How To Save Money On Food

In: Food and Drink

4 Jul 2010

In the United States, it’s entirely likely that you spend just as much on food every month as you do on your rent or your house payment, but it doesn’t have to be that way if you pay attention to a few simple tips. Grocery shopping can be made cheap again, but it may take a little effort on your part.

The first thing that you need to learn is that if you have a full time job and lots of kids, clipping coupons out of the newspaper can be more trouble than it’s worth. If a coupon is only going to give you a few cents off or if you have to purchase two of the same item to get a discount at all, it’s really not worth it in the long run. Now, if you can get one of your kids to clip the coupons for you, you may be onto something. What’s even worse than coupons that you clip out of the newspaper are the printable coupons that you find online. Giving up your e-mail address to an unknown person or company just to get a few cents off of some laundry detergent is hardly worth it.

Something that is definitely worth the effort, however, is making sure you stock up on items when they are on sale, because after the sale period ends, stores often like to drive the price up beyond what it was before to make up for the sale. Big box stores are especially guilty of this and it’s a well-guarded secret, even though it’s in plain view. If you can, keep a record of the price of that item for when you go shopping again to see how much the price changes before, during, and after the sale. You may be surprised at the difference.

Forget about shopping when you feel bad. Whether it’s because you’re hungry, in a hurry, or depressed, if you’ve got other things on your mind, it’s best to avoid going grocery shopping until later. You want to make sure your mind is clear so you don’t miss any details concerning price and shopping when you’re hungry always means you’re going to buy more than you really should. Being in a hurry also causes you to grab things without thinking about the price.

Keep in mind that meat is expensive and if you can do without it, do without it for a meal or two. There are plenty of vegetarian meals that you can have that will sustain you and your family just fine. Vegetables are a dietary necessity and it’s sad that we don’t usually get as much of them as we need to. Try making at least one night a week vegetarian night and while your family may hate you for it the first week, they will eventually come to enjoy it once you’ve found the dishes they like best.

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