According to a recent survey of Americans, the average person spends about $300 per month on groceries. This makes it the second biggest expense for most families right behind housing. However, $300 per person is certainly more than most families need or want to spend on groceries each month. If you're hoping to save a little bit on food in the coming months, here are five easy ways to do so without really feeling like you're making sacrifices or penny-pinching.
1. Go to the grocery store more often.
If you only go to the store once a week, you'll probably feel the need to stock up on everything you need for the next seven days. This can cause you to overbuy and also lead to more wasted food. Instead, try popping in the grocery store every few days just to buy the things you need immediately. You'll likely find that you save money and make better use of your purchases.
2. Plan meals that will have leftovers.
The more you intentionally plan your meals, the more money you'll save. Try to pencil in a few dinners each week that will last for at least two nights. Not only will this save you a bit of money, but it will also cut down on your time spent meal prepping.
3. Set a weekly food budget and pay attention to it.
More often than not, we simply don't realize how much money we're spending on groceries. It's easy to toss things into the cart without really thinking about the price. Sit down and come up with a reasonable weekly grocery budget for your family, then keep that number in your mind every time you run to the store.
4. Keep a running list of everything your kitchen needs.
If you walk into a store without a list of the items you actually need, nine times out of ten, you'll walk out with more purchases than you originally intended to buy. Keep a notepad handy or download an app on your phone that will allow you to keep track of what you truly need, not just what you think you need.
5. Wash, chop and prepare your own vegetables and fruit.
Ever noticed that the prepared, boxed veggies at the supermarket are way more expensive than the other options? Although you might hate the idea of tearfully cutting your own onions, you can save substantially by putting more effort into your produce preparation.
How do you and your family members save on grocery expenses? Leave other suggestions in the comments below!