Save Money on Groceries by Planning Ahead
Families spend far more on groceries when they fail to plan ahead. Below are some of the best ways to get cheaper groceries as a result of adequate planning.
- Decide ahead of time what treats will be purchased, in what quantities and the maximum price that will be paid for the treats. Although it may seem like a good idea to skip treats when trying get cheaper groceries, planning ahead and purchasing treats in small quantities cuts down on a sense of deprivation and keeps shoppers from going on a junk food shopping spree at a later time.
- Make a menu plan. Meal planning insures that money at the grocery store will be more wisely spent since items tossed into the shopping cart actually have a purpose. Menu planning also cuts down on multiple trips to the grocery store throughout the week.
- Make a grocery shopping list and stick to it. Shopping lists keep shoppers from purchasing a bunch of unneeded items. Those who grocery shop with a list are more likely to avoid impulse buys at the grocery store.
Come up With a Budget for Groceries
A family budget plan helps keep families on track financially in every area and a grocery budget is certainly no exception. Smart shoppers keep track of their spending throughout the month and use caution when spending is higher than it should be at any point in the month.
Personal finance expert Dave Ramsey suggests using the envelope system for budgeting. The envelope system works by simply putting the budgeted amount of money for the week's groceries in cash in an envelope. The value of using the envelope system is that it's easy to see at a glance how much money there is to spend. When the money in the envelope runs out, it is simply time to stop spending money on groceries.
Cook from Scratch as Much as Possible
One of the best ways to get cheaper groceries is to cook from scratch rather than depending on convenience food items. Cooking from scratch can be time consuming, but it is worth it in the long run both in terms of grocery savings and that food made from scratch is generally healthier than convenience food items.
In addition to cooking from scratch, the less processed food is the better. For example, it is generally cheaper to buy cheese in a block than cheese that is already grated. A food processor is a kitchen appliance worth purchasing as it can reduce the time spent in the kitchen and make it easier to rely less on expensive prepared food items.
Grocery Shop in Ethnic Food Stores
Ethnic grocery stores are often a great place to get cheaper groceries. For example, Indian grocery stores have many spices at much lower prices than traditional supermarkets. Spices found at Indian grocery stores are often common ones such as cumin seeds, sesame seeds, coriander seeds and cardamom.
It's easy for families to get cheaper groceries when shoppers are willing to plan ahead, create a family budget plan, cook from scratch as much as possible, and explore the possibilities for cheaper groceries found in ethnic grocery stores. It truly is possible to save money on groceries with just a small amount of thoughtful effort.