Readers, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I am currently using my Mint App and a check register as my primary budgeting tools. My bank has a budgeting app built on the site, but it’s not as comprehensive as I would like for it to be. I like using tools that are practical and easy to use. I like Mint because it alerts me when I am getting close to the spending amount that I have allotted for myself for the month in each category. I set budget amounts for bills, activities, clothing, dry cleaning, spending money, and the supermarket amongst other things. I manage to stay within my budget for every category except for the supermarket!
Currently, I set a budget for about $400.00 a month for groceries. I still manage to go over occasionally. Sometimes, I shop for two adults. Under those circumstances, I adjust the budget to $450.00. I have not adopted the coupon culture, but I’m going to try at some point. It just seems that I only find coupons for items that I don’t eat, and it seems like such a grueling process. I do pack my lunch which is great. However, I occasionally waste food which is not good and it bothers me to this day. When I was 18 years old, I moved out of my parent’s house and money was so tight that I used to roll pennies to buy food. I frequently used the change machine to convert change into dollars. I loved the invention of the cash machine because I didn’t have to roll coins any longer.
As of today, September 22, 2017, I have $81.00 left for this month to use for groceries. For the month of October, I’m going to try the below strategies in an attempt to decrease my grocery bill. Wish me luck!
Buy frozen vegetables
I love fresh vegetables! However, I get so wrapped up in work and other activities that I forget to cook them sometimes and they go bad. Although I realize that fresh and in season fruits and vegetables are the best way to go, I’m going with frozen vegetables for a while. They last longer and I won’t feel pressured to cook daily. Thus, it will reduce waste.
Separate toiletries, paper goods etc. from food
These items are included in your grocery budget when you buy them from a grocery store. I am a member of Sam’s Club and I’m considering purchasing these items in bulk to prevent buying them weekly. Mint doesn’t separate food from toiletries! I would have to make Sam’s a separate category and a quarterly expense, perhaps.
Freeze leftover food
I have never tried this. I usually throw leftover food away after four days. There are other creative things I can do with leftover food. Perhaps, I can freeze the meats and prepare different vegetables. I can make a healthy chicken salad out of leftover baked chicken. I can make wraps out of leftover anything!
Eat before shopping
I will not go to the supermarket hungry! This will make you buy food that you would not have purchased otherwise. Especially grocery stores that have hot food bars! Eat first and have leftovers prepared!
Only buy items on sale
Certain items have to be name brand but not everything! I have no problem with switching to store brand foods and products. Oftentimes, the store brand products taste the same or better. It will also help me to save more money!
As a fellow blogger, Emily Rupe Carson says, “There are ways to cut costs so that your weekly shopping trip doesn’t send you to the poorhouse. Furthermore, being selective about where you shop will cut down on the costs.” Find more of Ms. Carson’s tips on her blog, https://movingthroughmomhood.com/.
Reader, can you offer our community any grocery shopping tips? Where would you invest the money you’ve saved?