How do I Buy Food on a Budget?


If you are trying to buy food on a budget, you probably know only too well how difficult it can be to make ends meet. As expenses pile up, bills compete for priority. Of course, feeding your family properly is essential, regardless of how hard up you might be.

Coupons may help save money on food.
Coupons may help save money on food.

It’s important to know that you can buy food on a budget and still eat well; it will just take a little bit more work. As every budget conscious shopper knows, coupons can be invaluable. Make sure that your clipped coupons are accessible and in some kind of order, so that you can actually find them when you need to. Additionally, you should toss out expired coupons that stores won't take. Some stores accept expired coupons, so double check this before throwing them out.

Budget-savvy food shoppers often download coupons and deals on their smart phone while in the store.
Budget-savvy food shoppers often download coupons and deals on their smart phone while in the store.

One of the simplest things you can do is to make a comprehensive shopping list and keep to it; don’t be tempted to buy things you don’t need. Plan your meals ahead of time for the next week, or two weeks — this will prevent you from buying more than you need and also help to cut down on eating out. Additionally, it’s a well known fact that if you try to shop for food when you are hungry, you will spend more, so shop after you eat, when possible.

Take advantage of stores that offer double the amount of the coupon discount and realize when it doesn’t pay to use coupons — generic store brands are often cheaper than name brands, even without the coupon. Look for advertisements or flyers in your local newspaper to identify the special offers available that week. If a particular item is on sale, consider stocking up on that item.

If you need to buy food on a budget, you should buy in bulk, when possible. Meats, cheese and bread can all be purchased in bulk, especially if they are on sale and then frozen for future use. Consider joining a warehouse club or discount store. While there usually is an annual membership fee, it should pay for itself after just a few visits.

Meat is probably one of the costliest items on your food bill. If you are a meat eater, try to have at least one vegetarian meal a week. When you do buy meat, make sure you are getting your money’s worth — meat leftovers can be used to make soup or sandwiches. Macaroni and cheese, rice, pasta and potatoes are all still fairly inexpensive and make filling side dishes.

With a little bit of willpower and research, it is still possible to buy food on a budget and feed yourself and your family well.

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