Easy Ways to Save Money on Food Bills

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by Bonny Styles
(Montreal, Canada)

Are you looking for ways to save money? Do you know that you can also save money on food? It doesn’t matter why you want to save. The truth is that with a little planning and a little patience, you can easily learn to save money on food also. Read the following tips and get started on your plan to save some cash.

Save money on food by eating healthy

If you think that eating healthy is costlier, then you are so wrong. Eating healthy requires getting rid of high calorie foods from your diet, reducing portion sizes and eating foods which are more nutritious. So instead of buying sodas to quench your thirst, drink water. It’s healthy and it’s free. Don’t eat fast-food; eat seasonal fruits and vegetables instead. If you are an over-eater, reduce the portions sizes and eat slowly. Just try eating healthy for a month. You will be surprised to learn that you can indeed save money on food by simply eating healthy.

Save money on food by shopping smartly

There is nothing wrong with reading about which celebrity is going out with which one in your daily newspaper. But try and look for something else too. Look for coupons on food items you are planning to buy on your next shopping trip. Look for the prices of food products in different stores. You will find ads in newspapers about stores declaring how low their prices are. Don’t be fooled by them.

Make sure that you compare prices and decide which store is offering products at cheaper prices Also look for any weekend sale in a neighborhood grocery store. You can save money on food by simply buying during these weekend sales. And if there’s a farmer’s market nearby buy your fruits and vegetables. It can help you save money on food.

How to Save Money by Meal Planning!

Food costs are increasing all the time, and everyone is looking for ways to reduce them. One way to do this is to plan your meals, for, say, a week at a time.

Planning the family’s meals will, by default, help to prevent over-spending in the supermarket. The idea is to set aside some time, preferably just before the weekly shop, to decide on the meals you wish to prepare forthe next seven days.

Initially, you could ask family members to draw up a list of their favourite meals; when you have around thirty suggestions, you will have a selection of meals from which to draw up your plan. Running alongside this, make regular stock-checks of the items you already have in your food store, refrigerator, and freezer, to avoid buying something you may already have. Checking the sell-by dates of products at the same time as you carry out your inventory, will ensure that nothing goes to waste.

Decide on the meals you wish to prepare for the week ahead. Write down the ingredients you need for each one, having checked beforehand that they are not already in your stock, then shop according to your list. After just a few weeks, you will find it easy to stick to the list, and you will not be tempted to buy unnecessary items. It is too easy to overspend when shop ping for food but, by adhering to your meal-plan and shopping list, you will buy only those ingredients you know you will use.

Of course, you may find a too-good-to-resist bargain in the vegetable department, or bread that may be on special offer, in which case you can alter your list slightly to take advantage of these; remove one item, and replace it with the one you have found which offers better value for money.

Supermarkets have many subtle strategies to part you with your hard-earned income, so it is as well to be armed with some strategies of your own. One of these will be to ensure that you do not shop for food on an empty stomach.

When you are hungry, everything looks tempting – even things you would not normally choose — so make sure you have eaten well beforehand; you will not be so easily tempted by the delicious aroma of newly-baked bread, or the sight of a fresh cream pastry. Another trick is to limit your spending power to cash only, by leaving your credit and debit cards athome.

Once you have shopped to a plan for a few weeks, you will find it easy to estimate how much your supermarket bill will be, and you will then be able to take with you just the amount of money you know you will need, allowing a little extra for contingencies. Such contingencies may include something you have not included in your shopping list, but only remember once you have arrived at the supermarket.

Walking to the shops, when you would otherwise have taken the car, is another way to reduce spending-no-one likes to carry several heavy bags of food further than the supermarket car park.

Successful meal-planning ensures that no food is wasted because you only buy the ingredients you know you will use. At the start of each day, you will already have decided on that evening’s meal, so there will be no last-minute panics because you have forgotten to take something out of the freezer in time.

So, the key to saving money by meal-planning, is to decide on all the meals for the week ahead, check your existing stocks for ingredients you may already have, draw up your shopping list to correspond with your meal-plan, remove your cards from your purse, eat well before you leave, and, above all, stick to your list!

Updated: December 19, 2012 — 10:39 am

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