Monday, May 23, 2011

How To Save $1000 Per Year On Groceries Without Clipping A Single Coupon

In their unconscious state, those with NSRED a...Image via WikipediaThe cost of food and gasoline has been rising at a disturbing rate for a long time now. The rising prices at the supermarket can sometimes make a big impact on the families budget. Finding ways to save money on food is especially important, today.

The cost of food and beverages has jumped 3.5% in the last year according to the Consumer Price Index that the US Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles. This percentage seems to low according to my own shopping experience.

Researchers have found consumers waste about 15 percent of their food every year. That amounts to about $1500 of wasted food for each household. On average, an American households that earns $52,000, spends 20% of their income on food purchases. Also according to the USDA a family of four spends between $611 to $1,200 on food every month. So reducing 20% of that waste can amount to a savings of $1000.

Prepare only the amount of food you will actually eat or store it in the refrigerator to eat the next day. My biggest beef is that people throw away good food after they have made too much for a meal. If there is food leftover, store it in the refrigerator for a left-over meals later in the week.

For one week a month, eat only what is in your house, so you can clear out your pantry. If you revolt at eating asparagus soup, well, you know never to waste your money again. You can sometimes extend this technique for a longer time period depending on the amount of food you have. Out of habit we tend to keep our refrigerators full like the apocylype is going to come and the stores will be closed for months. Don't fall for this, some people have a discomfort upon seeing a half empty refrigerator. Our they thinking they are Mother Hubbard and the cupboards are bare.

Don’t shop when you are hungry. Studies show consumers buy more on an empty stomach — including items you end up throwing away. This a big one for me and it's so true. You start to get a taste for a particular item and it's usually an expensive one.

Buy only the fresh fruit and vegetables you know you will eat before they rot. If you buy three bananas, for example, plan on eating one a day. Bananas and tomatoes are the worse offenders. Before you know it they are to over ripe to eat. Don't purchase any fruit or vegetables without having them incorporated into you meal plan.

Don’t let coupons and buy-one get-one offers lure you into buying more than you can use. The thrill of a bargain isn’t worth dollars wasted in never eating the food. This is where people waste money. The thrill of the deal does not last very long when you have bought something you rarely use or need.

Have a plan to consume the food you buy. Don’t impulsively pickup groceries that may sit on your pantry shelves. Remember, even cake mixes have a shelf life. Food can be frozen for about three months before it risks losing taste or absorbing aromas from other items.

Take home a doggie bag when eating out. Even the free bread and chips and salsa can be taken home. Don't feal bad, the restaurant just throws it away. My wife has made this into an art form. She can make one restaurant meal last for days. We take home the bread, extra dressings and everything we can scrape up.

Pull the plug on that second refrigerator. There are some homes that keep an extra refrigerator in the garage. This only encourages buying more food to fill it. When we had 6 kids in the house we needed it because we went through 4 gallons of milk per week. I suggest to pull the plug on it and just use the kitchen refrigerator. Putting all your food in the one refrigerator, makes it look like you have plenty, filling it up will keep you from thinking you need to go shopping.

Saving money on food isn't hard, it takes planning and paying attention. When you see the rising prices on bread, milk, eggs and juices everyday it can be very motivating to have a  plan and save some cash.

1 comment:

  1. You do know this is common sense. My home of 8 rarely has left overs, because we are a family of 8. I also rarely shop weekly. I think middle class people are having trouble with wasting food, not the poor.


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