food that they buy. That’s the equivalent of $150 in food wasted every month – $1,800 for the year! Next time you’re scraping food from your plate into the garbage, imagine those are dollars falling into the trash can. By doing some meal planning, you’ll drastically reduce the amount of food that your family throws away. Need help getting started with Meal Planning? My meal planning e-book is only $4.99 and FREE for Kindle Unlimited members.
I hope you’ll start incorporating one – or all – of these tips to help your family save money on your food bill. Just like managing your time and money, when you manage your food resources on purpose you’ll waste less and save your dollars.