It’s the little things in life. This simple saying can be applied to many aspects of life – happiness, love, and success. It can also be applied to money. Every little bit adds up! When planning for retirement, most people understand the importance of having a 401K, a good portfolio, solid investments, etc. But many people overlook their daily or weekly spending habits, losing the chance to save money every day. Hacks, tips, and tricks that save a few dollars can help build your nest egg. It’s true that many people spend far too much money on groceries. So, here are 9 hacks that will help you tighten your belt, your budget, and save money every time you go shopping.
1) Divide and Conquer
The first and easiest step in saving money on groceries is to look at exactly what you are spending on those items only. Remember that “groceries” should be separated from every other food expense you currently have. Groceries don’t include meals out in restaurants, coffee and a muffin from the café, or happy hour drinks. All of these should be categorized differently – because they are different. Basically, don’t have a general “food” category in your budget. Really break it down so you can see where your money is going. Not only is this important in order to get a clear picture of your grocery budget, it’s also a way to see how much you’re spending on eating and drinking out. Once you’ve separated these two categories you’ll know just how much you’re spending and on what.
2) Don’t Waste
If you’ve got a pantry, chances are you’ve got it stocked with cans and dried goods. Every time you go grocery shopping you probably buy a few more items to replenish or add to what you’ve already got. Now, open your freezer. It’s probably a similar picture. Frozen soups, meats, and vegetables easily pile up when you know they’ll keep for a long time. The problem with both the pantry and the freezer is that most food kept there never gets eaten. There’s always the mentality to save it for another time. Plus, it’s easy to forget that food is even there! Now that you’re aware– start using this food! You’ll be surprised how many meals you’ve got stored away. This will certainly help with your current month’s grocery bill, and hopefully encourage you not to buy so many cans, dried goods, or frozen foods next time!
3) Make A List
Write down all the items you need before you hit the grocery store. This list will help keep you from straying once you enter the store, which is filled with temptation. Making the list is just half the battle, though. You have to stick to it. Don’t get sidetracked by sales signs. It’s so easy to buy something because “it’s a good deal.” Do you really need it? Ask yourself that question when you feel the urge to buy something that’s on sale. Avoid further temptation by not wandering aimlessly up and down every aisle. You may see something appealing you never would have bought otherwise. This is an impulse buy and what marketers depend on! Of course, there are exceptions. You may see something you didn’t realize you needed or forgot to add on your list. Don’t totally restrict yourself. Practice restraint!