How to Stay on Budget When Buying Groceries
On average, Americans spend more than 10% of their paychecks on food each month. It may not seem like a lot, but that 10% is actually more than the average household spends on healthcare, education, clothing or entertainment.
In fact, the only category where Americans spend a lot more than they do on food is housing. Surprisingly, the average household spends about as much for transportation (including car payments and insurance) as on food.
One of the reasons this is so shocking is that people are always looking for ways to save on housing and auto costs, but they don’t realize that finding ways to save on food could be just as effective. Check out our tips for how to lower your food costs each month!
One easy and often overlooked way to save money on your groceries each month is to use grocery store coupons — as long as you use them the right way.
One of the best things about coupons is that they’re easy to find. In fact, many grocery stores mail coupon booklets to residents in their community. Others keep a kiosk of coupons near the entrance of their store. They may also publish digital coupons on their store websites or in a few good grocery coupon apps.
The point is coupons are everywhere and easy to find.
The trick to couponing is to look for deals on the products that you already buy or on a replacement product rather than on a product you wouldn’t otherwise get. Otherwise, you won’t actually be saving any money. What good is using a Target grocery coupon to save $1 on a bag of sliced cheese if you rarely eat cheese in the first place?
Once you’ve found a few deals that look good, try seeing if you can find other discounted products to mix them with. For example, if you find a Walmart grocery coupon for Yukon gold potatoes and another coupon for a quart of 2% milk, then all you need is some store-brand butter and you have the ingredients for some filling and delicious mashed potatoes at a fraction of the original price.
Savvy buyers will save even more by taking advantage of manufacturer’s coupons and adding them on top of in-store deals. It might take a little leg work, but this is a great way to increase your discounts.
In fact, avid couponers report sometimes buying certain products for just a few cents after stacking coupons.