For many people, the food bill is where the largest percentage in a monthly budget goes. An average family of four spends anywhere between $100 to $200 a week for groceries. Now if you’re on a tight budget, you can drastically slash your food budget and work with as little as $30 a week for groceries.
Sounds incredible? Read on to see how you can do it.
- Work with a plan. Make an inventory of your refrigerator and pantry contents before you go to the grocery store. This way, you will only buy what you really need and not end up stocking items you still have.
- Look for the sale or reduced prices. Keep an eagle eye on meat and produce items that have been reduced or are on sale. You can save thirty to forty percent off meat items if you buy it on the sale by date. This doesn’t mean the meat is bad. It just means that the store has to take it off the shelves, but it is still consumable.
- Use coupons and instant rebates. Coupons are a great way to take a huge chunk out of your grocery bill. Check online to see if there are any printable coupons you can bring to the grocery store. Check the grocery store and see if there are instant rebate coupons for brand items. When redeemed, the brand item will come out cheaper than the store brand.
- Choose the store brand. If you don’t have coupons, you can still get savings by purchasing the store brand instead of going with the national brand item. You can do this for cereals, canned vegetables and meat, dog and cat food, condiments and paper products.
- Shop at the dollar store. You can load up on groceries right at the dollar store. You can find detergents, cleansers, sponges and a whole host of grocery items at the dollar store. You can also buy powdered milk, cereals, condiments, salad dressing, jams and sandwich spreads, sugar and juice.
- Scout around for the best deals. Keep an eye out for good deals and buy the item from the cheapest store. For example, you may want to head out a club store to buy items in bulk that you will use often, such as baking soda, detergent, milk, oil and a lot of non-perishable items. On the other hand, you may need to go to a regular grocery store to buy produce and some meat since it may come out cheaper since you won’t need as much.
- Cut back on processed and packed food items. The more processed or refined something is, the more expensive and less nutritious it becomes. Stick with fresh fruits and vegetables. It will not only be cheaper upfront, it will have more nutrients and flavor rather than something that is processed and packaged. Also, because fresh is healthier, you’ll save yourself a host of medical bills in the future by staying away from refined foods.
The next time you head out to the grocery store, make a list and take a calculator with you. As you pick up the items, choose the package that gives you the lowest cost per dollar. Be smart about your money and how you spend and you’ll be able to eat well and healthy for as little as $30 a week!