When planning and assessing for your personal finances, it is always good to sit back and check on your grocery store purchases. Sure, it’s a necessity to buy food, but are you making wise choices when going down the aisles?
Whenever you go for grocery shopping, it is advisable to always plan ahead. You should not be going shopping for food when you’re hungry. If you do, just about everything will look delicious. By the time you realize it, your shopping cart will be full of food.
You should also only go to the grocery store when you have a list of things to buy. You don’t need to write it out on a piece of paper, you can use an app or just use the notes or reminders app on your smartphone. Planning or having a “to buy” list will save you more money and avoid the incidences of spending more that you really should.
Here are three more easy ways to budget your groceries wisely.
Have A Reasonable Budget Amount
When budgeting grocery store costs, you have to initially list down all the monthly items you pick up at the grocery store. Try to assess if the items on the list are items that you really need. If you think that they are unnecessary, you can cross them out of the list so you may arrive at a final grocery list. Remember not to cut back on the items that you need as you are first trying to set your budget amount.
Make the budget amount reasonable. If you set a goal too high it will be too difficult to attain and you’ll just quit. You should also set aside a certain dollar amount of “miscellaneous” because sometimes certain recipes require a few extra ingredients.
Make Use Of Cash Envelopes
Once you have successfully set your budget limit, your next goal is to maintain spending only within the budget. You can do this by making use of cash envelopes. Use several cash envelopes such as one envelope for the toiletries, one for laundry and cleaning products, another for meals, and another for desserts, chips, and others.
Upon receiving your monthly income, you can start distributing the right amount of budget money to your cash envelopes. This will serve as a budget limiter, so whenever you need to replenish stocks at home, you can just bring the specific cash envelope to remind you what you should buy and how much you should spend.
This strategy is really really old, but it still works. When you use a credit card it is much more difficult to budget. So use cash and keep the card at home during your grocery store shopping trips.
Buy Items On Sale
Most often stores post what products they have on sale. If you have checked and seen that some items on your grocery list are on sale and you have extra cash, you can go ahead and buy extra stock that you can keep in your pantry for the next few weeks. You can save quite a bit of money if you only buy items when they’re on sale. But do take a look at the expiration date. It makes no sense in stocking up on an item that expires in a short amount of time.
Budgeting your grocery does not mean cutting back on the usual food you normally eat. It means checking if you are buying what you truly need and cutting back on everything else that you just want to buy on impulse.