Food is a huge part of most family budgets. According to the Department Of Agriculture, in November of 2016 the average adult spent between $165 and $346 on groceries. Couples spent between $381 and $761 for the month, and families of four shelled out between $555 and $1,273. And this doesn’t even count eating out, or grabbing a morning coffee at Starbucks on the way to work! You can see that food is one of the largest expenses in a budget, rivaling the cost of a house payment in some areas.
Here are some thoughts I’ve shared previously on how to spend less on food expenses:
Set a dollar-amount limit on your groceries.
It might be hard to figure out an amount at first, but it needs to be enough so that you can eat all your meals at home for the whole week. That doesn’t mean you can’t occasionally spend extra to stock up on a fantastic food sale, but you need to have a goal to shoot for.
Buy groceries only once a week if at all possible.
The more times you step foot in the store, the more you’ll end up spending.
Pick one or two grocery stores in your area that seem to have the best price, and do your regular shopping there.
Make a list of the food items you buy most, grab a notepad and pencil, and visit all the grocery stores in your area.Write down what each store is charging for the items on your list. I got a few odd looks from other shoppers, but I really didn’t care.
Check your grocer’s sale ad before you shop.
Most stores have their weekly sales ad available online. I look at the ads for the two grocery stores I regularly use before heading out to get food. I try to plan our meals around the items that are on sale that week.
Make a list, and buy only what you originally planned to buy.
Impulse purchases add tremendously to your bill at the cash register.
Make sure your stomach is full when you go grocery-shopping.
When you’re hungry, you will be tempted to throw extra items into your shopping cart.
If possible, don’t take along the kids, unless you’re training them how to grocery-shop.
If they are going to be begging you to buy extra items, it’s better to keep them at home.
Lastly, eat at home instead of going out to a restaurant, grabbing drive-thru food, or having pizza delivered! You’ll be amazed at how much you can save on the food bill.