Grocery. Something that always comes in bulk. It is perhaps the first thing to find a place in your monthly budget. Also, it is the most fickle part of expenses that keeps changing every time. You keep adding new things, a new sauce/type of noodles/snacks that look tempting and are new in the market. This habit sometimes do not let us realise that we are overspending. And, even if we are not overspending, we can deduct a few things from the current list that are actually not necessary.
Here are a few ways that can help reduce your grocery bill to as less to half.
Don’t rely on coupons, buy things that are on discount offered by store
How does this sound?? – ‘Amazing low prices!!’ Certainly, it catches your attention and also stimulates you to go grocery shopping. BUT, it is important to know that coupons are nothing but a mirage which has nothing to do with the realisation of expectations. Just look at the offer – ‘amazing low prices’, can you tell how much lower they are?? No, then why to rely on the promise?
A better option is always to buy when the store gives sale offers or discounts. They are more precise. For instance 30% off 50% off. And you know what, they actually are. However, this should not mean that every time the store offers a deal, you should start buying. It is just about shopping at the right time and also not getting driven by the fake commitments.
Buy in stock when on sale
This suggestion relates to the above one. Your habit of buying should be tailored according to the market conditions. It is normally not advisable to buy things in bulk, as that may cause wastage and overspending of money. However, the food items that are on big discount can be purchased in big quantity. They should last for 6 to 8 weeks as normally every item takes this duration to come on sale again.
Here is an example –
- Your family eats 2 boxes of a certain type of snack weekly
- The price per box is £4.50
- When you go to the store, the same snack is available on £1.99 due to sale offer
- In this case, you should buy 12 boxes in the place of 2. This will last long for 6 weeks or may be more than that.
Set target budget and take a calculator while you go to shop
Every time you visit the store, set a target budget and stick to it. While you visit the store keep your calculator or use your smartphone, to know if you are under your buying limits or not.
This has two benefits –
- You prevent overspending
- You attain better money management skills
Spending more than what you should spend on grocery is like taking out a loan, which you may not afford. If money goes extravagantly on this part, the other expenses are going to get affected adversely. The method of keeping calculator during the shopping develops a rational approach. You stop adding those things in the cart that are not required but they just look attractive.
Embrace the ‘cash only’ policy
Never use a credit card for shopping. Take only cash while on a visit to store. This helps your mind keep a control on careless shopping. You can buy only up to the last penny available in the wallet. While making the monthly budget, keep the cash amount for the grocery in a separate envelope.
This inspires organised shopping habit and your mind is always calculating how the money should be spent. This is a great method to stay under the budgetary limits making you a conscious spender. A good start brings a fair ending.
Buy less meat
This is perhaps quite a common suggestion that you come across but are you really working on it?? May be the desperate love for meat makes it impossible. But there is no hurry, start with eliminating it once a week. Take it to twice a week and so on. At some point, it is necessary to start for the actual and desired change.
Not including meat even once or twice in the meal can bring a significant fall in the grocery bill. Substitute may help to speed up the process. For instance – Enchiladas with cheese, and spaghetti may help to make a smooth escape from the addiction.
Do not stick to brands generic options are worthy
This is quite applicable in the case of food items. Stores usually put the branded products on the eye level of the shelf. The generic ones are either on the bottom or on the top, too high to notice or access. This is your duty towards yourself to notice these things.
The generic products taste the same as the branded ones. Sometimes the perception about a certain thing is so strong that it prevents people from trying new ways and things. Grocery items fit quite well in that ‘brand VS generic’ issue.
The above ways are destined to show instant results but the only time takes is the change in your habit. Faster the transformation comes in your habits; lesser the money spends on grocery. Keep trying despite few failures initially, things take time but if the direction is correct, good results show for sure. Soon your grocery bill will reduce to half and at that time feel proud for winning a struggle.