grocery savings

Stop Blowing Your Monthly Grocery Budget with These Simple Planning Tips

Do you spend a lot of money on groceries every month? In the UK, the average family comprised of two adults under the age of fifty spends an average of 400 pounds per month on food alone. An average family of four (two adults and two children) spend anywhere from 600 to 1200 pounds per month on groceries.

Whether you live alone or have a family, it is important to trim your household expenses to achieve your goals. You need to create a budget if you want to stop spending more. It’s extremely difficult to succeed without a plan. If planning isn’t one of your strengths, here are a few simple tips that will help save on groceries and achieve financial independence.

1.      Avoid food wastage

One of the reasons behind a grocery bill that goes up every month is food wastage. At home, food wastage can take different forms from leftovers that turn moldy to fresh produce that slowly rots in the refrigerator.

According to proofreading services, food can also be wasted when you forget to seal bags properly in the freezer. To reduce food wastage, you need to start by visiting your kitchen. Take note of what you have and what needs to be consumed ASAP. You can create a pantry inventory by writing out a list and hanging it in the kitchen or using a spreadsheet.

2.      Make a plan

Planning your meals will help you use up what have in the kitchen before buying more. It also enables you to limit your purchases on your next grocery purchase. However, when it comes to planning meals, there is a right and wrong way to go about it. To plan your meals, the right way, you need to be realistic. Instead of searching for complex recipes online or using cookbooks to prepare meals that require a lot of ingredients, time, and energy, always keep things simple.

Look for meal ideas that don’t require a lot of ingredients and make you use what you have. If possible, plan your meals on a weekly basis and feature the ingredients you have in different meals. Along with planning for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plan for snacks too. If you are likely to eat out at least once a week, leave room for it in your plan.

Since you’ll want to avoid leftovers, plan for them too. You can plan to have a meal for dinner and leftovers for lunch the following day. Today, you don’t have to struggle with every bit of planning thanks to technological advancements. There are lots of grocery apps that will help you choose meals and avoid wastage.

3.      Write down a list

Before going to the grocery store, take five to ten minutes to make a list. Having a list in hand or on your smartphone will make it easier for you to remember everything you need. And help you avoid buying things on impulse. It takes time to get into the habit of making a list before going to the store. Find the style that works for you. You can use an app or pen and paper. Another great way is creating a custom master list of the items you frequently use and keeping that list on your phone so that you can easily access it. Keep your list open while shopping. Delete or cross items that you retrieve from the shelf.

4.      Shop at the local farmers’ market

Although several farmers’ markets have been recognized for attracting famous chefs and catering to the one percent, you can easily find great deals in these markets. When you buy local foods that are in season, you’ll pay slightly lower prices compared to the grocery store. Even if the price of the product at the farmers’ market seems higher than the price at your grocery store, there is a high probability that you are getting a better deal.

You are likely to more foods of a particular kind at the farmers’ market than the grocery store. The products displayed at the market is usually freshly picked from the farm unlike the ones found in grocery stores which usually sit in trucks and warehouses for a couple of days. Fresh produce means it’s going to last longer at home. And this will reduce your expenses in the long run.

5.      Pick your produce

Visiting a farm or orchard allows you to pick your own produce. And this can help in cutting grocery costs so long as you pick enough and have a plan to persevere all the products that you harvest. Pick your own orchards and farms vary when it comes to pricing. Some orchards charge more per quart than you’d pay for the same fruits at a local market. If you want to save money, always check the prices first before heading out to buy.

6.      Buy in bulk

Most people visit the grocery store a dozen times a week. This is usually a result of poor planning or boredom. Even if you go to the store to buy one thing, chances are you’ll get out with a dozen. Buying in bulk will limit your trips to the grocery store. And this will not just save you time and but also money in the long run. Shopping in bulk will force you to use up everything you have before going back to the store for more. This also minimizes food waste and costs.

7.      Shop after eating

Shopping without a list is bad. However, shopping while hungry is worse. When you visit the store while hungry, you’ll end up buying more items that you don’t need. And this results in a higher bill. It is best to avoid going to the store after consuming alcohol and other drugs since you are most likely to buy on impulse.

Takeaway

Changing your perspective and habits when it comes to shopping can help reduce your grocery bills and save money. Becoming a frugal shopper will not only help you save money but also support local farmers and the economy. What are you planning to do to reduce your grocery spending?

About the Author

UseVoucher

Your personal guide for living, shopping and saving in the UK.

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