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3 Practical Tips to Save Money on Food and Groceries

Food typically represents one of the biggest, if not the biggest, chunks of the family budget. But, of course, everyone needs to eat so how exactly can we save money on this biggest budget item?

Well, there still are ways. Here are three practical and easy steps that you can follow.

3 Ways to Save Money on Food and Groceries

  1. Decide on a monthly grocery budget.

2. Prepare a grocery list with two sections — “Must Buy” and “Might Buy”.

3. Stick to the grocery budget and grocery list.

Here’s how exactly you can implement these 3 things.

Tip #1: Start by determining the total Budget you’re supposed to spend for your monthly groceries. Of course, this amount can vary every time but try to peg it as a certain percentage of your income so you can regularly monitor it.

If, for example, you’re making P30,000 per month, how much do you think you can comfortably spend on groceries per month?

If you have no idea yet, try to look for your past grocery receipts to see how much you’ve been spending. After evaluating your purchase history, decide if you think you can comfortably allot, say, 10% or 20% or 30% of your monthly income for groceries.

It doesn’t matter what the actual budget is, as long as you believe the amount will be sufficient to cover for your grocery needs. Having a fixed amount set for groceries per month helps you control your expenses, and the key is to make sure you stick to this “Budget” every month.

But what if the budget cannot really cover all grocery items?

Tip #2: That’s when we suggest grouping your grocery items into two — the “Must Buy” group and the “Might Buy” group.

The “MUST BUY” items are, of course, the necessities which you need to buy, such as meat, rice, vegetables, other food items, beverages, toiletries, required household products, etc.

The “MIGHT BUY” items are the “luxuries” which you can and should only buy if you still haven’t reached your monthly budget limit.

Some people at first might have difficulty separating the two. But in reality, some “Must Buy” items can actually be placed in the “Might Buy” group.

For example, a few would argue that coffee is required — that could be true — but it doesn’t have to be a pricey Starbucks bottle all the time.

For the “Must Buy” list, yes, you can add coffee, but once you’re in the grocery store, opt for a more affordable 3-in-1 or other coffee products that can still satisfy your caffeine fix. Put that Starbucks coffee item in the “Might Buy” list and only decide to buy it if you still haven’t reached the set grocery budget.

Another example: families with kids might argue that snacks and candies are a necessity. Partly true, but you don’t have to buy a lot of those expensive snack items every time. Instead of the usual snacks such as chips, chocolates, candies, or ice cream, offer your kids tasty fruits that are much healthier and sometimes even cheaper than the typical snacks you buy.

We’re not saying you shouldn’t be buying chips or chocolates or candies anymore, but put them in your “Might Buy” list and only purchase them if your budget allows it.

Another tip: take advantage of promos or bundles offered by stores. Some “Must Buy” items of yours could actually include free “Might Buy” items — which means you can have both products without having to spend additional money!

Tip #3: Finally, whenever you go grocery shopping, make sure you do not deviate from your planned “Might Buy” list and the set monthly grocery budget.

Do not be tempted by those impulse products typically located at or near the payment counters! If they’re not in your “Might Buy” list, they shouldn’t be on your shopping cart.

Follow these 3 simple and practical tips and we’re sure you’d start to see extra savings from your food and groceries every month.

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