Grocery Store Spending: The Silent Budget Killer
I think we’ve all been there. Running to the grocery store to pick up a couple of ingredients for dinner and all of a sudden you are walking out with a whole cart full of items you didn’t plan to buy. Unplanned impulse purchases can have a huge impact on your overall budget, and food/grocery shopping can make up over 70% of impulse purchases according to a recent study conducted by Slickdeals.net.
Implementing just a couple of simple strategies can help you cut hundreds, even thousands each year out of your grocery bill.
Make a List
As you make your grocery list, think about what your meal plans are for the week. Am I going out to eat this week? Do I have any evening work commitments? Think about what meals you are actually buying for. Think about your lunch plans in the same way. Do I have any work lunches out? This will help reduce the number of items you buy that may go unused because you just didn’t get around to cooking them.
Peek in the Pantry
Look in your pantry and see what random items you have hanging around. Can any of them be turned into a meal with the purchase of just one or two additional items?Let’s be honest, we all have cabinets full of random jars of sauce, or ready-made rice sides. This will help reduce your grocery list and have the added benefit of clearing out your pantry!
Bonus Item Rule
This is a huge one. Once you get to the grocery store, stick to your list. If it’s not on the list, it doesn’t go in the cart. Those impulse buys can make a big difference in the total bill, so if you walk into the store prepared to resist them, your grocery budget will thank you. If you forgot something, or see that little sweet you just have to have, keep it to one.
Following these simple ideas can help keep your grocery spending down, and help you start saving for those vacations you have been wishing to take.