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Home / Frugality / (How to) Stop Wasting Your Grocery Money

 

Grocery shoppingAccording to some experts, the average American family spends at least $5,000 a year on food. That is a huge chunk of change for anyone. Unfortunately, most of us could be saving a portion of that expense on a weekly basis with just a little planning. Here are a few tips on how to spend less a the grocery and stop wasting the food that you have already purchased.

Plan

You should start with a seven day meal plan. Most of us eat one meal a day outside of the home, so that plan should include two meals per day and a snack. Build a shopping list based on that plan and only buy items from the list. Impulse buys will ruin any grocery budget. Be sure to look over the grocery ads to determine where and what day may be the best to shop.

Shop After A Meal

As Jason @ Frugal Dad has mentioned, grocery shopping on an empty stomach is a sure way to set yourself up for budgetary failure. When you are hungry everything looks good. Go after dinner and you should be able to cut down on impulse buys and the crowds are going to be lighter.

Stop Wasting

A recent study by the environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council shows that American households waste about 25 percent of the food purchased each week.   That adds up to $2,275 yearly for some households. Only buy what you know you will need each week. This reduces the chance that something will spoil before it is used. Go in on bulk items with friends. Cut meat purchases into different containers and freeze what you will not use that day. There are plenty of ways to stop wasting food once you start thinking about it.

Never Neglect Coupons and Generics

Manufacturers print those coupons for a reason. Alright, that reason is not always to give you the best deal, just to influence your brand decision. So, why not take advantage of them? Do not do so blindly, though. Even with a coupon, you may be able to get a better bargain by buying a generic version. I recently needed a cold medicine. I had a coupon for a $1 off a national brand, but the generic with the same strength and ingredients was $2 cheaper after applying the coupon. The average family can save $35 a week by comparison chopping, coupon use, and buying generic equivalents.

The grocery store is one place where we can all save money. It is hard to find someone who does not occasionally waste cash, but controlling your food habits on a regular basis should put up to $50 extra in your pocket weekly.

 

About the author: Jerry Coffey

 

Jerry Coffey spent many years in a debt-riddled gray area somewhere between broke and desperately broke. His seemingly endless need for more and more cash led him to payday loans, repossessions, bankruptcy, and depression. After years of the same financial style, he heard a piece of advice that inspired him to find a way to change. The advice: ''The very definition of a fool is someone who continues to do the same things, but expects different results.'' This led him to a much more frugal lifestyle that sees all of his bills paid on time and a growing savings account. Even the seed of a retirement account has begun to sprout.

 

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