This year, inflation has affected many U.S. families and forced a rethinking of consumption habits. The fresh Consumer Price Index published in August 2022 says that the average grocery bill has risen 10.9% over 12 months. This year’s average food cost per month jumped to the highest since 1979. Most notably, daily staples like bakery products(15%), fruits and vegetables (9.3%), and dairy and related products (14.9%) have gone up. While reading these statistics, we’re on the same page if you’re wondering how to save money on food. This article will tell you how households can optimize their grocery basket and how to manage a food budget effectively. How To Stretch Your Grocery Budget
Before we discuss ways to trim your food budget, let’s find out how much the average U. S. resident has to spend on groceries each month. The U.S.D.A. Moderatecost Food Plan (2022) states that a single adult spends $308.5 to $364.5 (women and men, respectively). Meanwhile, the Thrifty Plan suggests eating for $236.6 – $294.7, and the Liberal Plan estimates spending of $393.8 – $444.60. These figures provide a rough answer of how much do groceries cost per month for low-, middle- and high-income households.
If you want or need to optimize your grocery budget, compare it to U.S.D.A. plans. Take an audit of your purchases and calculate your monthly food expenses. A financial app can come in handy for this purpose. It will automatically analyze individual or family expenses into categories. Knowing your monthly spending will help to rethink your eating habits and reduce food spending. Below we’ll discuss several steps to teach you how to eat cheaply but variously.
Tips for Cutting Your Grocery Bill
To cut your average grocery bill without added stress, try sticking to a 50/30/20 plan. This rule of thumb allows you to spend 50 percent of your budget on necessities, 30 percent on wants, and 20 percent on savings and debt payments. That way, you can find a healthy balance between cooking at home, deliveries, dining out, and saving money. On top of that, little tricks can help you, such as:
Purchase on Sale Days
Special offers and discounts are the best help for those who start saving on food. Make a list of the stores you’re used to shopping at and study what days they update their specials. In addition to weekly discounts, look out for seasonal sales. Long-life items and frozen foods can be stocked up and used as needed. You can also sign up for the store’s newsletters and learn where to find coupons. This will help you stay up-to-date on special offers.
Make a Weekly Menu in Advance
Filling a shopping cart with unnecessary sweets and snacks is easy without a prepared grocery list. As a result, consumers spend more on less nutritious food than home-cooked meals. Before your next trip to the store, we recommend thinking through your weekly menu. Calculate a weekly food budget and create a varied diet according to it. Planning the menu will help you become more disciplined during the shopping spree.
Make a Monthly Budget
In addition to your weekly planning, get in the habit of planning a monthly budget for food. Use the 50/30/20 rule we mentioned earlier. Subtract the cost of rent, fuel, utilities, and other mandatory expenses from 50% of your salary. That should give you a monthly allowance for groceries without hitting your bank account. If that amount does not cover your expenses, add extra money from the “wants” category. Organizing your finances can be stressful and time-consuming. The budget planner app will remove your money anxiety and help to plan a grocery budget more efficiently than ever.