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Groceries are a HUGE money suck for families. Let's be honest, you go to the grocery store in a rush and probably hungry. You start adding things to your cart. Next thing you know, you're checking out and wondering why your weekly groceries are somehow hundreds of dollars.
Finding ways to reduce your grocery expenses can free up a LOT of room in your budget, which can then be channeled into debt payoff or investing.
Let's break down some ideas:
1. MEAL PLANNING
- Honestly this is fundamental. If you don't know what you're going to eat, you don't know what you need to buy. If you're not one to want to sit down and craft a meal plan, check out $5 meal plan. It's a service that will provide you meal plans for $5/month and then auto create a grocery list based on the plan. I've used it and felt it saved me a lot of time.
2. REVIEW WHERE YOU ARE SHOPPING
- We all know Whole Foods is more expensive than Aldis. Try doing the majority of your shopping at a less expensive store (like Aldis), and then hit another store for the remaining items on your list that you couldn't find, if there are any.
- This can save a ton, but it takes significant time to do extensive couponing. One high yield approach is to try to find a coupon for the most expensive ingredient for each meal. This requires fewer coupons and will make the most impact.
4. STOP IMPULSE BUYING
- If you're an impulse buyer, stick to a click list or delivery service. One of the few COVID19 positives are that most of these services are currently free. This prevents you from buying things on impulse as you walk around that aren't on your list.
5. MEAL PREP
- Make a large batch of a meal and plan on eating leftovers later in the week. If you pack your lunch to work, prep a large batch of meat and veggies Sunday so that your lunch is ready to go each day. The cost of making a large batch of one item is generally less than making multiple smaller meals. If you choose healthy options, this can also help you keep your diet on track.
It is an absolute myth that you can't eat healthy on a budget! You have to be intentional about the process, but it is possible to have the best of both worlds.
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