5 Money-Saving Tips for Your Grocery Budget
Plan purchases and meals in advance to trim the fat from your grocery budget.
Is buying food busting your budget? Grocery expenses can add up quickly, but you don’t have to go hungry to save money. Plan your purchases and meals in advance and you can really trim the fat from your grocery budget.
1. Buy seasonal fruits & vegetables
Eating produce that’s in season is much less expensive, and it tastes better too. It’s easy to figure out which fruits and vegetables are in season. They’ll be prominently displayed at the front of the produce section and priced to move. Local, seasonal produce is also more sustainable because transporting it requires fewer fossil fuels that contribute to global warming.
2. Try store brand for your staples
Name-brand groceries aren’t necessarily better, but they do tend to be more expensive. When you choose name-brand groceries over their generic counterparts, you’re helping to pay for all of the brand’s ads and commercials. Skip mainstream products and choose the store’s brand instead to save a bundle on your grocery budget.
3. Shop frequently
It seems counterintuitive, but regular visits to the supermarket (like two or three times a week) can help reduce your expenses because you know that you’ll be back at the store in a few days. You’ll be less tempted to buy more than you need and can avoid having to throw away produce that goes bad.
4. Plan your food cheat days
If you’re someone that likes to order takeout or go out to dinner a few times a month, you don’t have to deprive yourself. Simply plan ahead for these treats so that they don’t derail your budget. Include the cost of restaurant meals in your total food budget at the beginning of the month, and you won’t end up splurging when you don’t have the money to do so.
5. Make multiple meals at the same time
Prepare your meals for the week in one round of cooking to save money, time, and skip the hassle of deciding what to eat later. Invest in some reusable containers and double up on your ingredients at the grocery store. Then choose a day when you have some downtime (like Sunday) and cook food for the week: breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Planning your meals ahead of time will help you to avoid last-minute takeout or snack purchases, and it will also make your week run smoothly.
6. Pay attention to your grocery expenses
Knowledge is power. To trim your grocery budget, it helps to know how much money you’re spending on food in the first place. Track your spending automatically with the N26 app(new tab), which instantly organizes your purchases into categories like groceries, restaurants, and entertainment. See exactly where your money is going at a glance.
7. Start small and go step-by-step
Budgeting for groceries can be challenging if you’ve never done it before, so it’s best to take it step-by-step. Choose one tip from the list above and try it out to see how things go. Once you’ve mastered it, try another one. And be sure to give yourself plenty of incentives along the way. For example, you can set aside some of the money that you save on groceries towards a larger financial goal, like a vacation or a new laptop. You can set money aside with just a few taps with N26 Spaces(new tab), helping you meet all your financial goals no matter how big or small they are.
Whether you’re looking to cut back on your grocery bill, create an emergency fund, or save up for that vacation you’ve been meaning to take, you can learn to budget your money with a little help from N26.
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