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How to Budget Groceries: 6 Easy Tips

Grocery shopping habits changed a bit during the pandemic. Many are spending less time in the store and shopping less frequently. Grocers have started using some sly tricks to get you to spend more.

 

To avoid falling for those tricks, it’s wise to have a grocery budget and to stick to it. Here are some simple tips to follow to set your budget:

 

  1. Track your current spending – First, you’ll need to figure out what you are spending on food to decide what you should be spending on food.
  2. Avoid eating out, unless you’ve budgeted for it – Frequently eating out is a quick way to ruin your grocery budget. Set a limit and adhere to it.
  3. Plan your meals – Ensuring you have a purpose for each item you buy will help you avoid food waste. Not every meal has to be a fine dining experience, don’t be afraid of keeping things simple.
  4. Keep a fridge grocery list – Keeping a magnetized notepad on your fridge enables you to write down items you need as you run out. Stick to your list when you are in the store.
  5. Don’t go to the store hungry – According to this survey, shoppers spend 64% more when they go grocery shopping on an empty stomach.
  6. Use coupons, but with caution – If an item isn’t on your list, don’t buy it simply because you have a coupon.

 

Savvy budgeting requires being adept at understanding monthly cash flow, problem-solving, impulse control and planning. Share other budgeting tips that have worked for you now!

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With care, bulk buying of flour on sale can save time and money. Remember to break down larger amounts into small storage quantities when you get home. For example, I buy 20 or 50 lb at a time and rebag into 5 lb units and store them in a large airtight, opaque container in the pantry. 

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I buy only organic food and I buy at Amazon fresh and Whole Foods, which deliver right at my door, so there’s no need running anywhere, save gas and time. When, I start my list, I add what I plan to eat in a few weeks. I have found that if you wait a week, items go on sale and then others might run out but I always look at the bright side- try a new recipe with what you can buy.

  Vegetables are always fresh and have found out prices are way lower than other stores.

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Hi @cn8777. Check your Whole Foods "organic" package. I saw a report on the news yesterday regarding this. Most of the "organic" foods are processed in China. No way to check if they are actually organic. By the way, I also buy from Amazon Fresh.

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Buy your beer by the keg instead of the six pack.

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I sit down a few days before and review all the store ads to see what is on sale. I make a list and stick with it and don’t buy anything unless I actually need it & will use it. I usually go to several stores (most staples at Aldi, produce at Sprouts, bread & frozen fish at Trader Joe’s, etc). I use both store & manufacturers coupons but again, only if I need the product. I also read ingredient labels…some little known pet foods may be healthier & yet much cheaper than big name brands…same with cereals, etc.  I often choose frozen organic fruit instead of fresh produce…it may cost a bit more sometimes, but I find there’s less waste from spoilage & the vitamin content is better since it’s frozen when fresh. I don’t get fast food & it’s very rare that I eat out. I cook enough for several meals and freeze what I don’t eat.

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Excellent tips, thanks @jw5013387!

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