Food is one of our biggest expenses. We all know that it's cheaper to eat at home than to dine out, but trips to the grocery store aren't cheap.
Start With A Strategy.
Hardly anything is more persuasive than your stomach, so make sure it's satisfied before you breach those sliding doors. If you plan out your tactics for sample sales, you should also plan your attack for supermarket sales. Our favorite tactic is perimeter shopping—sticking to the aisles of the store along the perimeter—since the most expensive and least healthy foods are toward the middle.
Once you're done with your shopping, save your receipts. Go through them at the end of the month to see what you've bought that you didn't use up in time. Don't buy that next month. Come armed with a plan for what's worth buying in bulk, and what doesn't pay.
Embrace The Discounts.
Saving money has become increasingly stylish in the down economy, and technology has made coupons trendy again. For great deals at the grocery store, try some of these resources:
Nonetheless, some of the steepest discounts are available only in print from individual grocery stores. So, we always shop for groceries on Sunday night, after the coupons come out in the newspaper. Doing so often saves us 25% to 50% off of our total. If your grocery store offers a loyalty card, we also suggest using that religiously in order to earn higher savings and deals over time.
Make The Most Of The Leftovers.
Everyone loves the idea of leftovers, but sometimes the execution can go a little sour. Here are two tips you need to know to prepare for that second feast in a safe, healthy, delicious way:
Handle It Properly
Put leftover food into the refrigerator promptly and strive to protect it from air, repackaging it if necessary. Eat leftover fish the next day; you have three days for something like leftover short ribs as long as you keep the food in the fridge.
Cook With Leftovers
Leftovers are wonderful, but don't be afraid to repurpose them by adding in some additional ingredients like onions, carrots, cheese, and eggs. Prep the new ingredients first, as the leftovers should be the last thing you add to the concoction since they require heat, not more cooking.
How Your Lunch Adds Up.
You made it through the grocery store, and now you have food for…dinner. But what about that lunch you buy every day? Consider whether you have time to make lunch (it doesn't have to be a gourmet dish), and grab the groceries you'll need to bring your own.
- Calculate how much you spend on lunch at work. If you don't have time to prepare lunches in advance, buy a few things you can keep at your desk and make at work.
- Pack leftovers for lunch two times this week
- Check your budget to make sure that your monthly grocery expenses are accurately accounted for.
- Bookmark your favorite online coupon sites (check out our favorites for suggestions). Visit them before your next grocery shopping trip