In Part 3 you’ll discover how to stretch your dollars when you’re at the grocery store and the restaurant. Plus you’ll take a hard look at where you spend money each month to decide if you can get rid of unneeded services.Click on one of the links below to get started or just work your way from the top down.
Cancel unused memberships
Grab your credit card and bank statements and see what monthly subscriptions you’re paying for that you don’t need or want anymore.
The worst subscriptions are ones where there are cheaper alternatives. If you’ve signed up to get socks, or razor blades mailed to you each month – you could be saving more money.
Ask yourself these questions to determine if it’s something you should cancel or not:
- Have I used this in the past three months?
- Do I plan on using this in the next three months?
How to buy less groceries
Having a shopping list is the single biggest (and easiest) way to save on your grocery budget. It gives you a plan to buy what you want and ignore the things in the store you don’t.
I’ve found I will overspend by up to 25% if I show up at the supermarket without a list. The cart gets filled with all kinds of snacks, produce, etc., that we don’t need or had planned on eating.
Take 15-20 minutes before you leave for the grocery story (or do it the night before) and write down what you need to buy. Once you hit the store, you will be on a mission to get your items checked off and get out. No dilly-dallying, messing around and wasting money.
Saving by buying more
You don’t have to have a warehouse club membership to buy in bulk. I’ve found some of the best deals at a little produce market near my house on bulk items like oatmeal, nuts, and trail mix. You can even get deals on bulk items at Whole Foods. Just check what they have on sale for the week.
I bought Steel Cut Oats from the produce market on sale for $1/pound. Wal-Mart was selling cans for $2/pound, or twice as much.
Know how to compare prices of products by weight
You can be fooled into thinking a bigger bag or box is cheaper. Not so. To be savvy shopper, you must look at the per/unit ounce price. Here’s one of my most hated bad deals for you:
Cheerios & Oreos
A hidden source of waste
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reported recently we are throwing away 40% of our food each year! We lose money between leftovers at home from cooking, leftover restaurant food, and food that spoils or we just don’t feel like eating.
It adds up to $165 billion in wasted food each year, or nearly $2,300 each year for the typical family.
We’re all guilty of this.
- Take a look around your fridge and pantry every couple of days.
- Commit to eating what is already in your house, or eat what is getting ready to expire.
Save on eating out
Eating is out is probably one of your biggest expenses, right? It’s also one of the biggest areas in people’s budgets they can trim to get savings.
I’ve got a big list of ways you can save on eating out. Because who doesn’t love to eat out? But let’s save some money and still have fun eating out.