Food is something that you must buy and is therefore a major expense. But it is possible to reduce the amount of money you spend on food by following these simple tips.
There are a few ways of tracking down bargains at your local supermarket. The first way is to look for their marked down food sections in the different sections of the supermarket. It is nice to save money on food shopping! The chilled vegetable section will have some bargains on items. These will be things that will be in urgent need of using up though so you should approach this section with caution. If you can guarantee using some cheap spinach or lettuce up that day then that’s fine. If it is something that won’t freeze and you don’t think you can use it very quickly then it’s best to pass up on that bargain.
Surveys estimate that the average Briton throws away about a third of the food they buy every week. A huge saving can therefore be had by working out what food you personally waste and cut back or remember to freeze leftovers or ensure they get used up quickly. In the bakery section of the supermarket you will often find a tray or shelf of soon to be out of date bread and cakes. These are bargains more often than not that can be frozen. If you’ve got a big freezer then you can stock up on lots of different types of bread. However freezing loaves in smaller sections is a more economical way of using frozen bread. Watch out for the cakes though – they’re sometimes not reduced by very much considering how quickly you’d have to eat them. If you’re skint though and a cake will be a welcome treat then saving money on it will be a worthwhile expense.
In the main part of the supermarket you might find a section of groceries that have been marked down because the tins or packets have been damaged. I’m not a big fan of dented tins but it can sometimes be worth a gamble if there’s something you’d like to try or it’s very cheap. The ripped packets are best when it’s only the outer wrapper that’s been damaged. Check the package carefully and if in doubt don’t buy it. The ends of aisles are used for displaying BOGOFs and special offers. It’s best not to take the offers at face value but compare similar products on the proper shelves too. For instance a recent BOGOF on pasta looked really good until it was compared with the cheapest pasta available when it was still much dearer. With basics like pasta there is very little point in wasting money on more expensive versions as often the only difference is the shape!
If you shop at the right time of day you will find there are lots of food bargains to be had and if you save coupons and vouchers from the magazines and junk mail you’ll find you can easily save money every week on your grocery shopping. Okay, I am not suggesting that you actually go hungry as a way to save money on food. But the things that the average person eats vary tremendously in price, so why not eat less of those things that cost the most and maybe aren’t so healthy? You don’t have to eat less over-all to save money if you eat fewer expensive dishes. This is true at home or when you go out to eat. In fact, this tip could just as well have been titled “Eat More,” because one of the easiest ways to cut your consumption of expensive foods is to eat more of the foods that are cheap. In other words, if you get in the habit of filling up on a delicious and healthy cheap dish like seasoned rice and beans, you might not even have room for that expensive and unhealthy desert. In a Mexican restaurant you could fill up on the free chips and salsa and then just order a delicious appetizer in place of a regular meal.
There is a way to eat all the same things you currently do throughout the year and even add more variety, while spending less money. How? By learning to enjoy whatever is on sale at the moment instead of insisting on always catering to the fleeting demands of your taste buds. For example, you might enjoy oranges, strawberries, and apples. Perhaps you normally buy whichever sounds good at the moment you are in the grocery store. But these each go on sale when they are in season, sometimes for as much as 70% less than off-season prices. So if you were to eat oranges when they are cheap, then buy strawberries when they go on sale, and do the same with apples, you would still get all the variety you normally do, right?
But you would pay an average of maybe 50% less for your fruit. In fact, add kiwi fruit or other fruits and vegetables as they become plentiful and so drop in price, and you get even more variety. What’s more is that by doing it this way you get the best products, because these foods most often go on sale when they are at the peak of the season and fully ripe. You can apply this strategy in restaurants as well. Just always look at the specials which are offered. You’ll always get variety in this way, and save money on the food you eat as well. You don’t have to see this as denying your desires, since you’ll get to eat everything you like and also get more variety than ever. Just see each meal or grocery purchase as a surprise gift. This is perhaps one of the most important tips on how to save money on food. My personal “research” into this shows that we buy as much as 30% more at the grocery store if we are hungry while shopping. Furthermore, it seems clear that if we have more food in the house we eat more – this is especially true of the snacks we load up on when hungry. That makes this a tip for healthier eating as well as a way to save money. Eat before you go. It also helps to have a list and stick to it, except when you find great sales to take advantage of.
Article Tags: Save Money, More Variety