by Chris O’Shea* Believe it or not, the grocery store can be a destroyer of budgets. Yes, the seemingly small choices you make at your local spot can have a big impact on your finances. Especially now. According to a study of grocery shopping habits during the pandemic, 31 percent of respondents said they “almost always overspend.” Here are some simple ways to reduce your grocery expenses so your budget stays on track.
Keep it Simple
You don’t have to include complex meals in your weekly grocery trip. The simpler the meals, the less you’ll spend on ingredients — so feel free to not spend hours cooking your dinners. Speaking of ingredients, go light on meat and dairy, as they can be expensive.
Stay away from prepackaged snacks and foods. You’ll be paying a hefty premium for the convenience. Instead, opt for whole foods and bulk snacks.
Staples are Your Friend
Purchase staples like pasta, beans, rice and breads. These few items last forever and can be used to create a wide variety of meals. As The New York Times reports, think of it this way: If you buy cake mix, you’re making a cake. However, if you buy flour, sugar and baking soda, you can make a bunch of different things. When purchasing these staples, opt for the generic (or store label) as they’re less expensive than national brands.
Keep The Fun
Don’t deprive yourself of items that truly make you happy. Times are tough, you deserve that bag of king size Snickers. Or at least the miniature ones.
* This guest article is from the “Your Money Blog” in ‘Mid Oregon’s Digital Banking Credit Savvy resource’. It is made possible by Savvy Money. “The Grocery Store Can Have a Big Impact on Your Budget” by Chris O’Shea was published in April 2021.