Cutting Food Costs

By Deborah Nayrocker

Dear Deborah: How can I spend less on food? I’m spending a lot more than I’d like to. Any tips? — Tom

Answer: The cost of food has risen, up more than 5% from a year ago. Here are ways to save:

  1. Bring a shopping list to the store and stick to it. Try to limit grocery shopping to once a week. Don’t shop when you’re hungry or tired. Studies show you spend less when you’re not hungry or tired. Keeping your children at home when you shop can help eliminate impulse spending.
  2. Pay with your debit card or cash.
  3. Use coupons from your weekend newspaper or online for items you need. A coupon clearinghouse website is smartsource.com. Look at your grocery store flyer for sale items and stock up on items for the next month. If you combine coupons with weekly sale items, you’ll get considerable savings. I saved a hundred dollars recently combining the two.
  4. Purchase grocery store brand items instead of name brands whenever possible.
  5. Buy less processed and packaged foods. Consider homemade vs. convenience food. You’ll save and eat healthier, too.

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Deborah Nayrocker is an author and columnist. She is the award-winning author of The Art of Debt-Free Living and Living a Balanced Financial Life.

Copyright by Deborah J. Nayrocker. All rights reserved.