Money Monday: 15 Ways To Save Money on Your Grocery Bill

BY: - 15 Jul '13 | Money

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For most families, food is their fourth largest expense, falling only behind the mortgage/rent, health insurance, and car payments. Savvy shoppers, however, understand the real secrets to cutting their food bills down to size, saving $1000, $2000, even $3000 or more per year in the process.

Below we present 15 easy ways to cut your food bills by thousands.

Get your bread and bakery products at ridiculously low prices

One of the best kept secrets around is the bakery outlet. Outlets receive bread and baked goods directly from the bakery, bypassing the supermarket middleman in the process. A popular bakery outlet brand that I frequented in Chicago, for instance, received deliveries directly from the company bakery three times a week. The savings can be tremendous with prices 40% to 50% less than supermarket prices.

Many bakery outlet veterans suggest that you stock up and store the extras in the freezer, creating a long lasting supply of cheap bread, bagels, muffins, and other baked goods. Search the internet for a list of bakery outlets near you.

Eat less without even knowing it

You can cut your food bill and slim your waistline at the same time. According to leading food psychologist Brian Wansink, we all continue to eat well after our hunger has been fulfilled. This unconscious overeating is due to visual cues that guide our consumption.

We simply have the tendency to finish everything that’s on our plate, regardless of whether we’re still hungry or not. Unfortunately, over the last two decades the size of our plates has grown tremendously.

A few decades ago 10 inch dinner plates were the standard. Now, 12 inch dinner plates have become commonplace. Simply by switching to smaller 10 inch dinner plates we will generally consume 22% less food, saving both our waistlines and our pocketbooks.

Create leftover magic

The average family of four throws out $1,350 of food every year, much of this in the form of wasted leftovers.

In my humble opinion, no well stocked kitchen should be without eggs, salad greens, and potatoes. These are what I affectionately refer to as “leftover extenders” and they are a great way to make sure leftovers get used instead of tossed away.

Almost any leftover meat can be diced or shredded and used in an omelette. Dice those leftover vegetables and add them to the mix as well.

Meat leftovers combined with salad greens create the perfect dinner salad. Toss in some leftover vegetables for added crunch. Almost any sauce from the previous night’s meal can be layered over a baked potato. Add shredded or diced leftover meat, sprinkle on a little cheese and you have a delicious dinner potato.

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About the author

Alonzo Peters wrote 257 articles on this blog.

Alonzo Peters is founder of MochaMoney.com, a personal finance website dedicated to helping Black America achieve financial independence.

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Single and Saving in The City: 4 Ways To Date Without The Debt

BY: - 17 Jul '13 | Money

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They say “love don’t cost a thing”, but we all know that dating sure does. Keeping an active social life while guarding your long-term financial goals such as property ownership, zero debt, advanced study, and a secure retirement don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Incorporate a couple of these “single and saving in the city” tricks to balance the need to live life fully in the present with the reality that poor financial planning creates an unlivable future.

1. Plan as many dates as you can around your next hair and nail appointments. 

It costs a lot of money to take care of our hair and nails.  And when we are dating, we are more likely to splurge on a few extra appointments so we are looking our best. If you are currently seeing more than one person, schedule your hair and nail appointments first and then the date, not the other way around!

2. Wash and wear.

Keep that outfit that makes you feel the sexiest and most confident in heavy rotation. There is no need to continually buy new clothes when you are in the market for a beau. The benefit of re-wearing an outfit is that you already know how it hugs and hides, accentuates and flatters. Besides, it’s new to them if they have never seen it. Keeping tabs, however, on what was worn and with whom is key to optimizing this strategy!

3. Take advantage of Mother Nature. (This is if you are planning to pay for the date)

If you are into “old-school romance” or Hollywood-inspired courting, there is nothing wrong with suggesting a walk in the park, a stroll down a Boardwalk, or sitting on a bed of sand to watch the sun set when you are trying to get to know that special someone. If you need a little more action, but still love the outdoors, why not find a free outdoor concert to attend or a long, meandering trail to follow?

4. Kill two birds with one stone. 

Plan two first dates on the same day. A brunch and an early dinner, perhaps. These locations should be close enough as not to cost you more in the way of transportation, yet distant enough to maintain discretion. These dates should also be similar in price and nature to spare you unexpected ATM visits (and fees) and a wardrobe change. With the two-three hour cushion that you leave between dates, you will have enough to time to balance your checkbook, run errands, catch-up on your reading, or even schedule your next hair appointment!

BMWK – What other economical dating tips can you share with us? Have you ever had more than one date on the same day?

About the author

Kara Stevens wrote 138 articles on this blog.

Kara is a motivational speaker, life coach, and founder of the personal finance and lifestyle blog The Frugal Feminista .

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