Groceries can be incredibly expensive if you’re not a careful planner. And most American families waste thousands of dollars of food every year. At any given time you probably have hundreds of dollars of food in your refrigerator, so how do you make sure it doesn’t go to waste?
I moved out on my own when I was 22 years old, and one of the biggest shocks to me was how much money it was going to cost to feed myself. When you walk down a grocery store, you see reasonable prices—$3 here, $5 there—but when you really start to look at it, things really add up!
#1. I Never Go Shopping On An Empty Stomach
Shopping when you’re hungry is a no-go. It makes you incredibly uncomfortable and bad at making decisions. You often end up purchasing way too much food or the wrong food simply because it looks good at the time.
If you’re headed out grocery shopping, make sure that you eat before you head out so that you don’t break your grocery budget or purchase the wrong food for you. If you’re trying to pinch those pennies, this is a must-do.
#2. I Only Buy What I Need
Often when we go to the grocery store we get sidetracked by deals, savings and simply food that looks delicious. But if you’re trying to crack down on your grocery budget, this is a terrible strategy. You need to make a plan, and you need to stick to it.
This means coming with a shopping list. I put mine inside my phone as part of the list feature. This way I always have it with me, even if I end up at the grocery store when I wasn’t expecting it. I make sure my lists are tiny and easy to follow.
And, if I don’t know where something is going to be, I find out in advance and add a note about it. This way I’m not wandering aimlessly and tempted to buy more.
#3. I Go Shopping Several Times Per Week
I get that not everyone has this luxury, but I live two blocks from the grocery store and I work from home. That means I can wander over to the store when I need food without worrying about it too much.
If you’re really committed to cutting down on that grocery budget and the food waste that inevitably comes with spending too much and you have the time to spare, I would recommend doing this. It’s made a HUGE difference on my budget.
#4. I Visit My Fridge Before I Go Shopping
The last thing that I do before I head out the door (if I remember, and if I happen to be home right before) is to stop at my fridge. I don’t go grocery shopping if I don’t know what I have.
Going grocery shopping without knowing what you have in your fridge is a great way to buy more of things that you simply don’t need yet. If you want to cut down your grocery budget, check before you go.
How do you cut down your grocery budget? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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