7/28/2010

Saving on Food and Groceries

Grocery shopping – you’ve got to do it, right? Going out to eat – you don’t have to, but sometimes it just turns out that way. Believe it or not, the average family of four spends more than $500 on groceries and food each month.

You can easily add another $50 or $100 to your monthly savings by making simple changes:
START by shopping smart at the grocery store:
  1. Shop with a list and coupons when purchasing groceries. If you purchase certain items regularly, stock up on them when they are on sale for additional savings.
  2. Buy in-season produce. Not only is the produce more fresh, but also is substantially cheaper. To find out what’s in season click here.
  3. Avoid convenience food. Pre-cooked, pre-sliced or pre-packaged food is more expensive. Buy whole carrots rather than baby ones, and create your own “100 calorie” snack packs.
    SUBSTITUTE and ANTICIPATE for further savings:
  4. Eat less meat. Vegetarian meals are often cheaper and healthier than their meat counterparts. Consider substituting beans for meat or enjoy pasta with summer vegetables in a few dinners each week to add to your savings.
  5. Don’t just pack your lunch; bring snacks and beverages with you as well. A $2 snack or water bottle adds up over time. If you’re going to be away from home, be prepared.
  6. Avoid restaurants, but if you must:
    If you’re going to go out to eat, check out the local entertainment section in your newspaper for discount or 2-for-1 coupons. If your favorite restaurant does not offer coupons, consider ordering appetizers rather than entrees.

Make sure to bank your savings! Track your progress towards a savings goal by joining Virginia Saves, and using the America Saves My Savings Tracker for free to record deposits and monitor your progress.

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