One of the best ways to cut down monthly expenses is to avoid going out to eat. Sure, it’s nice to have some serve, cook, and clean up after you, but you pay a premium price for that service. If you can go grocery shopping and prepare breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks at home, not to mention brewing morning coffee to fill up your travel mug on your way out the door to work, you can save a considerable amount of money every month.
Coupons are Still Relevant
Maybe the days of getting the Sunday paper and going through and clipping the coupons out me be almost over, as most that I know have cancelled their newspaper delivery service, but that doesn’t mean that coupons are no longer necessary, it just means there are other means to find them. Digital coupons are great to use, as you can go to your grocery store’s website, select the coupons you want, and they will load to your shopper’s card, so the prices will come off at the register. The trick is remembering what you have coupons for, so you might have to print out the list so you remember to get the items.
Stick to a Shopping List
Speaking of lists, before you leave the house, it’s a good idea to put together a list of everything that you need to get at the store, that way you don’t go in blind and get lost in the impulse purchases that you can get. If you can try and lump together based on section it may help instead of running to each part of the store if the items are listed out randomly. It can be distracting at the store, so keeping your head down and focused on the list will get you in and out with as little money spent as possible.
Avoid Going Down Each Aisle
The more you go up and down each aisle there is more temptation to fill up your cart with items you don’t need. If you can just stick to the necessities, also sticking to the perimeter of the store where you will find the fresh produce, deli, meats, and dairy, it could help you plan meals a little better, instead of going into the snack and frozen food aisles and stocking on whatever looks good at the time.
Stay Away from Pre-Cut Produce
The bad part about going grocery shopping is that once you get home you still have to put everything away, wash the produce, and make dinner. It can be tempting to buy pre-cut produce, but instead of cutting up, say, a pineapple when you get home, you can spend significantly more to buy it already cut, but that defeats the purpose of saving money by going to the grocery store. Same goes with pre-made food at the deli counter, where you already grilled chicken will cost way more than buying fresh chicken breasts and grilling them yourself. Remember you get what you pay for, and if you don’t like doing it, you’re going to pay for someone else to.