Some might argue that saving money on food is an impractical approach. But what is impractical in reality is how lavishly people spend on food.
Dark chocolate, fizzy drinks, branded cereal, ice cream tubs, ready made meals, restaurant trips, home deliveries, indeed people spend a reasonable amount of money on food items and consider these expenses to institute as an important and necessary segment of expenses. While some might argue over how this results a routine of a spend thrift, the reality is that in the recent times of recession one has to cut down on extra expenses, if seeking to survive in the monthly pay. Prices of food and fuel are on the rise with absolutely no hope of stable prices, yet the salary packages remain the same. In fact, for most a job is a long lost illusion. During such dire circumstances, is there any hope to cut down on expenses and yet maintain the same lifestyle? The answer is a simple "yes". Reason being, that while prices have rocketed up, so have the discount packages, deals, offers as well as coupons. The key is basically "buying wisely", rather than spending notoriously. Below are outlined some of the shopping tactics that can help in cutting down the amount spent on food items.
Learning the trick of playing with coupons can result in being a highly beneficial habit. At first sight, it may appear a very tiresome and time consuming task, but quite the results pay off for all the time spent. A good practice is to scour through the newspapers, all the different copies and collect inserts. There are many coupons available in magazines published by various stores or magazines aimed at a particular interest, for example, at organic food. Therefore, there will be various coupons in these publications ready to be cut, stored and compiled for use at a suitable time.
Apart from inserts in Sunday papers and monthly magazines, there are online portals focused on providing coupons as well. Sites such as "coupon cravings" and "coupon geek" are great to check back frequently for any latest hip offerings. As with the ease of online searching, it is easy to browse through this website and look for specific deals, for example, coupons relating to junk food or organic food. A tip to be noted here is to actually read through the coupons and not just appreciate them at their face value.
However, even with coupons a person has to practice sensible shopping. There are different ways through which the value of a coupon can be doubled. For example, by using coupons on items already on sale a person can end up spending less and buying more. In fact, when the value of an item drops that is where the maximum usage of a coupon comes in to focus. Coupons in such cases can help very much in buying in bulk, the same item at a price even lower than that of the sale price that has been put up.
However, even with such coupons that provide a decent price cut, a shopper has to be careful. While spending money on the product featured in the coupon, do not eliminate the prospect of comparing prices. There is a probability that another brand might be offering rates cheaper than the one that is being purchased with the coupon. Also, use coupons for the food that is already on the shopping list. The shopping list should be looked up on as nothing short of a holy scripture, with little room for even the slightest deviation. Some people tend to spend money only due to the presence of a coupon, this being a highly foolish attempt at saving money on food.
As with food items, there are coupons present even for the restaurant deals. A good move is to check the internet for coupons regarding dining out and restaurant deals. Another wise tip for those who can not cut down on the restaurant trips, switching the meal time to lunch time can prove to be much beneficial. At lunch time, while the food is the same delicious and scrumptious, the price of the dishes is significantly lower. Another idea is to cut down on the number of weekly trips to the dine outs. For example, if the frequency is of 4 times a week, cut it short to only weekends of once a week. This can result in saving, even if $ 5 every week, that can be used to buy other grocery items.
Similarly, while ordering, eliminate the appetizers from the menu. Order only what is to be consumed. A better idea is to check the quantity of each dish. Eliminating alcohol from the menu can help in greatly reducing the bill. Sticking to water is safer plus cheaper. Furthermore, the price of a glass of alcohol at a restaurant is more than the price of a carton of water bottles. Also check up on the quantity of each serving. Some times one serving is enough for two people. However, at the time of payment it is always wise to divide up the bill at the spot among the payees rather than getting one person to pay for all.
By adopting these wise methods, a person can retain the same eating habits while saving up at the same time!