Whether you want to start living more frugally, pay off debt or save up for a high-ticket item, living on a budget is a great way to achieve your financial goals. Food is one of those expenses that we have on a regular basis, and yet we don’t really think about how much it’s costing us. If you’re trying to cut down on food spending and save some money, then you should probably substitute eating out and fast food with home-cooked, low-cost meals. Doing your grocery shopping on a budget is the best way to lower your expenses even further, so here are some tips and tricks that will help you keep to the budget and make the most of it.
If you’re looking at your expenditure on food and disliking the fact that food expenditure takes up a lot of your monthly budget then imposing a strict restriction on your food expenses can make you more efficient and save you some cash. If you set a predetermined amount to be spent on food each month then you will have a bigger incentive to buy affordable ingredients as well as to make sure that no purchase is made in vain. Both of these activities in combination can lower your food expenditure by one quarter or more. Thus, doing your grocery shopping on a budget can be a great way to save some money.
Being Creative Shopping for Groceries on a Budget
At the same time, grocery shopping on a frugal living budget will require you to be creative and resourceful if you want to enjoy great taste and food quality at a lower price. Doing the grocery shopping on a budget doesn’t automatically imply that you can only afford to buy cheap ingredients. If your budget is big enough, then of course you can afford more expensive ingredients as well. However, if you want to minimize your expenses on food, the best way is to use a lot of staple ingredients which are low-cost and store well, and then elevate the taste with herbs, frozen vegetables and fruits and more expensive ingredients when they happen to be discounted. Great staple foods include rice, quinoa, legumes, pasta and potatoes as well as frozen and canned fish. This ingredient list is very versatile and allows you to create all kinds of different meals which are tasty, nutritious and inexpensive.
The best way to make sure you don’t overspend while you’re doing the grocery shopping on a budget is to shop from a shopping list. The act of already having selected what you really need to buy before you get to the supermarket is going to prevent you from making impulsive purchases and buying food that you won’t eat. You must keep in mind that supermarkets are marketing environments that want to get you to spend as much as possible. Everything from how the products are laid out to the sounds and smells in the supermarket is made to encourage spending by the consumers. The best way to resist the subtle temptations is to stick to your list.
Here’s another tip – when you’re grocery shopping on a budget, one of the easiest ways to get more bang for your buck is to make use of grocery price comparison tools. These tools allow you to enter all the items you need in a virtual shopping basket and then they give you an approximation of how much that basket of goods will cost at various large supermarkets. Not only that, but many tools also show you cheaper alternatives to the products you’ve selected. Even if you’re not willing to downgrade a brand level, these tools can help you buy the exact products you need from the supermarket where the price is lowest.
Lastly, shopping for fresh ingredients when they are in season is an affordable way to enjoy variety while grocery shopping on a budget. If you buy fruits and vegetables that are out of season then you are also paying a premium that covers the extra shipping costs as well as the convenience of eating food that is out of season. Conversely, fruits and vegetables that are in season sell at a discounted price compared to other fresh produce which allows you to make a variety of low cost meals. This makes them a great addition to a well-balanced, frugal living, low-cost menu.