Friday, June 23, 2017

7 Ways To Lower Your Grocery Bill

What is one of your biggest expenses each month?

If you answered, “groceries,” you’re not alone. Cooking at home can be a great way to save money (compared to dining out), but groceries can still eat up hundreds of dollars every month. Obviously, how much you spend per month will depend on how many mouths you have to feed. However, no matter how big you family is, there are certain strategies you can use to reduce your grocery budget. Here are a few tried-and-true suggestions from your friends at First Bank of the Lake.

 1. Plan Your Meals.

Never go to the grocery store without a plan. Decide which meals you want to make that week, and shop for the items you need to make those specific dishes. You’ll be able to maintain better focus in the grocery store this way by shopping solely for the specific items you need for the week. By sticking to a meal plan, you’ll also be less likely to have uneaten food go bad in your fridge.

 2. Build A List.

This is the most basic of all grocery shopping tips, but its importance cannot be underestimated. While you are still at home, go through your cabinets and your refrigerator to determine what items you need and write them down. When you are in the store, only buy the items that are on your list. Avoiding spur-of-the-moment purchases may greatly reduce your monthly spending.

 3. Determine Your Budget Ahead Of Time.

Before going to the store, take the time to determine how much you can afford to spend on groceries that week. Whether you choose to tally your total as you go or ask the cashier to stop scanning items once you hit your limit, it’s important that you find a strategy for sticking to your budget constraints.

 4. Shop With A Calculator.

Some stores offer a “scan it” function that allows you to scan your items and tally your total as you shop. This way, you can avoid being caught by surprise at the register. If your store doesn’t offer this function, bring a calculator and add up your own total as you add items to the cart. If you see that you’re already pushing your budget limit, you may be less likely to toss that extra box of cookies into your cart.

 5. Don’t Shop Hungry.

It may sound cliché, but it’s true – you are far more likely to place extra items in your cart when you shop on an empty stomach. Do your wallet a favor and eat a meal (or, at the very least, a snack) before you go to the grocery store.

 6. Be Strategic.

Plan your grocery shopping around the weekly ads your grocery store puts out. While it’s important not to buy something you don’t need just because it’s on sale, it’s wise to take advantage of sales on items you use regularly. Freeze the extra items you buy so that you can use them later (once the sale has ended).

 7. Shop Your Pantry.

Don’t rush to the grocery store just because you ran out of a certain item. Try to put off going to the grocery store as long as possible by “shopping your pantry.” If you get creative, you’ll probably be able to come up with ways to use some of the items you still have.

Happy Shopping!

We hope that with these tips from our local bank in Osage Beach, you’ll be better able to keep your grocery spending in check. By spending less money on groceries, you will have more room in your budget to work towards your financial goals such as getting out of debt or saving for retirement at the Lake of the Ozarks.

What are your other favorite strategies for reducing your grocery budget? Share your tips in the comments!

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First Bank of the Lake - Striving For Excellence
Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Located at the entrance to the Osage Beach Premium Outlets!

4558 Osage Beach Parkway

Suite 100
Osage Beach, MO 65065

(573) 348-2265

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