When times are hard and the economic climate shows little sign of recovery, it is human nature for folks to look for ways to economize. For many households, one of the easiest ways to cut back is on the family food budget. However, just because you are cutting back does not mean that your family has to suffer from lack of nutrition or taste. Here are some effective tips on how to save money on grocery shopping without sacrifice.
Several avenues for saving on overall grocery bill costs have been around for many years, in the form of so called big box grocery stores such as Wal-Mart and CostCo, to name but two. These stores can easily help you save twenty percent or more over your monthly food bill.
However, many folks are reluctant to try stores like these for various personal reasons. They range from not wanting to appear low class to just disliking crowds. Nevertheless, the experiences of millions show that folks from all lifestyles frequent those stores. Since most of these stores are open twenty-four hours per day, shopping out of hours can solve the problem of bumping elbows.
What you buy is just as much a determining factor of how much you save as where you shop, as well. Consider all of the not-necessarily nutritious, non-essential food and drink items you buy. Some folks crave sugary cookies while others enjoy pie, ice cream, and similar goodies. Some have a weakness for high calorie soft drinks or alcohol.
You can improve your health and save money without making life miserable by exercising some restraint. No need to deny yourself every indulgence, just buy them in moderation. Instead of three packages of cookies per month, think about only two. Rather than a half-quart of wine per day per person, lower the amount to a couple of glasses at most.
Add up all those individual shavings and they lead to big savings over a period. A dollar here and there, multiplied by a couple of hundred items per month, totals up to over two thousand dollars saved over the course of a year. That is not chump change in these tight times.
At the same time, just to select one example, less wine provides the benefits of modest consumption with fewer of the drawbacks. It lowers overall calories but still supplies you with the antioxidants that help improve heart function and decreases the odds of certain cancers.
Even greater savings are possible, with small sacrifice, by altering your restaurant-going habits.
Some couples eat out several nights per week. It is convenient and provides a variety of foods, so who would refuse given the choice? However, reducing that to a weekly ‘special night out’ can save hundreds of dollars per month. In addition, you can explore new options and save money by looking at places you had not been before. Family ‘all you can eat for $X’ restaurants are one way, while eating in a second-tier place you have never tried before is another.
The overall theme is to explore, be flexible, and change long-standing habits. A little thought and a willingness to be adventurous can keep you satisfied and fit, while keeping your wallet fat.