Michael D'Angelo- July 2022
If you’ve recently found yourself worried about spending, one way to start saving right now is by cutting back on recurring expenses- like grocery costs.
Food is, of course, a necessity. The problem is, it’s easy to spend more on groceries than you have to- especially if you’re purchasing without a plan. Below I've rounded up some tips to help families like yours save more on groceries every month.
Tip #1: Plan Your Meals
Cooking meals every night can be overwhelming. Pre-planning your meals for the week can help you better stick to only buying what you need and take the mystery out of “what’s for dinner?” every night. Other added benefits could include preparing healthier meals, avoiding food waste and resisting the urge to order takeout instead.
Tip #2: Use a Shopping List (And Stick To It)
Making a shopping list is pretty easy, sticking to it, however, can be a different story. Try to only include the essentials when creating your list- and be mindful about diverting away from it once you’re in the store.
Passing up on the small stuff, such as ice cream, chips, candy, etc. - can equate to big savings over time. Saving just $10 on your weekly grocery run can equate to $520 a year!
Tip #3: Stock Up on Basic Supplies
Having a few basic items on hand at all times can be a time and money saver. These common food items are inexpensive, will last for a while and can serve as the base of any meal:
- Rice or quinoa
- Frozen vegetables
Creating dishes out of these ingredients are not only simple and low-cost, but they are filling and healthy to make for your family.
Tip #4: Cook At Home More
It's almost always more cost-effective to cook your own meals at home. If you still want to enjoy a night or two away from the kitchen, just be mindful of how often you’re choosing to eat out and how that’s affecting your monthly budget.
Tip #5: Organize Your Pantry
Nearly everyone has canned goods in their pantry that have sat on the shelf for months. Take an hour or two and inventory your pantry from top to bottom. Dispose of expired goods and take stock of what is still good to use. It’s likely you’ll rediscover a few useful items you can use for meals.
Organizing your pantry can make it easier to assess what you already have, meaning you can plan meals that require less food from the store.
Tip #6: Make Leftovers
If you’re cooking dinner for your family at home, it’s likely you’ll have leftovers to put away at the end of the night. Repurpose them for breakfast or lunch the next day. Leftover meat, vegetables and grains can be used to create whole new meals.
Tip #7: Shop Smarter
Pay attention to what you are buying. Even though you may be paying less for something, you’ll want to do a unit comparison to similar products. For example, say you’re choosing between one box of pasta that’s $4.00 for 16 ounces and another that’s $2.50 for eight ounces. Yes, $2.50 is cheaper, but you’ll want to look at the price per ounce to be able to accurately compare the two. The first box equates to 25 cents an ounce, and the second comes in at 31 cents an ounce. Purchasing the first box will give you more bang for your buck- granted you’ll eventually use the entire 16 ounces.
As you try to approach your finances more strategically, every little bit of savings can help. Give these tips and tricks for food shopping a try, and remember to check in with your financial advisor if you're ever feeling financially stressed.