Smart Ways to Save on Your Food Budget

After paying out all of the needed monthly expenses, whiling continuing to fund your emergency fund, pay down debt, not to mention saving for the future, there may not be much left every month, making it all more important to save every way you can.  Depending on the size of the household/number of incomes, the food budget could take up a significant portion, after all we do need to eat, so any way to free up extra money in that department would be a huge help.

Avoid Going Out to Eat

Whether it’s stopping for coffee in the morning, going out to lunch, or taking the family out to dinner, the price adds up quickly.  After all, you’re paying for someone else’s services.  If you can avoid going out to eat, go grocery shopping, and prepare meals at home you will have significant savings add up right away.  Just think about how long you can make bread, lunch meat, and chips last for a week for a few dollars, compared to spending $10 a day going out to eat.  Or a better example, chopping up ingredients to meal prep salads for lunch.

Never Leave the House Hungry

While sticking to going grocery shopping is important in saving money every month, there are a few areas that are of note to stick to.  If you’ve ever gone to the grocery store you know that everything looks good that you begin to load up the cart with whatever sounds good, throwing your food budget out of whack by the time you ring everything up at the register.  Also, when you’re hungry the items will most definitely not be healthy options, so do yourself a favor and have a meal at home and have a full stomach by the time you head to the grocery store.

Don’t Forget the Shopping List

While you are having a bite to eat before you go, that would be a good time to take inventory of the fridge, pantry, and freezer, to see which items you need so you can start your shopping list.  There is nothing worse than going to the store and coming home without the item you went for, or even worse, spending more on items that you didn’t need.  So, if you can make a list before you go, even organized by section of the store, you will be in better shape entering with a plan, instead of wandering aimlessly.

Take Advantage of the Rewards Card

The store’s shopper’s rewards card is great, not only for in-store sale items, and promos such as the “10 for $10”, but you can also load digital coupons from the store’s website, loaded onto your card so they take off the price at the register.  The only trick is you might need to print the list so you remember.  While your rewards card is entered, by shopping that day you can earn fuel points for savings at the gas pump the next time you have to go fill up.

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