A Sensible Diet for Your Grocery Budget

If you’re feeling that your grocery expenses are spilling a bit over the brim of what’s reasonable, it’s a great idea to examine your grocery budget. In fact, putting your food budget back on a sensible diet of its own can save you piles of money every month.

Think hard about how food is consumed in your house and how to be more efficient with the food that’s bought, cooked and eaten. Putting in the effort now to organise a plan to follow consistently in future will keep your grocery shopping both fun and easy.

Reduce Your Grocery Budget– Before You Go Shopping

If you’re aiming to cut down on your grocery bills, your plan must be in place well before you step into a grocery store. Look carefully around your kitchen and create a shopping list.

Inspect your kitchen for items that you already have in stock. Don’t let small yet significant ingredients lay fallow at the back of the pantry or fridge. You might have bought a small boneless cut of meat or a fish fillet on sale some time back.

Perhaps you purchased a completely different ingredient like chimichurri sauce that you don’t use every day. You should keep in mind that you have these items at home already and make your shopping plans accordingly. Make sure you don’t end up buying more of the same items that you already have languishing in your kitchen pantry.

Before creating a list for your grocery shopping, it’s best to plan out all the meals that you foresee preparing throughout the coming week. Please keep in mind that you will have to come up with three meals plus some snacks for each day.

How To Save Money On Food & Grocery Shopping

When doing this, try to include some of the items or ingredients that you already have but don’t use often. When thinking about snacks, consider creating these with the same ingredients as the ones you use in the meals. By doing this, you’ll be able to use leftovers from the meals to create the snacks.

Bringing a prepared list with you when shopping will help you maintain a slimmed-down weekly food expenditure. Otherwise, it’s likely you will end up buying more items than you actually require – which will exceed your budget. If you have trouble figuring out what you’ll be cooking each of those days, search for interesting recipes online or watch cooking shows on television.

Planning out the dishes in advance will help you save two very precious things – your time and your money.

Reduce Your Grocery Budget & Slash Your Household Expenses

Reduce Your Grocery Budget– While Grocery Shopping

Tackle your grocery shopping by focussing on sticking to your list. You will always be tempted to buy items on sale or special discount even though you might not need them. In fact, you may not even realise at that moment you encounter an exclusive discount that you dislike or even hate consuming that product.

To put things into a realistic perspective, you should reflect before you purchase an item on whether you’d buy that product on special even if you didn’t have to worry about its regular cost. Always remember that buying unnecessary kinds and quantities of food products is wasteful.

Regarding discount pricing, however, if you remember the lowest price that a certain item you want and need was ever reduced to, and you see that same item again at that reduced price or even a lower one, then buy it. Also, it’s a good idea to check out more than one grocery store and compare the prices of the items on your list before you make your final purchase from the store offering the lowest overall prices.

After you’ve gone through this exercise several times, you’ll be able to narrow down your shopping possibilities to a few stores that offer the lowest prices on groceries.

Four major points to follow to cut down your grocery budget are: purchasing in bulk, buying cheap staple foods, refraining from buying luxury foodstuffs and stopping yourself from buying convenience food items. Purchasing in bulk does not necessarily mean that you buy everything in large quantities. You should only buy those things that you will undoubtedly end up consuming. Items recommended to be bought in bulk are usually staples.

Inexpensive staple items like rice, cheese, flour, potatoes and dried beans can work miracles in your kitchen on almost any occasion. For instance, you can bake, cook, mash and fry potatoes.

On the other hand, it’s easy to steer away from expensive luxury foods like caviar and oysters. You may buy these products every once in a while in small amounts if you want to splurge. Foods that are available in convenient packages are often quite expensive.

It’s better to create your own food mixes instead of purchasing these. Rather than buying pre-packaged lunch box meals for your kids, make your own with a variety of biscuits, cheese/spreads, nuts, fruits and raisins.

Reduce Your Grocery Budget – After Grocery Shopping

After shopping successfully, you must develop and maintain a habit of eating more at home rather than going out to eat. You must try to create your own meals and snacks from scratch instead of eating pre-packaged or ready-made foods. For example, bake a fresh batch of cookies instead of eating granola bars. You’ll find it convenient to have pantry meals available for emergencies.

On days when you’re on a tight schedule, sick or in a crisis, your pre-prepared pantry meals will help you throw together a meal in less than 30 minutes. If you use meat as a minor ingredient of a larger dish rather than as a main course, you can save quite a bit of money.

Moreover, this will probably be a healthy decision too. You can even have some meatless nights on your way to going vegetarian!

Kick The Shopping Addiction: Stop Stuff & Stifle the Spend

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C.E.O @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment and children’s issues. Anna has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, The Straits Times, Business Insider, INC and The Peak Singapore. She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen). Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).