Although food is essential to everyday life, the cost of it can get expensive. Cutting down on this cost can help you avoid having to dip into your emergency fund to cover other essential expenses in the event of an unexpected expenditure.
Become A Vegetarian
If vegetables are a favorite dish of yours and you could do without meat, becoming a vegetarian could help save you money on food, contributor Gail Cephas wrote for Forbes. Meat is one of the most expensive items at a grocery store, so cutting it out of your budget can help reduce expenses, she notes. However, you’ll want to be sure that you know plenty of vegetarian dishes that you enjoy before making this decision.
Reduce Alcohol Intake
In addition to meat, alcohol is another expensive item in your food budget. Reducing the amount you buy can not only save you money but it can improve your health as well.
Don’t Buy Pre-made Dishes
While buying pre-made dishes is much easier to do than cooking, they are much more expensive. Nearly every pre-made item at the grocery store can be made for a fraction of the price at home, according to Cephas.
Plan Your Menus In Advance
Another great way to lower your food budget is to plan out your menus far in advance. Simply taking 30 minutes to plan your breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks can help you save money. This can allow you to check what you already have so you don’t end up buying things at the store you don’t need. It also can enable you to make a list of only the items you need, so you don’t stray and end up overspending.
Use Your Loyalty Card And Keep It Current
No matter where you shop, it is important to have that stores loyalty card. This can ensure you will be able to take advantage of all the stores best sales. According to WiseBread, you will also want to keep your card current with up to date mail and email addresses. If this is not done you may be missing out on special offers that are for members only. Some stores will want you to register the card online to receive exclusive offers, so don’t skip that step.
While shopping alone may not seem like a good time, it can have many benefits. It could allow you to skip over the extra snacks because you don’t have your kids asking for them. It also allows you to keep an eye on the prices when at checkout. This is important, James A. Pursell of Squalwkfix told the source, as one in every 12 items is scanned incorrectly, she stated.
Making a couple trips to the grocery store each week can significantly increase your food budget. That being said, you should try and stick to one shopping trip a week. Try and find out when the stores sale cycle begins and shop early in it to get the most discounted items each week.