You know how much money you need to set aside each month for fixed expenses such as rent and your car payment. But what about food? Because groceries are a variable – yet large – expense, you may not be aware of how much you are spending. If you aren’t keeping track, chances are good you could take some steps to save money.
Here are some smart shopping strategies to cut costs.
Take inventory and make a list. Look through your cupboards and refrigerator. Are any staples almost gone or about to expire? Write down what you need before you hit the store so you don’t stock up unnecessarily or have an I-forgot-to-buy-milk moment. And don’t stray from your list!
Plan meals. Cooking for one or two doesn’t have to be wasteful – make enough so you can freeze meals or have leftovers for lunch the next day. Planning meals can help you avoid fast food lunches and frequent grocery store trips because you “have no food at home.” Bonus: It can also help you pay better attention to nutrition and weight management.
Compare prices. Higher-priced, name brand items are usually at chest level on store shelves. Look above and below at different brands, and note the cost differences so you get the best deal. You may want to use a calculator to figure the unit price if it isn’t listed.
Use coupons. Coupons are available all over – in store fliers and newspapers, on manufacturers’ websites or websites such as coupons.com. Your regular grocery store may have double coupon days or accept other stores’ coupons. Take advantage!
Food for Thought
With Online Banking at Navigator, you can easily check your grocery store spending – and savings. Take the money you save and transfer it to your Savings Account!