By: Ana Margarita A. Olar| Foodfindsasia.com
Groceries occupy a large percentage of the monthly budget of a typical household. And if you don’t know the technique of wise spending, your groceries alone can consume all the money you earned for that month. So, to cut down your grocery expenses, here are some tips:
1. Plan ahead. Invest some time in planning before you go shopping. This technique will help you stop buying on an impulse, and ensure that you will only spend money on the things that you really need.
2. Create a menu. Food items occupy the top of the grocery list so you need to have a well-planned menu to ensure that you have all the ingredients you’ll need and save some time and money on going back and forth to the grocery store whenever you lack an ingredient. You may also include foods for breakfast and snack such as a loaf of bread, sandwich spreads, and frozen goods.
3. Have a list of all the things you’ll need for a month. This includes toiletries, and laundry items which are often forgotten when you are so focused on buying ingredients for your meal.
4. When you are at the store, pick only the items that you need. Think twice before tossing an item to the grocery cart.
6. Check for sales. Items that are near their expiration date are often put on sale by the grocery stores. If these items include laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and toiletries, you can still use it even if they are near the expiry date. But, if these are food items, you should be careful. If you are sure that food items will be consumed before the expiry date, then go on and buy it. Also, be sure that the date is not tampered, especially on food items.
7. Save money by picking in season fruits and vegetables. Especially when it is harvest time, the price of that certain fruit or vegetable tends to get low. You should consider this fact when creating a plan. Center your menu or dishes on foods that are in season. You’ll save some money while making sure that you and your family gets a fresh product.
8. Eat first before going on a trip to the store. Shopping around on an empty stomach disrupts your concentration and judgment. A rumbling stomach stimulates craving, leading you to buy unhealthy snacks that are out of your budget.
9. Check the items before tossing them to the cart. Are they properly labeled? Check the packaging for any damage before you go to the cashier.
10. If possible, leave small kids at home. Do not mix grocery time with bonding time. If you have toddlers and you are shopping on a tight budget, it is not wise to bring them with you at the grocery store where they can throw tantrums once you don’t buy what they want. But if you have a 7-year-old kid or older, and you want to teach them how to spend wisely groceries then you should include them when planning your grocery list and your menu.
11. Watch carefully as your items are scanned. There are times that the items are mislabeled or bear the wrong tag price. Make sure that the number of items punched is equal to the actual number of items that you have. Get the receipt and check it carefully before leaving the store.
These tips may sound boring especially if you are used to spontaneous spending. But try these tips, apply self-discipline and self-control and be surprised on how much money you’ll save.