- Personal Finance
Lower Your Grocery Bill! Tips and Advice on How to Save Money Each and Everyday!
I probably don't need to tell you this…but times are tough people! The economy (though showing signs of improvement) is, well, for lack of better words, in the toilet! Fortunately, there are many ways you can improve your financial situation. For instance, you can work with a credit card counseling service, get a second job, or even save money by changing the way you eat and shop for groceries! Though bad habits can be hard to break, it is possible to implement smart spending habits into your way of life. So finish up that Big Mac (if you are serious about saving money, you won't be eating one again anytime soon) and get to reading!
So what do I mean by smart spending habits? Allow me to explain! One of the easiest ways to reduce your expenses is to change the way you shop for groceries. You can also save money by eating out less, but we'll get to that in a bit. In the meantime, let's get back to the grocery scenario. Reducing your grocery bill is not hard to do. It is a fact that pre-packaged food items are more expensive (not to mention you get less bang for your buck!). By eating more homemade meals that you make from scratch (using FRESH ingredients) you can reduce your grocery bill and eat healthier at the same time (a double bonus!). You can also freeze leftover homemade meals and eat them for lunch the next day (can you hear the savings adding up? Cha-Ching!).
Reduce Your Grocery Bill! Save Money!
Coupons, Coupons, Coupons! Just about every Sunday edition newspaper comes with a coupon section. Not only should you be cutting out and using coupons when you go grocery shopping, you should be reading the store inserts as well. It is important that you PLAN your trip BEFORE shopping for food. Know what is on sale and plan out your meals accordingly. Trust me when I say you can save a lot of money! Most if not all grocery stores will double coupons…which means extra savings for you! It is also important that you do NOT shop for food when you are hungry. People who shop hungry have a tendency to toss things into their grocery basket that they normally wouldn't buy! If possible, you should also minimize the amount of times that you actually go to the grocery store. The more trips you make, the more money you spend! Who hasn't run into the grocery store for eggs and milk and come out with a basket full of stuff they didn't really need! Oh and before I forget, do an online search for coupons as the world-wide-web is loaded with deals! Not only will you find great coupons, you will also find free product samples as well.
Brown Bag It!
While I'm on the subject of grocery shopping I want to stress once again the importance of reading the sale inserts that come with your Sunday newspaper. In order to save money (which is your goal) you may have to shop at two different grocery stores as different stores will have different items on sale. If you are a member of a grocery warehouse store (for example, Costco or Sam's Club) wonderful! If you aren't…you should be as the savings at warehouse stores can be great (especially if you are shopping for a large family!). Warehouse grocery stores often have good deals on everyday items such as toilet paper, paper towels, tooth paste and peanut butter (just to name a few). One word of warning, be careful when it comes to purchasing perishable foods from a grocery warehouse because if you don't use them in time…they will spoil. Not only will you be wasting food, you will be wasting money as well!
When it comes to eating lunch I know a lot of people that eat out almost every single day! If you fall into this category, sorry, but it's time to change your ways. By packing a brown bag lunch you can save a considerable amount of money! While I'm on the subject of eating out, I might as well bring coffee into the mix. Now I understand that many people cannot function without their morning Joe, however, that cup of coffee that you buy on your way to work every morning is probably setting you back three dollars or more per day (depending on what you order and the size). If you are serious about saving money you will either give up your coffee habit all together or buy a large coffee canister, make your own coffee at home every morning, and bring it to work with you. Once at the office, you can refill your canister with the free coffee that your company provides. Though it may not taste as good as a cup of Stabucks, you will be saving money…and that reason alone should make up for the horrible tasting coffee.
Now I know I have already mentioned all the money you can save if you brown bag your lunch and avoid expensive restaurants and delis. However, I have not discussed dinner time! More than ever, families are eating out and eating out can be expensive! If you are truly in a financial bind and trying to save money you should save eating out for special occasions ONLY (birthday, promotion, anniversary, etc.). I know, no fun. However, eating out can be quite expensive (especially if you have a large family!). If you must eat out, eat early and take advantage of early bird specials. Also look for restaurants that have special deals (two for the price of one, or free kids meal with the purchase of an adult entrée, etc.).
There are other simple things you can do to save money when it comes to your grocery bill. For example, pop popcorn the old fashioned way (on the stove or in a popcorn popper). A large bag of un-popped corn will only cost you a couple of dollars and when compared to microwave popcorn, you get A LOT MORE for your money! If you drink soda, cut back…you will be amazed at the savings! Besides, water is free and MUCH better for your body! If you drink alcohol…again, cut back…beer, wine and liquor can be quite expensive. Finally, when possible, buy generic or house brands. Most "house" brands taste the same as name brand items and will cost you considerably less!
When it comes to grocery shopping, the smart shopper finishes first (and with more money in their wallet). By changing simple things in your life (for example, making your own coffee or brown bagging lunch) you can and will save money! Whether or not the economy is in the toilet or not doesn't really matter. We should all be finding ways to save money simply because it is the smart way to live! We work hard for our money…shouldn't we be spending it wisely and saving as much as possible!? Until money really does grow on trees, I'm going to think twice the next time I go grocery shopping and you better believe I will have an envelope full of…you guessed it, coupons! Good luck!