If you have a family, you are likely to be well aware of the significant cost associated with feeding them on a weekly basis. Therefore, although there are certainly many ways to cut down on your spending, when it comes to family households, some of the biggest savings can be made by simply being careful how you stock the kitchen. Should you be interested in cutting down on how much you spend on food each week, here are eight tips for doing just that.
Purchase Ingredients Not Meals
Although ready prepared food is certainly convenient, said convenience isn’t exactly cheap. If you are a good cook, or you are willing to learn, you can save a significant amount of money each week by simply cooking most of your meals from scratch with fresh ingredients. And depending on your culinary skills, you might even find that what you cook yourself is not only significantly cheaper, it also tastes better.
Purchase Generic Products
Many of the products that you purchase each week can be purchased in generic form without sacrificing on taste. And because supermarkets often offer basic generic products at cost price, you can make some real savings.
Despite the fact that such goods are often priced as low as twenty five percent of the cost of branded alternatives, most of them taste almost identical. Although there are some items that it’s worth paying extra for, items such as tinned vegetables, cereals and fruit juices are all better off purchased in generic form.
Stock Up on Discounted Favorites
Although you should never purchase something that you won’t eat solely because it’s on sale, when the food in question is something that you generally purchase every week, it is well worth stocking up. Even popular brands that generally cost quite a bit occasionally go on sale at significant discounts. If you take advantage of such offers when they come up, the savings over the course of a year can add up to a surprisingly high amount.
Never Grocery Shop Without a List
Speaking of discounted goods, those in charge of supermarket design are highly adept at getting consumers to purchase food that they really don’t need. It doesn’t matter how good your intentions are when you enter a supermarket, if you don’t arrive armed with a strict shopping list you are highly unlikely to shop in a frugal manner.
Hit the Street Markets
The convenience of purchasing all of your food from a single place certainly cannot be denied but once again, such convenience is costing you money. While supermarkets offer the lowest prices on most goods, when it comes to fruit and vegetables, the best prices are almost always found at street markets. And when it comes to meat, the lowest prices, and the best quality, is usually found at the butcher. Therefore, if you are serious about saving money on food, and you have the time to spare, don’t purchase everything in the same place.
Avoid Loose Supermarket Produce
On the other hand, if you insist on purchasing your fruit and vegetables from the supermarket, you should always purchase the packaged variety. This is because when supermarkets sell loose fruit and vegetables, they charge consumers according to the weight. Packaged produce on the other hand is generally sold by the unit. And due to the variation in how much a unit of produce generally weighs, packaged produce always offers more weight for your money.
Forget About Loyalty Cards
Most people head to the same supermarket week in and week out, and in doing so they get a few dollars back each month thanks to their loyalty cards. The savings offered by loyalty cards however are typically only around one percent, and supermarket loyalty tends to cost people significantly more than that.
What supermarket is the cheapest tends to change every week, as each throws different promotions and price reductions. Taking advantage of such promotions each week is always going to save you far more than the cash back offered by a loyalty card.
Finally, it would be difficult to write an article about frugal food shopping without mentioning the benefits of coupons. Although many people assume that only minor savings can be made, if you head to the supermarket with enough of them, you might be surprised by just how much you can save.
The key is to not rely on supermarkets to send you coupons in the mail. Instead you should head to their website and find the printable variety. Provided you are careful not to purchase products that you otherwise wouldn’t, you might find that savings of up to ten percent are not uncommon. And when you start searching online for manufacturer coupons also, you can expect to save even more.
Richard Braine writes on behalf of Cash for Gold UK, specialists in turning your unwanted gold into cash with simple, safe and secure processes.