There are several ways to reduce how much you spend on food without compromising on the quality of food that you eat. Find some tips below on how you could cut costs on your grocery bill:

1. Avoid fast foods and pre-packaged meals

A change of mindset is important. Think planning, value for money, cook at home and fresh produce. These should be your priority and less about convenience.

If you are used to picking up pastries, fast foods, complete frozen meals, or going out for dinner, you need to cut back on these habits to a bare minimum or better yet do away with the habits.

Your best option is to buy ingredients and cook the meals at home. If you don’t know how to cook, there are many guides you can choose from including books, magazines and online videos.

2. Carry a shopping list and a calculator

When you are going to buy your groceries, carry a shopping list of the items that you actually need. If you do so, you are less likely to get tempted to buy unnecessary items.

A calculator can be a very helpful tool when you want to tally how much you have spent or if you want to calculate the cost per unit of an item.

For example, if you want to buy some grass fed beef sticks, it is interesting to note that for every ounce of beef used to make beef jerky, the meat and the protein ratio actually double when the meat is dehydrated to become beef jerky.

3. Sign up for loyalty cards

If you are used to shopping in a specific store, find out if they have loyalty cards or reward cards. If your local store does have a loyalty card program, you should sign up for it.

The loyalty card is designed to help you accumulate points for spending money in the store. Once you have accumulated enough points, you can then recoup the points in the same store by way of an equivalent cash value. For example, 100 points could be valued at $1.

The loyalty cards can be very helpful when used over a long period of time.

4. Avoid paying by credit card

If you pay for anything you purchase, including food, by credit card, you are likely to be spending more than you should. This is because; most people do not have the habit of fully repaying for their credit card debt on a monthly basis and therefore get charged a monthly interest.

It is better to pay for your groceries using cash if you can’t sustain the habit of paying for your credit cards before they are due.

5. Choose healthy alternatives

You could save a pretty penny if you adjust to alternatives that are healthy, but cheaper. A good example would be to buy less olive oil and alternatively choose to buy some good vegetable oil such as sunflower oil.

If you are used to cooking and baking everything with olive oil, it will save you some money to balance out your use of this expensive product with a healthy but more affordable alternative.

During hard economic times, the discipline to stick to the tips above will assist you make a lifestyle change that is healthy and affordable.

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