Point of View
UNITED STATES—I have a bone to pick with the consumer industry: why is the price of food so high? Yes, buying groceries is no game. It’s pricey and it appears every single week prices are constantly on the rise. The one thing about food is that we all need it to survive. But what can we actually do to cut down the grocery bill, but at the same time ensure we get what our money is worth?
First and foremost, it’s always important to make a grocery list. The biggest mistake one can make is heading to the store without having a clear objection of what is needed and what is not needed. Without a list you are guaranteed to purchase items and things that you don’t need, meaning your grocery bill is likely to skyrocket much higher than you expected.
This coincides with the next thing you should be careful not to do: go to the supermarket on an empty stomach. There is a reason this is reiterated to people time and time again. If you head to the store on an empty stomach you are inclined to purchase every single item that looks or sounds good to you. In essence, you might purchase a bunch of things that you truly don’t want, but your stomach is telling you otherwise.
Never bring children! This may be one of the biggest. Why? Kids tend to want every single item they see. A grocery bill that should not be more than $75-$100 could quickly jump to $150-$200 because of items that kids pick up along the way. I’m certain everyone has heard of the backseat driver, but have you heard of the grocery cart madman? That name is reserved for the person who adds to the cart, but has no intention of spending any of their money on the items they want.
Junk food versus actual food is something many of us grapple with. Time and time again we mistake actual junk food, for real food. Don’t make that error; be aware of what is constituted as actual food and food the body should steer clear of. This is not saying you can’t indulge in snacks because we all we do, its saying to do it in moderation.
Now comes the tough choice of choosing healthy over super healthy. We’ve all been warned of eating this or staying away from that. When it comes to eating healthy it can be a hefty price to pay. For those on limited budgets you can still eat healthy without breaking the bank, but you have to implement a strategy to make that dollar stretch. Any guesses as to what I’m referring to?
It’s called shopping around. You don’t have to do all of your grocery shopping at one location. Not saying that it’s not possible, but those who tend to do so might spend much more than they expected. Try to shop for the best possible prices on the items for your home. Don’t be afraid to travel to the local farmer’s market to purchase fresh fruits and veggies, if anything the vibrancy of the items might be much better and at a steeper discount than at your local market.
The same applies for buying meat, which is consistently on the rise. This week alone it was noted that the price of steak has risen 12 percent, while beef is up close to 10 percent, whereas chicken has slightly increased by nearly 1 percent. Meat is not cheap, so when buying in bulk make sure it’s worth every single dollar you spend. If you have a small family purchasing meat in bulk may not be the best idea.
The overall gist of this conversation is when it comes to heading to the supermarket have a plan. Make a list; plan a budget, shop for the best deals and stick to your guns. If you spend less than you expected that means you have extra money to do something else. Saving money is always a good thing.
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