Shopping for food can be a costly endeavor.
According to the Department of Labor Statistics, the average American family spends $312 on food each month. It is so easy to overspend when the bag of chips that you donâ€™t need are singing sweet lullabies of salty goodness … and that box of donuts is doing a seductive shimmy to get into your basket.
Sage advice is to avoid shopping on an empty stomach, but there are other ways to save yourself time and money.
- Stockpile Items: You donâ€™t have to take the extreme coupon approach to creating a nice stock of essentials, but creating a solid base of staples like beef, chicken and vegetables, stocks and broths; cooking oil, flour and sugar. You can find great deals on these as the seasons change from fall to winter.
- Club Savings: Find a group of your favorite buddies and plan a trip to the popular wholesale club like Samâ€™s Club and Costco. This idea works great for families and singles. Buy all the chicken drumettes, boxes of butter and mounds of toilet tissue you need and then divvy up the bounty. It will save money in the long run.
- Shop Your Pantry: Before you make another trip to the grocery store take a trip inside your pantry. Dedicate one week out of the month to only cooking with what you have available. Youâ€™d be surprised at the instant savings this provides and how creative you can be with whatâ€™s already in front of you.
- Cook from Scratch: Instead of spending money on pre-made chicken stock, try making your own. The ingredients for certain staples are cheaper than the already made items, and youâ€™ll have piece of mind knowing exactly whatâ€™s going in to your food. It may be more time intensive, but the savings will be worth it.
- Menu Planning: Start the top of your week by spending time thinking about what youâ€™re going to eat for the week and then create your list around that menu plan. Try to plan dishes that call for similar ingredients.Any other thoughts? Let us know in the comments!