Shopping on a Limited Budget

by Doris Donnerman
(last updated February 21, 2009)

Next to the cost of gas, food is one of the most expensive recurring bills that any household is faced with. With food though, we are faced with a problem in that we cannot go without food. We kind of need it to survive. So, what can be done to lower this bill, and allow families to have more cash for other needed things? There are several things that can be done to help with this situation.

  • Create a weekly menu. This means that you try to plan ahead each of the meals that you are going to be having, and shop accordingly. It is much easier to stay within a budget having planned out each of your meals. The reason for this is that you have a list right in front of you, and as long as you stick to that list, there is less impulse buying going on.
  • Pick your shopping day. Pick one day a week, and only one, that you are going to do your grocery shopping. Personally, I would suggest that you go near the end of the week, as this is usually when the better deals are coming out as the stores have to start moving some of their "expired" food. I say "expired" because, while it is not really expired, most stores go through their products, and get rid of food if it is past the sell by date. This food is still good, and you can usually get it at a discounted price.
  • Stay away from instant products. Those wonderful instant, and time saving products and meals are actually a whole lot more expensive, than if you purchased each of the ingredients separately and cooked them yourself. Take that extra time used to cook and spend it with your family. One way that you could do this would be to use that time to teach your children how to cook.
  • Become a coupon clipper. Take the time to go through your Sunday paper, and clip out the coupons for the products that your family uses. This ensures that you will save even more money, particularly if you go on the day of the week when the store starts to rotate it's products around.
  • Eat prior to shopping. This may sound extremely silly to you, because I know that it did when I first heard it. What's really silly about this is that it really works! Have you ever noticed that when you shop hungry, you buy more (much, much more) than you originally planned? This is because you are shopping with your stomach, and not your head. By having a light snack prior to making a store run, you end up reducing the risk of impulse shopping.
  • Use a calculator. If you really want to stay within your budget, be sure that you bring a calculator along with you so that you can do so. As you are shopping, either add the price of each item up, or subtract the price from your total budget for that trip. This way you are going to know exactly how much you have left for your use, and so that you do not get a nasty sticker shock when finished.

Author Bio

Doris Donnerman

Doris is a jack of all trades, writing on a variety of topics. Her articles have helped enlighten and entertain thousands over the years. ...

MORE FROM DORIS

Unclogging a Bathroom Sink Using Chemical Cleaners

Unclogging a drain, such as in your bathroom, does not have to be as difficult as many people think it to be. You do not need ...

Discover More

Did Your Colors Run in the Wash?

Having color run in your wash is always frustrating. While frustrating, many don't know how to deal with color bleeding. ...

Discover More

Deodorizing Dishcloths

Dishcloths and scrubbies have a tendency to smell pretty quickly once they have started to be used. Getting rid of that smell ...

Discover More
More Money Tips

Saving Money on Appliances

Appliances are very interesting things that manage to cost you money both when you get them, and afterwards. There are a few ...

Discover More

Using Coupons when Shopping

Coupons can save you a bundle off your shopping bill. Here's how to make the most of these money-saving devices.

Discover More

Do I Rent or Do I Buy?

To rent versus buy always seemed like a straightforward decision. Common knowledge was that renting was throwing money away ...

Discover More
Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 6 + 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)