Tips for Reducing Your Monthly Food Budget

food budgetTo save money on grocery costs, bring a list when you shop, and pay in cash.

Changing your habits can be tricky, but it becomes easier when you take proactive steps to adjust your environment. When it comes to cutting your monthly food budget, so-called environmental changes include shopping with cash instead of debit or credit cards. Use the following tips to save money?and never go shopping on an empty stomach!

Avoid Temptation
Always bring a list when you go grocery shopping. This staves off impulse buys. To ensure everyone in the family can contribute, keep a list accessible on the refrigerator, and everyone can update it as needed.

Go as long as possible between grocery store visits. Purchase produce that ripens in about a week and stock up on staples such as beans, rice and frozen vegetables, which can be used to put together spur-of-the-moment meals.

Only bring cash to the store. It?s way too easy to go off list when you have a debit card or credit card with you. As you?re starting out, bring a little more cash than you think you will need until you have a more precise idea of your budgetary needs.

Plan Menus In Advance
Make meal plans every two weeks. See what?s in your pantry, and add items you need to the grocery list. Using the fliers from your favorite grocery stores can also help you save when you?re meal planning.

After you have the food, set aside a few hours on one day of the week to prep the meals one week at a time. This saves time overall and cuts down on impulse, pricey buys later.

Stores
Ask friends, scour fliers and visit stores in person to figure out which grocery stores offer you the best deals. You may find that one store consistently offers good deals on meat, while another is better on fruits and vegetables. As long as the stores don?t require expensive gas trips to get there, it?s fine to shop at two (or more) places.

In addition to all of the above, growing your own food is a great way to reduce your monthly food budget.