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Food is a necessity, and no one will deny that. Still, because it’s so essential, we fall into the false sense of security that everything we get that lines up in the category of “food” is a justifiable purchase. As a result, it becomes straightforward to get carried away, and only until we check the bill, you’ve already eaten more of your budget than you planned.
Admittedly, grocery expenses are one of the unseen budget breakers of our time, and because it’s food, people tend not to mind as much. However, we think it’s high time we change this mindset and start addressing this issue at the core. But, instead of giving you common advice, let’s try diving into more unconventional methods that you might have yet to try.
#1 Pay With Your Credit Card
Okay, we get it; many people aren’t as open to using a credit card. In fact, the second you read that, we can probably assume that unfair interest rates, recurring monthly payments, and bad debt start to cloud your thinking process. However, when used responsibly, there are very apparent benefits to using credit cards, and it’s much easier to track how much you’ve spent than the conventional budget on paper.
The key is to spend only what you can afford. In doing so, you won’t have to deal with any of those interest rates, no extra fees, and end up paying the sum by the end of the month/deadline.
- Enjoy Rewards: Credit cards offer many cashback guarantees, rewards, and points system that you can use. The average consumer might label these as just add-ons to sweeten the deal of credit, but in our case, these are a great steal. Since you’ll only be spending what you can afford, paying down your credit card will technically give you free rewards to enjoy.
- Improve Credit Score: Building up your credit score takes a lot of effort and time. Plus, if you started late, it will be more difficult, but going the credit card route with your grocery bills improves your credit score bit by bit. Soon enough, you’ll be surprised how much your credit history has grown with just food expenses alone.
- Effortless Grocery Shopping: The new normal requires significant changes, from custom acrylic shields in workplaces to social distancing guidelines outside; we all do it for our safety. The same goes for grocery shopping, and a lot of it is now transitioning online, which means all you really need is a digital wallet linked to your credit card.
#2 Make A Stockpile
Yes, you might have seen clips online or TV shows that displayed food stockpiling as a habit of extreme cheapskates. Still, this practice is actually an excellent method of cutting back your grocery expenses. Less frequent visits mean less eye-contact with food options, which reduces the risk of you falling to the temptation of cravings and sudden changes of heart.
Of course, we wouldn’t advise this to families who can’t afford the extra space for having a stockpile, but if you can, then it’s a must-have if you’re serious about saving. The secret is choosing food with a naturally long shelf-life, so you don’t have to worry about them going bad anytime soon, like rice and canned goods.
- Buying In Bulk: When you buy in bulk, you usually get these food items at a discount. And if you manage to catch these during slashed prices, your discount gets added on top of that for more savings. So, always wait for opportune moments before swooping in for a huge steal.
- Meal Planning Is Fun: A lot of people put-down stockpiling because it ruins your meal diversity, but there’s plenty of fun to be had with meal planning. It’s also much more manageable to count your macros, follow your diet, and helps you improve on a signature dish. Some people even say that real creativity arrives when your options are limited!
- Seasonal Produce: Then again, if you want to make trips to the grocery store now and then, keep on the lookout for seasonal produce. When food is in season, more competition and supply is going around, which means lower prices and better discounts.
#3 Fewer Orders, More Homemade Meals
Finally, try making more homemade meals to get the most value out of the ingredients and food items you purchase. We know how easy it is to order something online, it’s effortless, fast, and you don’t even have to get up from the couch. But, ordering meals means you’re paying for the delivery fee, the food preparation costs, and so much more. A lot of which can be easily saved if you decide to cook your meals. Plus, you get to try out new recipes like homemade pizza!
However, Everyone’s Different
Likewise, we also won’t deny that everyone’s different, and these methods might not bode well with everyone’s lifestyle and family dynamic. But, instead of giving up before making the first step, why not give these unconventional methods a chance and you might be pleasantly surprised with a smaller grocery bill.