Five Resolutions for a Smaller Grocery Budget – Part 2

Last week, I wrote about two of five grocery goals/resolutions that will help you save money on your grocery budget in 2012. Of course, these simple tips will also help you eat healthier and possibly even lose weight too. What a great way to start off the year! Here are three more goals to keeping your wallet full and your waistline slim.

3. I resolve to only pay in cash at the store. Paying in only cash at the grocery store can be a huge pain. However, it is the pain of having to pay in cash that makes you a better shopper overall. Paying in cash at the grocery store keeps you on your budget. Also, if you make a habit of paying your groceries on a credit card, this will help you avoid interest fees and debt.

Even though I put my groceries on a debit card, I still go over my budget because my thought process is lax. I think things such as, “My husband just got paid, so it is fine to spend a little extra” or “If I buy these extra groceries, we will no go out to eat at all this month”. Simply switching to all cash will keep me more accountable to my budget, no matter what.

It is simple to shave your grocery budget with using cash. First, designate your allotted grocery budget for the month. Then split this number into the number of shopping trips you plan to do. With your cash in hand, go to the grocery store and mentally (or physically) calculate each item you throw in the cart. If there is something you do not need or use very often, can you do without this week? Can you get everything you need and still have $10 left over?

You should calculate everything so that there are no surprises at the register. You may even be surprised at how many things you do not need that you usually throw into your cart. Finally, if you have money leftover, put it into a savings envelope or deposit it into your savings account.

4. I resolve to eat simpler meals. Every dinner does not have to be a three-course meal at your house. Not only does this cost more money to prepare, but it also takes more time and effort. Instead, rely on simple meals during the week. Soup and bread is filling but also very affordable. Other simple meals can be chili, spaghetti, baked potatoes, rice and beans, and salad. Some nights when I don’t feel like cooking, I broil or toast turkey sandwiches. It takes about two minutes to assemble and tastes delicious nice and warm.

5. I resolve to try homemade once a month. Take a look at what you usually buy. Are there a lot of processed foods in your cart and fridge? Are there items that you can make from scratch if you just put a little effort into it? Making stock, beans, yogurt, or bread from scratch can save you money each month. Making these simple items from scratch also taste better and have fewer additives in them. Resolve to make one thing from scratch each month in order to change your grocery habits over the year. Once you get the hang of making bread from scratch, you will be amazed at how little time it takes and how much money you save.

To save more money on groceries this upcoming year, just eat simply. Figure out how to make your favorite canned, frozen, and processed items from scratch. Once you get into the habit of spending a little more time in the kitchen, you will be able to spend less time and money in the grocery store.