- Personal Finance
25 Tips to Save Money on Food Bills
We all love to talk about money irrespective of what background we belong to - the jobs we have, the kind of businesses we are working on, the kind of lives we lead. Whether we want to spend money or save money, it is always our primary concern and possibly a concern of almost all age groups. Majority of people keep on trying to make their ends meet, and stretch their incomes to take care of their basic necessities like food, healthcare and shelter, then come some other non-basic necessities like modes of transport and communication, and last come the luxuries.
No matter, what department of all these necessities we are dealing with, there are always certain excesses in all these areas that we can eliminate or at the least reduce by indulging in them more smartly. Here, I am starting with certain tips on saving money on the most basic expenditure of all - Food and grocery. Let’s see how can we save money effectively on our food bills:
1) Try and get food coupons. You can cut loads of dollars on your food bills by redeeming your food coupons. Also, if you are a regular member of certain supermarkets, always get a membership as you'll always be able to avail discounts and certain vouchers on your regular grocery shopping, which definitely counts as your saving.
2) Always compare the unit prices of the foods you purchase, the price per ounce or pound. Many times packaging and sizes can be deceptive.
3) Check your local newspapers for special bargains on grocery and shop at supermarkets advertising the week's best deals.
4) If possible, cut down the snacks and junk food from your regular diet. Potato chips, wafers, cookies and soda add up unnecessary expenses to your bill and have little nutritive value.
5) Shop bags in bulk for food items like flour and sugar rather than boxes. This will save your expenses on these up to 20 percent. Larger sizes have usually cheaper prices per unit.
6) Shopping at no-frills, big-scale discount food stores can save up to 15% of your shopping expenses.
7) Avoid shopping for food when you are hungry; an empty stomach always makes you buy stuffs impulsively.
8) Try to look for the generic brands. These brands generally come in plain, simple packages and may cost around 25% less than comparable well known brands and cost you about 15% less than other store brands.
9) Buying groceries at food cooperatives can help you in saving big. Supermarkets usually offer nice deal of saving when compared to small neighborhood stores.
10) Whole chickens are usually cheaper per pound than cut-up chicken. Nevertheless, you can also save money by purchasing large boxes of chicken parts.
11) Try to avoid purchasing foods at specialty food stores, as they have higher prices. You can easily find the same products in supermarkets at lower prices.
12) If you are health conscious and buy more of health foods, then ensure that you buy authentic products. Organic and natural foods usually cost 40-50 percent more than the regular foods, so assure that you are not paying more for the foods you can get at regular prices.
13) Try to make your lazy bones work and stop splurging on convenience foods as they cost more than what you can make from scratch. You can have fun trying to make your own hash browns and casseroles rather than getting them packed from the heat-and-serve sections.
14) If you have a large family and you feel that your food bills are exceeding your budget every time, you can talk to your close families and relatives and begin your own Food-Buying Club. This can save up to 20% on your food expenses as then you can purchase your groceries together in bulk from the food warehouses.
15) One way to save money on milk is to get some non-fat dry milk along with the regular fresh milk. The dry milk costs about a third less than the fresh milk. You can mix an equal proportion of both the milks and use it.
16) Always prepare a list before going for grocery shopping. Researches have shown that many grocery shoppers usually end up buying loads of stuffs on impulse if they don't have a list. A well structured list helps in staying focused; also it ensures that you don't miss anything you really want.
17) If you are looking for sugar alternatives for health reasons, and since diet sugars are quite expensive you can start to use dry fruits and jaggery instead. Dried fruits and jaggery are more nutritious than their counterpart canned and frozen items and can work in taking care of your sweet tooth too.
18) Get creative with your culinary skills and use cheaper cuts of each type of meat. With a little care and skilled approach while preparing meals, you can make these meats taste just like the expensive cuts.
19) Purchase beef and other meats in bulk sizes and keep them safely secured in your home freezer. You can save a lot on meat per pound.
20) Juices, vegetables and fruits that come in cans are generally less expensive than in jars.
21) Always dedicate good amount of time in comparing the prices of various forms of food, such as fresh canned, frozen and dried and then get the one that is most economical to you.
22) Purchase wine and liquors in cases.
23) Purchase larger sizes of liquor as this will help you get more at fewer prices.
24) Try to include brown-bags more for your lunch every week instead of spending every time at your workplace's neighboring restaurants. You can save a lot.
25) If possible, try to cut back on your drinking. If you love to have cocktails after work every day, try to build a cozy home bar instead of splurging at expensive bars outside. If you reduce your after work drinks by three times a week, you could save loads of money annually.
I hope these tips relax your penny-pinching thoughts and help you in saving more and living better.