These days, many of us have to watch the pennies in ways we may not have been too worried about not too long ago. The growth of companies like Wonga.ca and other short-term loan companies is indicative of the fact that many people find balancing the short term budgets hard.
The trouble is that many of our costs are either fixed or fairly inflexible like country taxes, local taxes, telecoms and fuel bills and travel costs etc. In other words, they can be shaved here and there, but it’s difficult and time-consuming to do so.
But one area of our lives where most of us can make significant savings is in our grocery shopping. The fact is that if you look around carefully and are prepared to eat more healthily (yes really!) you can make huge savings.
So for example, some of the healthiest foods around are also the cheapest and most filling. Take oatmeal / porridge, for example, the health benefits of which have become very well-known to most of us in recent years for manifold reasons including digestion, energy, lower cholesterol etc., and many other health claims. This is a wonderfully healthy breakfast for all the family and very cheap. Don’t go for the more expensive brands either – there’s really no need.
Pasta has many of the same attributes. It’s filling, low fat, healthy and cheap. And again, there’s really no need to buy the more expensive brands.
Or how about the simple potato which is so versatile? These days, many of us seem to have lost the will, the desire or the knowledge to prepare food ourselves – preferring to eat fries rather than make them in our own home, for example. But not only are home-made fries or wedges so much tastier – they’re also a fraction of the cost.
But the single most important factor in saving money on your groceries is through planning. If you plan meals accurately before you go to the store, this can cut the time you need to shop drastically and will keep you focused on what you need rather than what you happen to want when you’re in the store. And while you’re there – always take advantage of special offers and discounts etc., but only for the things you’ve decided you need; don’t get swayed into buying other things you don’t need, no matter how much of a bargain they seem.
Similarly, shopping for groceries online can save you money as you tend not to get distracted – buying only the ingredients you need.
And finally – never go to the store when you’re hungry. It’s been proven that doing so can increase our food bills by up to 15% due to impulse-buying!