Saving Money Buying
By Nikki Willhite
Budgeting Food Expenses
When it comes to budgeting, food is the one area where most of us can achieve
the most significant savings. That is why you see so many articles written about
saving money on groceries.
The typical family spends 15% of their income on food (take home
pay). Obviously people who make more money don't necessarily eat more. They just
eat higher priced food, or dine out more often.
People trying to save money usually only go out to dinner on
special occasions, or they go out to lunch - which is a lot more economical.
Most of us stay home and cook. The average cook serves about 22 different meals-
such as spaghetti, hamburgers, pork chops, tuna noodle casserole, pot roast,
etc., experimenting with a new recipe a couple times a month. You know what you
need for the dishes you serve. The skill is in purchasing these ingredients as
economically as possible, and having them on hand when you need them.
To make it even more challenging, you need to do it in as few
trips to the store as possible! You KNOW that if you go shopping for just one
item, you will come out with three. One study shows that 50% of purchases are
unplanned. If that is true, there must be a lot of people shopping without well
planned and organized lists!
Here are some ways you can keep your grocery bill down
1. Shop alone. If you bring your spouse or children, count on
your bill being higher!
2. Do not shop when you are hungry.
3. Join a warehouse like Costco or Price Club. There can be
significant discounts buying in bulk.
4. Keep your eyes on the items on the bottom shelf where the
prices are lower!
5. If you are not good doing math in your head, bring a
calculator so you can determine the better value of the same item in different
6. Use coupons and send for rebates. Get organized. Keep those
coupons where you can easily find them, and keep all the parts of a product you
think you might need for the rebate. Don't create a fire hazard, but organize!
7. Buy only items you know you will eat. Don't buy things
because you know you should eat them. If you don't like broccoli, don't buy it
hoping you'll eat better this week. Be realistic. It's kind of like a person who
is dieting buying a dress too small for them, hoping that it will motiviate them
to lose the weight to wear it. It doesn't usually work! Buy the foods you will
8. Buy store brands when the quality is the same.
9. Eat less! Let's face it- most of us eat too much. Try not
eating after dinner. That's when you usually indulge in recreational eating.
Without all those high priced snacks, your food bill will go down. Both your
wallet and your figure will thank you!