So the results of last week’s poll are in and 40% if Inbetweenmoderation readers said their biggest financial struggle is “Finding ways to save.” Overspending came in second with 30% saying it was their biggest financial struggle. For the next few weeks we will explore ways to save money and moderate spending within the four areas of this blog. We will explore ways to cut down and save on your food cost and grocery budget. We continue with ways to carve out additional savings for retirement, cut interest charges and save for college in the finance area. Then we will get into savings as a family. Finally, we will dive into the emotions of saving and the feelings that might be holding us back from saving for our futures.
This week we will start with 5 ways to cut down your grocery budget.
- Start a garden (or go to a farmers market) – Growing your own food is a great way to save money. It cost so much less to have home grown vegetables then to purchase ones from the grocery store. Plus, the nutrient content and fresh ness of home grown can not be beat. These are some of the reasons I wish I could maintain a garden. But am one of those people who are known as a brown thumb. Yes, I kill plants. The most I can manage is an herb garden. (Still a savings thought) For the rest of my veggies, I got to a local farmers market where I get over $45 in produce for under $20. Look for one by you on LocalHarvet.org.
- Have a shopping list- This is something I am starting to explore in more detail. By planning out your meals and having a list you can save money by not buying extra ingredients that you really don’t need. It also cuts down on impulse buys while you shop.
- Limit trips to the store – Having to very active kids made it difficult to food shop. TO compensate I started food shopping on my lunch break at work. This became a very costly habit as I was running out to the store almost everyday during the week. A short trip for some milk and bread turned into a $50 shopping trip each time. Yes, it was costing me much more then it was saving me in time. Now I only head to the store once every 2 weeks for the essentials. I also do a bulk shop once a month.
- Shop in Bulk – People are on the fence about shopping in bulk. I mean who really needs a 5 lb jar of pickles. Well, it really depends on what you buy. For example if you are a pickle freak and eat them on a daily basis then it might save you a bundle to get a 5 lb jar. The key is to examine what items you use most and purchase only those. Don’t fall prey to gimmicky bulk package savings unless it is something your family actually uses a lot of. If you couple this with in-store coupons, this can save you.
- Amazon Subscribe & Save (Affiliate Link)- This is a service that has saved me money on items such as organic cereals, which can cost almost $5 a box. I have also purchased my husbands protein bars and kids organic snacks at a discount. You can change your order each month based on what your family needs. If you order 5 subscribe and save items you save and extra 15%. Also Amazon frequently runs coupon specials on many of these items. If you stack these coupons with the %15 saving your can save a ton. Plus the variety of what you can find on Amazon is almost limitless.