5 Reasons Your Grocery Bill is High & How to Lower It
When it comes to expenses, food is a necessary one. If you’ve already cut back on discretionary spending, like daily coffee runs or monthly manicures, but are still struggling to make ends meet, you may want to look at your grocery bill. While you can’t cut out food completely, you can optimize your spending in a way that works for your budget. Here are a few reasons your grocery bill may be high and some easy ways to reduce your spending.
#1 – Poor Planning
If you walk into the grocery store without a list in hand, you’re more likely to make impulse purchases. Even if you don’t like to meal prep, draft a basic plan for the week to keep your budget on track. Figure out which days you plan on eating out, if you need lunches to take to work and if you can stretch any meal into leftovers. This will help you limit any purchases made purely for convenience.
#2 – Ignoring the Seasons
Not only does in-season produce taste better – it’s also more wallet-friendly. Brussels sprouts, citrus fruits and squashes are cheapest in winter, while berries, cucumbers and peaches are best enjoyed during summer. Buying produce at a farmers market, where everything is grown locally, is another way to guarantee you’re eating seasonally.
#3 – Too Much Meat
The cost of meat really adds up, especially if you’re eating it more than once a day. You don’t have to go vegan or vegetarian to lower your grocery bill, but buying more plant-based proteins, like beans and tofu, may save you money and can be healthier than always relying on beef and chicken.1
#4 – Neglecting Leftovers
Leftovers aren’t always exciting, but they can cut down your grocery bill substantially and reduce food waste. Instead of making one-time meals, pick out recipes that can be easily stretched and stored for later consumption. This can also limit your time in the kitchen, as you can easily reheat leftovers instead of cooking a whole new meal.
#5 – Following Deals Too Often
The boldly colored stickers on store shelves advertising “50 percent off” or “buy three, get two free” can be tempting. Unfortunately, deals aren’t worth it if you find yourself throwing away the extra food you bought or letting it languish in your pantry. Avoid taking advantage of deals on fresh food, which can go bad before you use it, and try to look for deals on non-perishable staples you can buy in bulk.
Other Money-Saving Tips
If you’re still struggling to make it through the grocery store without blowing your budget, consider:
- Shopping less often – If you shop once a week or once a month, you’ll spend less than if you’re going to the store every few days.
- Using your phone calculator – Adding up each item as it goes into the cart reduces sticker shock at the cash register and limits impulse purchases.
- Paying with cash – Leaving the credit cards at home forces you to stick to your budget.
- Going generic – Store brand products are typically cheaper than name brands, and some generics taste exactly like their more expensive counterparts.
- Sticking to the perimeter – Fresh produce, dairy and meat cost less and are healthier than the processed snacks and frozen meals found in the center aisles.
Boost Your Financial Success With American Financial Solutions
Cutting down your grocery bill can save you money, but if you’re still finding it difficult to manage your debt, call the certified credit counselors at American Financial Solutions. We can offer advice and solutions that fit your needs and help you start your journey toward financial success.
Call us today at (888) 864-8548 to get connected with a counselor.
Published Jul 2, 2018.