Food costs account for a substantial portion of many Americans’ monthly budgets. Between restaurant visits and trips to the grocery store, it’s hardly unusual for a household to spend more than $500 per month on food. In addition to providing us with plenty of enjoyment, eating is an essential part of life. As such, many people simply shrug off high food costs as an unavoidable necessity. While it’s true that one must eat to live, this doesn’t mean that we should resign ourselves to exorbitant food costs. If big savings are what you’re after, the following tips are sure to come in handy.

Take Advantage of Coupons

Despite being easily accessible, grocery coupons are used by surprisingly few shoppers. Taking a few minutes to peruse the coupons found in your local paper or store circulars can reduce your next grocery bill by a significant amount. Additionally, since many stores now allow customers to use coupons obtained online, not subscribing to a newspaper is no longer a valid excuse for ignoring coupons.

Coupons tend to work best in conjunction with smart budgeting. So if your budgeting skills could use some work, it may be in your best interest to reach out to a financial expert. New Jersey residents in the market for tips on budgeting, saving or any other financial matter should get in touch with Columbia Bank.

Opt for Grocery Stores and Supermarkets

Making food purchases from specialty shops and convenience stores may seem convenient, but doing so consistently can cost a pretty penny. Most of these stores feature prices that are noticeably higher than those offered at their larger contemporaries. So even if it means a longer drive, budget-conscious shoppers should stick with grocery stores and supermarkets. In addition to offering better prices, these stores have weekly sales and allow customers to use a variety of coupons. There’s nothing wrong with buying the occasional soda or bag of chips from a convenience store, but these generally aren’t the best places to do serious grocery shopping.

Don’t Shop When You’re Hungry

There’s no better motivator for food shopping than hunger. After all, when you’re hungry, a well-stocked grocery store is liable to seem like paradise. However, food shopping while trapped in the throes of hunger can lead to all kinds of impulsive purchases and result in countless deviations from your grocery list. On the flipside, walking into a grocery store with a full stomach can help curb impulse buys and make sticking to your list a much easier undertaking. With this in mind, make a point of doing your grocery shopping within an hour or two of eating.

There’s a lot to be said for good food. Not only does it supply our bodies with essential nourishment, it also provides us with a considerable amount of pleasure. Unfortunately, eating well and practicing frugality don’t always go hand-in-hand. Many of us accept high food costs as a part of life and allow them to eat up a sizable percentage of our monthly budgets. Luckily, with the proper pointers at your disposal, eating the foods you love on a consistent basis doesn’t have to make a dent in your finances.

Olivia Wilson is a digital nomad and founder of Todays Past. She travels the world while freelancing & blogging. She has over 5 years of experience in the field with multiple awards. She enjoys pie, as should all right-thinking people.

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