The biggest culprit in an over-sized food budget can be attributed to habits that add money to the bottom line. Simply living in one of the most expensive neighborhoods, for instance, can leave you with grocery chains nearby that cater to wealthy people. However, travel a little further and you might find discount grocery stores that have better prices elsewhere. It’s not just where you live, however, that contributes to a larger food bill, just the act of walking in the wrong areas of the grocery store can keep your food bill high.
Eat Before You Shop
Don’t ever go to the grocery store when hungry to do your grocery shopping. When you walk in the door, you should have a grocery list in hand, and stick to the list. Grocery store layouts are set up to tempt you at every corner to buy things you don’t need or to buy too much. Stick to the outside aisles for the bare necessities and avoid the inner aisles where much of the convenience and packaged food, with high costs, reside.
Learn to Cook
Just learning a few good recipes that are inexpensive can help to reduce the need for convenience food. Making your own casseroles is not only healthier for you, but can also provide brown bag lunches for the following day. Learn how to re-use leftovers so that you can make more than one dish from an ingredient, like roasted chicken. The following day cut it up and make chicken salad sandwiches for lunch.
If you have a day when you plan on shopping, you can avoid additional trips to the convenience store or shopping center when you run out of milk. The minute you do make an extra trip, it costs more gas, and also will make you more susceptible to think of other things to buy while you’re there. If you’re not there, you can’t spend any extra money.