After the amount you pay for your mortgage or rent your food cost is the second highest expense. In some cases, it can run as high as 25% of your take home pay.
Our ways of shopping have changed. We can shop on line or we can have someone else do our shopping for us. The variety of items we purchase has also expanded. In spite of all the amendments to what we buy and eat, two things should not be altered they are, planning our meals and shopping with a list.
When you first begin the journey of managing the amount you spend on groceries, there are some things you need to do to make the entire process easier.
You should spend a Sunday preferable mid-morning going through your cupboard, fridge and freezer listing and categorizing every item. Check for expiry dates, open jars to make sure that mold is not growing in the containers left in the fridge, look at the frozen items for freezer burns, and discard. The products that are no longer edible should be thrown out.
At this point, to get the full impact of what you just experienced, pause to consider the amount of money you have spent on items you did not eat, and are now in the trash. That is money down the drain. This cannot be recuperated. The list of food items that are still edible should be placed on the fridge. Keeping the list on the fridge will avoid duplication in the future. Take a photo of the list and keep it in your phone. This is great for referencing while in the supermarket before purchasing an item
Planning meals require that you spend some time and effort in preparation, but in today’s tech age it can be simplified..
There are several Internet sites that help with meal planning from cooking for one or twenty-one. All you need is to spend a few minutes searching the sites looking for recipes that you would like to try then shop accordingly.
It is extremely important to shop with a list. There are numerous free Apps that are exceptionally helpful in listing the items you need. Here are a few that I have tried: Buy me a Pie; Flipp – Flyers; Any list; Bring Shopping; Errands to go and Shopping list Free. This should be done prior to going grocery shopping. Entering a supermarket without a grocery list, is equivalent to going out in -25 degrees weather without clothes, you won’t last too long.
Supermarkets are ready to encourage you to empty your accounts or wallets, and they are prepared to make sure you do so. Your only defense is to shop with a purpose and the only way to do this is to have your purpose right in front of you all the way.
Sales items are great. So use your calculator on your phone to make sure you are getting the best bang for your money. Divide and multiply to get the unit price for items such as soft drinks, and items advertised as 3 for $4.00 and so on.
The supermarkets will not allow you to take the item if you are short a nickel. Make sure you find ways to keep your nickel.
One thing to remember when grocery shopping is, because an item is on sale, does not mean you must purchase it.