One of the easiest ways to lose track of spending is in the grocery store. Not only can groceries be expensive, but the stores are literally designed for impulse buys, making it nearly impossible for you to get out without buying at least one item that you didn’t plan on buying when you made your grocery list. But there is good news, even though grocery shopping can be a challenge, it is one challenge you will be able to easily overcome once you learn how to make friends with your grocery bill.
As you know, you can’t know where you are going until you know where you started. There is no way to know your progress, see where you have made improvements, and know where you still need to work if you aren’t absolutely sure of where you stand.
The first thing you should do is learn to keep track of your grocery spending. This doesn’t just mean knowing what you are spending money on, it also means knowing whether or not you are actually eating all of the ingredients you are buying. For instance, let’s say there is a recipe that calls for bananas and you use three bananas to make it. If you don’t have a plan for using the rest of the bananas in the bunch then they can easily go to waste, along with the money that you paid for them. Once you start paying attention to how much of your ingredients you are using, you might find that it is actually more cost effective to buy single bananas.
Once you begin to find a routine in monitoring your grocery bill, your next step is to begin watching for sales and looking for deals. It may even be helpful to keep a small notebook with you when you are shopping so that you can make notes on what each store charges for those ingredients that you use the most frequently. In order to stretch your grocery budget, don’t be afraid to shop at two or three different stores a week in order to buy the cheapest items at each store.
A common misconception is that you need to spend a lot of money in order to eat healthily. And even though it is true that eating healthy can cost more than eating processed foods, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways for you to have the best of both worlds. You simply need to learn about your grocery bill, know where you are spending your money, and keep an eye out for sales.