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Shopping For Food

How you can save money on your grocery bill

There are many things people spend their money on that can be totally erased from their budget but food is not one of them. Everyone has to eat to stay alive. What we eat and how much money we spend on food is critical to our lifestyles; meaning our physical health as well as our financial health.

There are many ways to save money when shopping for food but you may have to break some bad habits like buying certain food items just because they are there. Stop buying them simply because you always buy them. Sometimes you don't even realize you've bought certain foods until you are storing them away at home.

Understand that many of your shopping habits go back a long way. Sometimes you buy certain food items because your mother bought them. You didn't like them or eat them when your mother cooked them and you don't like them or eat them now. But you don't feel right if those items are not in the house.

You may buy food with the good intentions of cooking it for dinner on a certain day. But that day, your spouse may want something different or you may not want it yourself. What happens to it? It is put in the refrigerator or freezer and sometimes forgotten. It may spoil or get freezer burned and then it is thrown out. This is a common occurance in all households.

So what do you do? Saving money on groceries require a well though out plan. What you have to do, more than anything else, is be aware of your shopping habits. Sometimes you buy things subconsciously and don't think it's a bad habit. You have to look at your shopping quirks and make up your mind to understand and break bad habits. You have to understand, too, that breaking certain habits may be hard to do.

First, you have to formulate a workable plan. Your plan has to cover your grocery shopping habits, your cooking habits, your daily dietary intake, and most of all, your grocery budget. Your grocery budget should also include the money you spend on lunches while at work and dinners at restaurants.

  • Plan daily meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This should be done at least for an entire week ahead of time.
  • Pay attention to details. Make a list of all the meats, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and remember the seasonings, juices, and other foodstuffs that are going to help make a complete meal.
  • Never go grocery shopping when you are hungry because everything is the store will look and smell good. You will find yourself picking up things that you wouldn't pick up if you were not hungry.
  • If you can help it, when you know you are going into a grocery store, leave your children at home. If they are with you, you will find yourself buying candy, cookies, chips, sodas, and everything else that a child wants that you know is unhealthy and they should not have.
  • Your grocery list should cover each meal for the entire week. This should include your work lunches and lunches for your children.
  • Try to remember everything you are going to need for the week. This will also help conserve gas by reducing unnecessary trips to the grocery store.
  • Try to scale back on junk foods and sweets. This is where strength comes into play. Grownups blame children for the cookies and ice cream in their carts, but be honest, you are buying some of it for yourself.
  • Try to reduce the purchase of disposable products such as paper plates, plastic cups, paper towels and napkins. These products can add substantially to your overall grocery bill
  • Always pay attention when the clerk rings up your purchase and check the receipt. It's not that the clerk is being dishonest, but everyone makes mistakes, like double scanning an item and sometimes, the proper sales price may not be entered into the computer. This happens more than you might think.

There are other things about grocery shopping that you always hear about but don't think about when going into a grocery store. There is a well planned scheme to coax you into spending more money than you think you are going to spend before you come into the store.

Grocers know how to entice you to buy certain products, even if you don't need them. They arrange their shelves to make it easier for you to pick up certain items. They also make you walk from the front of the store to the back of the store for milk and eggs and from one side of the store to the other to pick up fruits and vegetables. This is done on purpose so you have to pass everything else in the store to get what you came in for. They know that if you see something you think you might need, you will pick it up and buy it.

Remember, grocers have been around much longer than you have. They have researched every possible way to get you to spend more of your money when you enter their establishments. They know that most people don't have a plan when they grocery shop and will spend on products even if they don't need them.

You have to beware of your shopping habits and make adjustments to save whenever possible. A little money here and there adds up to a large amount over time.



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