Your grocery bill can add up quicker than you realize, therefore, it is imperative to get smart about grocery shopping if you want to stay within your budget. With grocery, you are not stuck with a monthly rate like you are with the internet bills, and you are not locked into a contract like you are with rental agreements. The grocery bill is different and requires significant control if you want to cut down on your monthly expenditure for food. Here are 5 ways to effectively control your grocery budget:
The Pareto Principle
According to the Pareto principle, 80 percent of the effects of an event come from 20 percent of the cause. This means that making small alterations to your most expensive spending habits could lead to significant savings in your monthly budget for groceries. Try to think of the number of times you were tempted into buying something you had not planned for before entering the grocery store. An attractive product packaging by the best food packaging company will make you want to buy things you do not need. Such impromptu purchases could considerably throw you out of the budget.
Know your Priorities
As you shop for groceries, you need to remind yourself, “if this, then not that”. So, if you are buying fresh and basic whole foods, then you should give up on that new flavor of tea, juice, or that optional topping to make your meal less boring. Toward the end of the month, you will appreciate your efforts in determining your priorities while excluding the “extras” from your grocery list. Keep doing that for a few months, and you will be surprised comparing the numbers. Perhaps, you can spend some of the money saved for buying more of the prioritized items on your bucket list now!
Limit Eating Out
This one expenditure will sneak into your monthly budget like the Trojan horse and will destroy everything you have worked so hard for. Go out only when there is a special occasion, such as dining out when your best friend is in town or to celebrate your next promotion! Never eat out due to laziness. Know your priorities. At the time of buying your weekly or bi-monthly groceries, getting ready-to-eat frozen meals could help you limit the frequency of eating out. If you are not sure about the frozen meals you should buy, you can always ask the salesperson for the fresh, ready-to-eat meals available on the shelves. This way, you will know that there is a scrumptious meal waiting for you in the refrigerator when you return home after a tiring day at work!
Do not Let the Coupons Trick you
Coupons are excellent only if they are for items that are already on your bucket list and from brands which you habitually buy. More often than not, coupons will trick you into buying unnecessary items, from brands you do not usually buy, just because it was too good a deal! Also, coupons often tempt you into buying bundles of products which will eventually end up being a waste of money if you are only going to consume one of the three items in the bundle.
Shop the Perimeters
Almost all big grocery stores have a similar layout. You will most probably find vegetables, dairy and meat areas on the outside of the store, while all packaged products such as snacks, canned goods, drinks are concentrated toward the center of the store. If you stick to the outside of the store and shop the perimeters, you will not only save on your budget but it will also assure your family stays healthy – fresh foods displayed in the boundary of the store tend to be healthier choices!