Although some of us may be born cheap, none of us comes out of the womb knowing how to save money. Nor do any of us plan on taking out a payday loan because we can’t meet our monthly expenses or don’t have a savings built up for emergency costs.
The better at budgeting you are, the more likely you can put something aside in a savings account for those times when your income won’t support your bills. Millions of consumers turn to getting a payday loan when money is tight but what many of them don’t know is that there are ways to cut back on spending in an effort to prevent being short when the bills are due.
One of those ways is something we all do: buying groceries. According to the USDA, the average household family of four (2 children 2 adults) spends anywhere between $250-$1,000 per month on groceries. That can put quite a dent in your monthly budget if you are shopping liberally and risking not having enough for the other categories in your budget.
You’d be surprised at how much you can save on groceries every month, thus creating a cushion for your other expenses and keeping you away from the need to take out a payday loan for other expenses. Consider the following 5 ways to cut your grocery expenses:
1. Watch What You Buy- Coupons or not, it is possible to lower the amount you spend every time you go to the grocery store. The first step is to avoid buying what you don’t need. This is done by planning your meals ahead of time so you know what ingredients to buy. Create a menu for the week and buy only what is needed for those meals. Of course you will have to account for school lunches and weekend meals but having it down on paper can prevent you from tossing items in your basket that are not necessary nor needed for your planned meals. Don’t forget- NEVER go to the grocery store hungry!
2. Watch Where You Buy-No two grocery stores are alike! Some of us don’t think twice about shopping at the neighborhood grocery store but that could cost quite a bit in the long run. Buying groceries at Walmart of Costco is not the same as buying at smaller, more high-end stores. Discount grocers may not be as aesthetically pleasing but you can bet your wallet will be happy once you see how much you will save by shopping at these stores. Buying meats, cheese, bathroom and household items and even dog food in bulk will save you hundreds in the course of a year. You will need to purchase a membership for where house stores but you will most likely recoup that cost via the amount you save by buying in bulk.
3. Watch How You Buy- You may be used to buying the first item that catches your eye but that could cost you. Expensive meats, cheeses, prepared foods and wines/spirits could raise your checkout bill significantly. Consider buying generic brands, buying produce when it is in season, opting for a nice “no name” wine or cooking with chicken as an alternative to those pricey top sirloin steaks.
By making a few small adjustment in your shopping habits you can be well on your way to saving money and avoiding needing to borrow money to get by because you spend your lot on groceries. Once in a routine you can incorporate other money saving ideas into your monthly spending habits while avoiding the need to take out a payday loan.