Food Fight

Ways to curb your grocery spending

If you’re having trouble sticking to your budget, one area that can usually be trimmed of fat is food expenses. Yet if you’re like many people, cutting back on grocery spending is actually easier said than done. Each month you set your grocery limit and each month, you bust it. Below are some tips to help curb that habit.

  • Break it down. If you don’t save your receipts, do so for a couple months. Then review them and break down your spending into categories like meats, dairy, breads, etc. Make a separate category for things like cleaning supplies and toiletries. Next add up what you’re spending in each category to see what gets the most attention from your wallet. After that, USA Today suggests checking out the USDA Food Plans page to see if your budget is even realistic. This page offers average spending for families, so if you see that you’ve been spending on the low end, perhaps your food budget is just not realistic. Perhaps you need to allot more room for groceries and less room for other areas.
  • Target the big spender. Now that you know where your money goes, it will be easier to reduce your spending. If you see that you’re shelling out a ton of cash on meat every month, consider adding some vegetarian meals to your diet. You can also be more vigilant about searching for coupons in whatever area you spend the most.
  • Explore all your shopping options. If you typically do all of your grocery shopping at a high end store like Whole Foods, it’s time to consider alternatives. Look at big box stores for deals and discounts. Maybe a wholesale store membership would save you some cash each month. Explore all of your options to see what combo of stores saves you the most.
  • Chris O'Shea

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