With today’s food costs, groceries make up a large portion of any household’s monthly budget. Providing for the nutritional needs of a family is increasingly difficult, as less nutritious items become more accessible and less costly, while more nutritious foods remain as expensive as ever. When considering that most payday loans and cash advances are borrowed to cover recurring bills, such as groceries, it becomes painstakingly clear that families need to amply budget for food costs and seek out deals whenever possible.
Although overall food costs are generally out of our hands, set by a seemingly malevolent, faceless grocery store power, we can take advantage of the deals and coupons offered in local advertisements, newspapers, and online. Advertisements for groceries come out every week, usually around Tuesday or Wednesday, and give the reader a list of the weekly deals. If the mailman misses a week, these advertisements can usually be found on the website of the relevant grocery chain. One should take a good look at these before making any trip to the store, as careful planning can significantly reduce the cost of food–making a list before setting foot in the store is the best way to reduce grocery costs. These savings can be furthered by bringing coupons with you. Manufacturers generally send out coupons for their products in the Sunday newspaper. Since these are manufacturer coupons, they can be used in any store that sells the relevant product. Once again, a newspaper subscription is not necessary in order to take advantage of these deals, as companies post coupons and sometimes even free samples for consumers on their websites. These coupons, coupled with a well-researched grocery list, can greatly curtail the amount spent on groceries every month.
Another way to reduce grocery spending is to buy seasonally. Many healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are priced dramatically lower at certain times of the year. For instance, asparagus can be purchased for as little as ninety-nine cents a bundle during the spring season–the time when asparagus is most abundant–compared to the two dollars and ninety-nine cents that the same bundle costs in winter. This is only one example of many.