While every household has some fixed costs, like your mortgage payment and utilities, you do have control over other expenses like your grocery bill.
The four biggest expenses for the average American family are housing, transportation, taxes and food. While every household has some fixed costs, like your mortgage payment and utilities, you do have control over other expenses like your grocery bill. And we donít mean extreme couponing either. Here are five ways to trim your monthly grocery bill so you have more money to pay down your mortgage, loans and credit card debt.
First, before you leave for the grocery store, go through your kitchen to ascertain exactly what you need. Making a grocery list and checking it twice before you go to the store will fatten your wallet because you wonít buy more than you need and you wonít have to make a second trip. When you are organized, you know exactly what you need and youíll save on gas too. And leave your credit card at home. Youíll buy more with plastic than you will when you limit your spending by paying for purchases in cash.
Second, watch the price scanner at check out. Price scans make mistakes all the time and can cost you more money. Consumer Reports recently reported the results of a shopperís survey where 6% of survey participants said they were overcharged at grocery checkouts. While no particular chainís price scanning stood out any more or less accurate when compared to others, itís up to you to watch the grocery prices scan and verify their accuracy. In some cases, grocery chains will actually give you the item for free if it scans the wrong price. So spotting the error, not only avoids getting overcharged, you might just get the item for free.
Third, make the switch from buying big brand names to buying generic food items. Youíll save between 10% and 50% when you buy generic foods. Itís still the same thing as the big brand name only without the added marketing costs big brand companies pass on to the consumer. Youíre actually paying for the false sense of security you feel when you recognize a label. Green beans are green beans. You donít need a giant to help you serve a better green bean casserole.
Fourth, quit clipping the wrong coupons. Some coupons make you buy more of a product than you needed in the first place. And many of these items are highly packaged foods that are low in nutrition, high in sodium and sugar and a whole bunch of other ingredients none of us can pronounce. So skip the coupons for bad nutritional buys. Paying a bit more for whole foods is a worthy investment in your familyís health.
Fifth, avoid the cans and buy dried beans in bulk instead. One of the best frugal ways to add protein to your diet without paying the high cost of meat is to buy dried beans in bulk, soaking them overnight. You also avoid all the sodium that comes with canned food items. So youíll not only save money, youíll also eat better.