Budget your grocery expenditure

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Feb 01, 2013

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With the inflation rate giving everyone a run for their money, you sure don’t want to leave out any opportunity to budget your expenses. So here’s a way to keep your saving bank clicking by effective management of the money you spend on your food. No, cutting down on the money spent on food does not mean food less tasty or less in quantity, all it requires is a few extra hours spent in the kitchen and eating out less often. Not a big deal to ask if all this means a lot less squeeze on your wallet, right?


Wear your planning hat


The most important step in the formulation of anything big or small, is planning out its course and the way you want it to function. So pen down each and every meal for the coming meal, that means not leaving out even the snacks you want to munch on during free leisure time.


The goal is not just to limit the food items to the bare necessary but also to make sure that you are successful in evading impulse buying. So the next time you go to grocery store, you should already have a very clear idea about what you are going to come out with.  You pay for what goes in your cart, so keep a check on what you lay your hands on.


Bulk to budget


Buying inexpensive snacks like raisins, oatmeal, popcorns, peanuts etc. in bulk is a good way to take care of the snacks requirements of your family.  Not only will these help you make monetary gains but these healthy snacks options are sure to bring about health gains too.


Hit the sales


Keep an account of the various sales and discounts that the grocery stores in your area are offering.  Rather than sticking to one store, make sure you have a fair idea of comparative prices and discounts in most stores in your area. However sales can be very tempting and you might end up crashing your entire budget in a frenzy to load cheap discounted stuff. So make sure before you step inside a sale, you clearly have an idea of what and only what you have to buy.


Simple measures, effective results


When you are out shopping for your weekly grocery, keep trying out different combinations before you settle for the most economical option. Since you are paying for what you buy, its always best to satisfy yourself completely before making a choice. Sometimes very small things can help you stick to your budget; for example, instead of buying small packaging you often save more on heftier packets, so instead of buying those tiny packets buy a bigger packet and get done with for the whole month.  Similarly, instead of buying those juice cartons and single milk cans, may be milk and juice packed ion thermos might be a better option.


Say good bye to your brand


If you find that the brand you have remained faithful to is not on sale, but its competitor is, maybe it is time to give loyalty a break. Keep your brand choices flexible and open to experimentation. Often store brands offer very reasonable discounts and they are equally good quality, so try out the options available to you.


Grocery store is not the only option


Remember that your neighborhood grocery store is not the only place that offers the things you need. Try other alternatives like more conventional bazaars and whole sale markets, since buying in bulk is already an advisable option. For cereals and other similar needs, farmer markets are an extremely viable option.


Put on the chefs cap


Your kitchen is a place that can help you bring down your expenses by leaps and bounds. So instead of hopping to the market every little thing, just go to your kitchen and see how you can manage with what you have. For instance if you have bread maker or a sandwich maker, that alone bring down your expenditure by enormous amounts. Other things that you could try preparing at home are juice, desserts, coffee and some light snacks. Let your kitchen show you the way to a healthy budget.


Here are a few pointers:-


After you get a start in effective budgeting of grocery bills, you could make it a habit to keep your grocery expenses to a minimum. A few simple steps are listed here that can work wonders in helping you plan and follow a budget.

  • Gardening in the backyard if there is space available is an excellent answer to your snack time fruit needs. It costs almost nothing and the yields are long lasting and beneficial in ways more than one.
  • One of the most effective ways to cut down on grocery expenses is to limit and then in turn reuse leftovers. Whatever is left from the dinner, preserve it and use it in whatever way possible the next day or as the need be. Of course the best way would be to not order for food more than what is required.
  • Stock up on food items that can be preserved when the prices hit the floor. End of season and post weekend sales are the best time to stock up and avoid the weekend price rise and rush.
  • It is a simple logic but very effective. Lesser the visits to the market, lesser you buy. So make a list of the things you need over the week/month and buy it all at once in one visit.


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