Thursday, June 18, 2009

Food Bill Reducing Tips Thursday

It's Thursday, and time for another food-bill reducing tip.  

Today's Tip?  SHOP ALONE!  Do you grocery shop with someone else?  Your kids?  Your partner?  Your friend or parent?  Oh my.  I can actually chart on my bank statement when I shopped alone, and when I had someone with me.  Taking my kids along for the ride typically raises the tab a good $12 for all the snacks and magazines I really should say 'no' to.  And some days, I do.  Other days, it's just easier to say 'yes' in order to get the shopping done in a reasonable amount of time.  I know... pushover mom.  But those of you with kids may understand where I'm coming from.

The real challenge, surprisingly, is when my husband comes along.  During those trips, I can expect a much larger increase in our grocery bill, as he busies himself with adding his favorite cheeses, snacks and drinks (the killer for the budget) to the cart.  Here I am putting in all the bulk and generic brands, and he throws in sushi.  Tahini.  Brie cheese.  Oh, I love this man.  At least he's not buying pop tarts and jello pudding pops!  But I do steal myself when he suggests that he'd like to come along while I shop.  I don't usually go so far as to check my bank balance, but I do try to find some financial wiggle room to cover his 'extras', thinking it over in my head as we drive to the store.
To find that wiggle room, I buy local, in-season produce when I can.  I buy mostly organic foods, and being that this is much more expensive, I have to buy less, consume less, and find more creative ways to stretch the food.  Buying our produce locally (either in the grocery store or at our local farmer's market) helps the environment (keeping the emissions down from trucking only locally versus across the country), helps the farmers (keeps them in business) and keeps us healthy with tasty, well-raised food.  
Another way to keep the costs down is to shop AFTER you have eaten.  When I shop before a meal, everything, and I mean everything looks good - looks even better in my cart, being bagged to go home.  I find my judgement is quite skewed when I shop hungry.  If I eat first, I am less bound to gobble up the store, make better decisions, and can stick to my list and weekly meal plan.

What tips can you think of that help you keep your grocery bill down? 

1 comment:

3rd Wave Inc said...

Organic products are essentially earth-friendly, sustainable and natural, not only in its entity but in production mode. Which makes safer and healthier.