the weather continues to heat up and we inch closer and closer to summer, before you know it you’ll be firing up the grill. In my opinion, summer is the best season for food. I can’t resist anything cooked on the grill. During the summer, I’m usually tempted to over-spend at the grocery store because I want to buy anything and everything I can cook on the grill! All the fresh vegetables, fruit, seafood, chicken and steaks are sometimes just too good to resist!
Well, I’ve decided that this summer my constant over-spending at the grocery store is going to change. I’ll still be eating all the fresh vegetables, fruit, seafood and meat that I want, but this year I’ll be shopping smarter. One of my major problems is that when I see all the beautiful, sweet smelling produce I have the urge to buy everything in sight. Before I know it, my kitchen’s over-flowing with all the food that I purchased. I know you’re probably thinking, “What’s the problem?” Well, the problem is that now I have an unnecessary amount of fresh produce in my house. It will be nearly impossible to cook and eat it all before it perishes. Now I’m faced with having to throw out any food that went bad before it had the chance to be eaten. Talk about money down the drain!
I know I’m not alone here. More than likely, many of you have encountered this problem, but you just haven’t realized it was because of your over-zealous spending at the grocery store. To curb my urge to buy everything in sight, I’ve compiled a list of tips that will eliminate my summertime over-spending.
According to personal finance website, Mint.com, over-spending on food happens for a number of reasons. Those reasons range from poor planning to encountering deals that seem too good to pass up. For me, I think my major issue stems from poor planning. Apparently, I’m not the only one who finds them self throwing out food that has gone bad. Mint.com found that the average person ends up wasting over 200 pounds of food each year!
With that said, my first tip to eliminate over-spending at the grocery store is to plan out your meals for the week. By doing this before you go shopping, you can avoid access waste and won’t end up spending money on food that will never get eaten. If you want to go the extra mile and save even more, plan your meals around what’s on sale at your local grocery store that week. Just look in your local newspaper for a sale circular. Don’t get the newspaper? No worries, you can also find these online in a PDF downloadable form.
To go along with planning your meals for the week, my second tip is to make a list. The most important part about making a list is sticking to it! Making a grocery list can help you spend considerably less on food, but only if you stick to it. When you go grocery shopping, make sure you’re focused on the task at hand. If you’re not, you’re more likely to purchase items that aren’t on your list. To avoid all temptation, make sure you eat before you shop. Grocery shopping hungry can cause you to spend 15 percent more!
My third and final tip for not over-spending at the grocery store this summer is to avoid buy three, get one free sales! Yes, this may sound like a great deal at first but in reality this is just a way the grocery store entices you to buy more. They want you to purchase more items so it will increase your bill, as well as, the average number of products per purchase. Sometimes the buy three, get one free and two for $5 deals don’t actually save you any money. Sometimes the merchants will do this because this combination of numbers and prices sound cheaper than just the listing price alone. Next time do the math, make sure you’re getting an actual deal, and don’t buy three boxes of crackers if you don’t need them!
If you want to avoid over-spending this summer, these tips should definitely help you cut down on costs. Remember you can have it all; you just don’t need it all at that exact moment! Wait for things to go on sale, plan your meals for the week, don’t waste food, avoid those sneaky “deals,” and stick to your list! If you do all of these things you will notice a decline in your total food cost this summer. These easy tips can really make a BIG difference! Happy smart shopping everyone! :)