Have you decided to start budgeting? Or maybe you’d like to save money to pay for something special like a vacation to Europe a week on a cruise through the Panama Canal. Regardless of why you might want to save money, one of the best places to begin is learning how to save money on food.
Cut out the impulse purchases
When you go to the store without a list, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll spend money on impulse purchases. There is that great looking apple pie in the bakery section and those ready-to-heat in the delicatessen that are just impossible to pass by. You can end up spending an extra fifteen dollars or more just on impulse items. To combat this, you need to have a grocery list and stick to it. You should plan your meals several days in advance and then just buy those items you will need to fix those meals.
The one exception
There is one exception to the rule about sticking to a list that and that is if you see a really amazing bargain. For example, you might not have planned on buying laundry detergent this week but if you see that there’s a BOGO (buy one get one) on one you like, be sure to take advantage of.
Coupons and coupon codes
Probably the best on to say money on foods is by using coupons. Your Sunday newspaper should be chock-full of money-saving coupons. If you don’t get a newspaper, you can go online to websites such as The Coupon Clippers, Coupon Cabin and Coupons.com and find all sorts of great coupons–not just on groceries but on all sorts of things, including sporting goods, clothing and even shoes. I saw one coupon recently that would save $10 on a $50 purchase at Footlocker. If you have kids you will need to get ready to go back to school in a few weeks this coupon could be very valuable. You might even be able to buy more than one coupon and save on several pairs of shoes.
Look for store brands
Maybe you’ve stayed away from store brands fearing that they might not be as high in quality as brand names like Green Giant, Folgers coffee and General Mills’s cereals. In most cases store brands are as good as brand name items and much cheaper. Our store brand is Kroger’s and we have found its canned goods are just as good as the Green Giant and cost anywhere from $0,50 to $0.80 less. Instead of buying Honey Nut Cheerios we buy the store brand and save almost $2.
Never shop when you’re hungry
Finally, this might sound silly but a good way to save money on food is to never shop when you’re hungry. If you shop before breakfast, lunch or dinner it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll spend more–a fact that’s been proven in studies.