Saving money on food: An easy way to slim your bill and waistline

An African-American couple smiling and cooking in the kitchen.

Saving money on food can keep you out of debt, physically and financially. (Photo: Thinkstock)

It easy to become overwhelmed when it comes to saving money, but it can be very simple. Many people think that saving money — on food, household supplies or even retirement — is a monumental task that requires a lot of time, money and sacrifice. But it doesn’t have to be that way, especially for those who start off small and slow with a few minor changes at home.

Saving money on food

First off, remember to keep things simple — focus on relatively easy ways to save, like saving money on food purchases. Though the cost of food is rising, you can avoid the need for payday loans by learning a few simple tricks on how to really save money on food. Every little thing adds up, and you will notice a drastic change in your spending lifestyle, as well as your health, if you work on developing good eating and spending habits.

Buy store brands

One easy, painless way to cut the grocery bill is to buy store brand food. As budgets get tighter and food prices run high, more and more consumers are turning to store brands — including higher income families. There are many store brand offerings that are just as good as or better than name brand products. Many supermarket chains are offering more store brand products of better quality, and sticking close to store brand purchases can cut the bill down by 50 percent or more.

Buying in Bulk

Another great way to save money on food and prevent the need for payday loans is to buy in bulk. Pay attention to what items cost the most and consider whether buying in bulk can save you more money. Of course, you may want to avoid buying highly perishable items in bulk, like fresh fruits and vegetables, but things like rice, pasta, beans and potatoes can be stored for awhile. Be careful, though, because buying in bulk can also work against you if you overstock and throw things away. Spoiled food is nothing but money down the drain.

Avoid impulse buying

Before you head out to the supermarket, make it a habit to write out a list first. Focus that list on necessary things you need each month and try not to confuse your wants with your needs. Impulse buying can be deadly to your budget, so plan ahead and stay within your boundaries. If there’s something you want for no reason other than to boost your morale, write up a separate list for it. As you watch your money grow by saving money, go back to that list and budget for one item at a time. Always reward yourself for your efforts that pay off, but never forget that some of the greatest rewards in life are free.

Tip: Plan a small shopping trip during the busiest time of the day. With your list at hand, you will be in-and-out in no time without having the urge to meander around and spark temptation. Get in, get it and get out.

Cook your own food at home

This can sometimes be tricky, particularly if you work a busy schedule. But keep in mind that you can save some serious bucks just by making meals at home. Furthermore, eating processed food and eating out can have a negative effect on your weight and overall health, as well as your budget. If you have a busy lifestyle, planning ahead will help a great deal. And that’s where the magic of the crock pot comes in. Put all the ingredients in the slow cooker the night before, and on your way out the door the next morning, it will take almost no time to pull it out of the fridge and have it cook all day while you’re away. It’s as quick and easy as getting online payday loans. You can come home after a long, busy day to a delicious home-cooked dinner everyone will enjoy.