Budgeting Wisely for Food

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When we think of monthly expenses, the first things that come to mind tend to be bills that we can't avoid: rent, phone bills, electric bills, and other utilities. However, the most important part of your monthly budget is the money spent on food. While everyone needs to eat, you can save a surprising amount of money on food with a few easy tips and a bit of planning.

Eating frozen dinners or fast food meals can pile up to a lot of money very quickly. By doing your own grocery shopping and spending some time preparing meals at home, you'll find that you have a lot more money free to spend on a day at the spa, a vacation with your kids, or even on a maid service like The Maids of Charleston in Massachusetts. That will give you more free time for other important things, while eliminating the worries of a messy home.

Getting the Best Bang for Your Buck

One of the easiest ways to save money is to check what coupons and sales are available at your local grocery stores. If you have a newspaper delivered to your home; there will be a collection of ads from neighboring stores each week. They will contain super low sale prices, as well as coupons you can cut out and take with you. If you don't want to bother with a physical newspaper, you can always go to each store’s website and print coupons. You can also stop by and pick up an in-store flyer with the same information.

Planning Your Week

Once you have a list of what's on sale for the week, make a note of what you and your family like the best and what has the best prices. Try to plan at least two meals each day—the more sale items you include, the more money you'll save! If you can afford to buy in bulk, you can save even more money. However, make sure you'll actually eat what you buy before it goes bad. There's nothing worse than wasting money on rotten or stale food.

Price Matching

Many stores will honor competitor prices. Take advantage of this and save time by only going to one grocery store: as long as you bring the ads and coupons from other stores with you, you can get those same low prices in one place. Because all of the grocery stores want your business, they would rather sell you food at a cheaper price than have you go buy it from their competitors.

The Slow Cooker: Your Secret Weapon

Oftentimes, when you want convenient food (like drive-thru meals or frozen dinners); you end up paying a lot more to save a little bit of time. Avoid this trap! You can make healthy meals in just a few minutes for far less than the amount you spend on other “convenient” foods. The internet is full of recipes for quick meals that take five or fewer ingredients and less than fifteen minutes of preparation. Just fix a few thingsand get on with your life! There's no mess, no fuss, and no added expense. While it may seem pricy at first, stocking up on meals is definitely one of the best investments you can make for your kitchen because it saves you money in the long run. 

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