If you’re like most people, food probably takes up a big chunk of your monthly budget. Whether you’re feeding a family of four or just yourself, there’s a good chance you’ve already fallen victim to the classic trap of overpaying for food, or buying food you don’t end up eating. It happens to all of us. But if you plan well and shop smartly, you can avoid wasting money on groceries and instead use that cash productively. Here’s how to do it:
Always Check the Circulars
One of the easiest ways to avoid spending more than you have to on groceries is to check the circulars at your local stores before you head out shopping and see what’s on sale. If, for example, your family goes through 12 yogurts a week and a local store has your brand on sale for $0.50 less than another supermarket, you can save $6 right off the bat. Most grocery stores post their circulars online, so all you need to do is commit to giving them a weekly read at your convenience.
Pay Attention to Expiration Dates
Sometimes we all have no choice but to shop for food when we’re in a hurry. How many times have you grabbed the first container of milk off the shelves only to get home later and realize it expires within a couple of days?
To avoid wasting money on food, be sure to pay attention to when the products you’re buying are about to expire. If you can’t find the item you’re looking for with a decent date, ask a supermarket employee to check the stock room. The more time you have to consume your food before it goes bad, the less likely you are to waste money by having to throw it away.
So, here’s some food for thought: Good meals don’t have to cost a fortune. Even if you could afford prime rib three times a week, would you really want to eat it that often?
Should you be eating it that often? Of course not. One of the beautiful aspects of home cooked meals is the variety and creativity that goes into them.
Another idea to consider is this: Good meals and bad habits cannot coexist. So, in order to make room for good meals, get rid of these easy traps for eating out: