Ever gone into a grocery store hungry? It’s one of the most important things to avoid when trying to save money and when trying to avoid impulse buys. When you’re hungry in a grocery store you’re likely tired, agitated, and attracted to all sorts of foods that you didn’t plan on buying. When it comes to the amount of money you spend on food, some simple budgeting techniques can go a long way.
How Much Are We Spending?
According to Statistics Canada, the average Canadian household spends about $214 per person per month on food, excluding going out to eat. For those who are single or live in remote parts of the country or cities with high living costs, that number can be even higher. Some financial advisors recommend that consumers budget between $200 to $250 per person for grocery money each month. If you also get your toiletries and household items at the grocery store, you should bump that number up a little bit.
How Much Can You Spend?
When the holidays and special occasions come around, we typically spend a little more on food. If you want to know how to budget for holidays, click here to learn more about how to spend wisely during that busy time of year.
Aside from the times when we tend to spend a little more, there are professionals out there who suggest that a family of four can comfortably aim to spend only $125 per person per month on groceries — that adds up to over $2,000 in annual savings. Being able to plan for those kinds of savings can be a real lifesaver in any emergency financial situation.
When money’s tight and something comes up, not having an emergency fund can cause undue stress. The good news is that resources like online payday loans from GoDay can give you that extra cash before your next payday comes around. Knowing that there’s options, however, doesn’t mean you should forego healthy grocery budgeting.
Use Rewards Programs
Rewards credit cards that offer cashback and loyalty programs can really take some of the edge off of your grocery budget. Learn the rules of your rewards system inside out so you don’t get caught with any unexpected fees or surprises and so that you can maximize your benefits.
Look for things like sign-up bonuses but don’t get carried away— overspending and getting caught in debt is not a positive step towards financial planning. Also, be wary of coupon madness. While some bargains might seem too good to pass up, if you don’t actually need the food, then it’s not a bargain. Be smart with your points and spend strategically using the right credit cards when budgeting for your groceries.
Plan in Advance
One of the most impactful things you can do to shrink your grocery budget by up to 25% is to plan out your meals and go to the grocery store with a plan in mind. Plan to eat vegetarian every once in a while: produce is cheap, healthy, and can go a long way if you know what to do with it. Lay out a plan and stick to it and you’ll be amazed by how much you can save by spending smart on food.