Keeping Your Grocery Budget in Check (Guest Post)
On average, every household spends a good chunk of money on food each month. Captain Obvious will tell you that every human being needs food on a daily basis in order to survive. However, buying in bulk can often leave you broke, at least until the next paycheck. How do you keep your belly full without breaking the bank? I mean, there is such a variety of foods screaming “buy me!” that it is just so difficult to say “no”. Once you enter the store, the temptations of the food industry seem to put a spell on you and you can't leave the place without buying a few extras just in case. Oh, look! There is a discount on broccoli! Yup, that is how it all starts. But before you blow your budget, think twice. Isn't it better for you to steer clear of some foods? Do you need all of the products you want to buy? Wait, what did you go out shopping for in the first place? It is time to put a stop to random, impulse buys. Check out these tips to keeping your budget in check.
The best way to know how much you can spend at a shop is to pay in cash. Ditch credit or debit cards and stick with good old cash. Not only will you spend less money, but you will reduce impulse buys. It will make you focus on the necessities, such as veggies, cheese, meat and cereal.
Additionally, it might be best to shop every couple of weeks rather than once a month to avoid overspending. If you buy all the food you need at the beginning of the month, you risk eating it all at once. That way, you may end up with no food at the end of the month, forced to spend more money.
Have a Plan
Unless you have a plan of what you are going to buy, you may end up spending more on extras you don't need. At the same time, you may forget to buy something you want. So before you go to the store, write down all the foods and products you need. Make a detailed list. It should include all three meals and it should last you a week or a fortnight. Apart from dinners, lunches and breakfasts you also need to include snacks.
If you cook (and that is the best way to save money on food), remember to add all ingredients you are going to need for each and every meal. If you have a sweet tooth, include a few sweet things too, but don't go to extremes. This is a great time to cut on sugary foods.
Once you are at the store, stick to the list and avoid the temptations that surround you. The safest way to go is to buy the stuff you wrote down.
Avoid Out of Season Produce
You know what blows your budget? Buying out of season fruits and veggies. Seriously, why buy cherries during winter? Give me one good reason to do this. They have no nutritional value, plus they are thrice as expensive as cherries in season. This spending mistake can drain your wallet in no time. Next time you complain about costly veggies and fruits, just don't buy them. As a rule, steer clear of all out of season produce to keep your budget in check.
Go with the Lower Shelves
It is no secret that eye-level shelves contain more expensive products than low shelves. This stems from the fact that one is likely to grab the first thing they see and they are not prone to bend their knees to reach for the products placed below. Next time you find yourself facing the aisle, take a good look at the items above and below and steer clear of the eye-level shelves. Chances are you save about 15% to 20% just by choosing to buy off brand foods.
So how do you find these tips? Can you add more? We would love to hear about it.
The article is kindly contributed by home cleaners in Brixton.