Food Shopping: The Blindspot in our Spending Plan

Your relationship with food is probably pretty complex. 除了维持生计, 你可以用食物来安慰自己, 收集与他人, 分心或快乐. When you really commit to tracking your food expenses as part of putting together a spending and savings plan, you realize food can be a complicated part of your financial life too. While meals are of course a necessity, take a look at your food-buying habits. 很可能还有挽救的余地.

Eliminating “extra” expenses like dining out or buying pricey steaks is a good place to start. But also keep in mind that a successful food-purchasing plan isn’t just about cutting things out. It’s also about understanding your habits.

工作时间出去吃午饭
You may grab “a quick bite” at work because it’s easy. But it might actually take you less time at home to put together the same meal. Then you get to spend more of your lunch period at work relaxing, going for a walk or reading a book. Or you could just spend the time thinking about the hundreds of dollars you will save this year by brown-bagging.

Convenience store or check-out aisle buys
如果你看一下价格, you realize that the mark-ups on the quick-grab items near store cash registers are incredibly high. 但这就是问题所在. Stores realize you don’t stop to examine and consider prices in those situations. If you find yourself reaching for a pack of gum or some candy as you are about to check out, 而不是, make a commitment to stock up ahead of time and keep these items in your car or your purse or your desk. By buying them online or at a bulk retailer, you could pocket a bunch of extra dough.

快餐
快餐汉堡或玉米卷只要0美元.99 sounds like the perfect recipe for our modern sensibilities; we want food in a hurry and we don’t want to pay a lot. While the speed of delivery may be enticing, the end price may not be all that great. Consider: how many times have you gone to a fast food restaurant and ordered just one thing? The advertised item may be under a dollar, but when you add on a drink and fries or another side order, 费用加起来.

饿的时候去购物
It’s silly to think that you are always going to shop on a full stomach. So 而不是 of feeling like you need to plan all your grocery shopping excursions in tandem with meals, just be aware of why you are putting each item into your cart. Are you reaching for that plastic canister of candy rope because it’s a part of your spending plan or because your blood sugar is a little low?

“高端”杂货店
You may like to go to the more expensive grocery in your area because they have a few specialty items that you can’t find at other stores. 这当然是可以理解的. But make sure those items aren’t available for a lower price at your regular grocery first. They may be tucked away in a place you hadn’t thought to look. 也, even though you might go to the more expensive grocery store for a few specialty items, doesn’t mean you have to pay a higher price on the regular items; try to just purchase the specialty items there.

购买现成物品
Any financial coach worth their salt will tell you that cooking your own meals 而不是 of buying prepared meals saves you mounds of cash. But also think about the fruits and vegetables you buy. Fruit medleys or even individual chopped fruit packages can cost much, much more than just buying the fruit in its whole form. 沙拉粉也是一样. Is it really worth the extra money to have someone cut up your fruit or mix up some greens for you?

失败的计划
If you are one of those people who wander around the grocery store until they find some things that look yummy, you are probably paying more than the list makers of the world. In a perfect world you would plan out your meals for a couple weeks and create a shopping list based on those meals. But at the very least, try to formulate a list of necessities. Allow yourself one impulse buy if that helps you stick to the plan. Remember that “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.

以肉类为中心的饭菜
If you plan your dining experience with meat as the centerpiece, you are not alone. 这是一种常见的策略. But it doesn’t have to be an all-the-time way of looking at meal construction. 有时用豆腐代替, beans or legumes as your protein source, you can save significantly at checkout time.

品牌坚持
There are certain consumer items for which you can make an argument that brand name goods are a better choice. But that isn’t generally the case with food. 青豆就是青豆, whether the name on the can is the one you heard on TV or it is completely new to you.

Making money-smart choices about your food purchases doesn’t have to mean denying yourself the things you love. 而不是, think of using these tips to get all the food you like, while giving yourself extra money to spend on things you enjoy.

由BALANCEPRO

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