Food is something that no-one can do without. It’s an essential part of everyday life. However, it can sometimes be a struggle to afford the family grocery budget when there are so many competing priorities that need to be paid for.
If this applies to you, It may be tempting to check out loans to give you a bit of breathing space financially. You may also have used your credit card to find extra money to pay for groceries. There is nothing wrong with using credit, as long as spending is controlled and you can afford the repayments. However, it makes sense to use credit cards and loans for larger expenses and find other ways to afford your grocery shopping. You can use coupons to help. There are also several other steps that you can take.
Plan your shopping ahead of time
One of the easiest ways to spend more than you can afford on groceries is to impulse buy while you are at the store. This makes it important to plan your shopping beforehand.
When you are creating your plan, you should:
- Check the groceries that you already have so that you do not buy items that are not needed.
- Decide what your menus will be for the week ahead.
- Make a list of the items that you need to buy.
- Check for coupons and discount codes for the items that you are buying.
Once you have done your planning, you should have a quick snack before you leave for the store. This reduces the risk of you buying a snack on impulse while you are there.
Planning in this way helps to reduce the amount that you spend on grocery shopping.
Buy food that is healthy
You are probably already aware of the welfare benefits of eating healthy food. However, you may not be aware that there are financial benefits as well.
The financial savings are made for a couple of reasons. If you reduce the portion sizes for each family member, you automatically have to buy less food. Eating healthily also means that you spend less money on expensive sugary foods like carbonated drinks. You can easily replace these drinks with simple water. You can use a water filter if you are concerned about drinking water straight from the faucet.
Buy items according to the season
In most cases, food that is in season is more affordable than other items. It pays to check which food is seasonal so that you can plan your menus around it. Do not forget to check out local farmers markets as well as stores, as you can find some good bargains on fresh produce.
Make your own lunches
It does not make any sense to pay for your weekly grocery shop, then pay extra to buy lunch everyday. When you are planning your weekly grocery shop, you should factor in lunches for everyone in the family.
These lunches can be prepared and placed in a freezer pack so that they are fresh when they are eaten. A further bonus of preparing lunches yourself is that you have control over what is eaten. This prevents you from being tempted to grab something sugary for lunch from a store.
Make the most of all food items
A lot of the food which is thrown away by households can actually still be put to use. For instance, vegetables and meat items that are left over when preparing a meal can be put into a stew or soup. This is an excellent way of making sure that best use is made of all food items. It also provides you with a source of healthy meals for you and your family and helps you to spend less on your grocery bill.
Stay away from big brands
Many people are attracted by the branding on a product. They recognize big-name food items and they think of them as the best option when shopping. However, shopping for top brands is often not the best idea.
The fact is that food manufacturers have to follow certain standards of safety and hygiene. So, the food that you buy should be safe to eat, even if it does not have well-known branding. In fact, many of the well-known brands simply buy generic foodstuffs and put their own branding on them. You can often buy food that is exactly the same quality, at a lower cost.
You should always check the labels of the food that you buy. This helps you to make sure that you are still getting the same quality while paying less.
Buy food in bulk
There are several shopping clubs around that allow you to buy food in bulk at a much cheaper cost. If you use one of these clubs on a regular basis, you can make significant savings. This helps you to afford your grocery bills without resorting to using credit.
You may be wondering how you can buy in bulk and still keep the food fresh. You can do this by preparing meals after you have purchased the food and freezing them to use during the week. This means that you can save money and prepare your meals for the week when you have the most time to do so.
Grow your own food
One of the best ways to reduce the amount that you need to spend on groceries is to grow your own food. This is not as difficult as it might sound and you can start small, by growing herbs in the kitchen of your home.
Once you get started, you can process to growing tomatoes in containers. The tomatoes that you grow will be juicy and fresh and there is no risk of contamination from pesticides. The more space that you have, the more different items you can grow.
Not only does growing your own food save you money, it’s also a healthy option.
You can see that there are several things that you can do to make your grocery shop more affordable. Doing so means that you can stick to using credit for other reasons and not rely on it to live.
Editors Note: Don’t forget, if you’re having budget problems you probably shouldn’t desperately flail around for loan. Instead wait, get some extra money, and apply when you’re not desperate. For example, if you’re in Canada, you can always google “car loans canada” or something like “bad credit loans canada“. That should lead you to a nice little website called smarter.loans. Its a cool loan marketplace centered in Calgary, Alberta. Check it out if you get a chance.