When I was single, no matter how much I spent at the supermarket, it made a little dent to my bank account. After getting married and with one year old, I have to be aware of my shopping habits and grocery bill- any amount of negligence would break my budget. If not all months, most of the time I manage to cut down my grocery bill within budget. There are months where we indulge in nice restaurants and expensive produce deviating from our shopping list.
I always love cooking, preparing your own food itself reduces monthly bill. Even though the cost is not my primary reason (savings is a welcomed impact), it’s the freshness of the food and the fact that I know what’s in it drives me into making my own food. No matter what you choose at the restaurant – a healthy salad or a turkey sandwich, it will quickly rack up to light wallet and fat belly with all the mysterious ingredients.
There are many reasons why you could be failing to cut down grocery bill, but at the core stands your willingness to commit and change the course of your financial destination.
Not Having a Budget
Budget is like a financial road map as to where you want to go, controlling your bill without budgeting and tracking is like trying to get out of a rain forest without any guide. For years you would have lived a life of spending money without realizing any financial consequences. Setting up a budget is like tracking your money and taming your habits that meet your financial goals.
Over a period of time on multiple repetitions, you will learn the art of cutting your grocery bill without any budget. This will then become natural to you like going home on autopilot until then you need to have a budget.
Procrastinate to Follow Budget
Procrastination is a sweet killer, it makes us live in a temporary state of comfort simultaneously strengthening the feeling of discomfort and dismay for long term goals. It will seem harmless in short time frames, the damage can only be understood over long periods of time.
How many times have you found excuses instead of committing to the budget? excuses like the date are not right, waiting for the round number of a month to start or your salary date? Where in you could find no better date than an odd day of a financial month to practise and make it a habit for the coming month.
We procrastinate when there is a need to confront our fears or trying to mould ingrained bad habits. In a way, you can say- procrastination is a decision-making process of the choices we choose from moment to moment.
No matter what you choose in life, time will always do its job. The more time you spend at procrastinating, the less you will have to shape your future for healthy financial retirement.
So next time you find yourself procrastinating from your goals, ask yourself
Looking back ten years from now, will I be proud of this choice or lifestyle I am leading.
Your Budget is Too Tight to Breath
The biggest mistake you could make is having a budget that’s too tight. Ideally for a successful grocery budget, take the first month to observe your spending, then chopping it down into smaller manageable sections.
If your budget is too tight, that’s not practical to sustain, you may find yourself breaking your budget frequently and eventually losing interest.
Your budget should neither be too tight or too generous, just right so as its helping you to gradually cut down the grocery bill and also giving you enough room to adapt.
Guilt is a feeling that you have done something wrong or believing you are falling short of your responsibilities. In relationships, where partners feeling guilty for earning less or parents for spending less time, leading them unto to not objecting for any out of budget or unplanned purchase.
Guilt can come in many forms, making us spend out of guilt. He has purchased me this, I should purchase that. It’s a party, everyone would notice the gift. I have treated him poorly last time, I should buy that.
If you are feeling guilty it’s hard to make a rational decision and actually say ‘No’ as an answer when the time comes.
Open the lines of communication, have a mutual agreement on how much you plan to spend, it is easier if you have a common agreeable goal like a paying off that debt or saving for a home loan.
Remember no one is perfect in life when you do your best with the available resources that you have, you can say goodbye to guilt.
Shopping When the Willpower is Low
We start our day with a limited supply of willpower. As the day goes on we deplete our willpower, making evening to be the worst time of the day to exercise willpower.
If you have the shopping list ready and have the pre-planned budget, but finding yourself giving to temptations in the supermarket again and again, then consider doing shopping on an early Saturday morning, where you could still exercise strong willpower.
Not Understanding Supermarket Sale Cycle
Supermarket runs through sale days, for instance, if your supermarket gets fresh bread delivered every Thursday and Monday, they might put bread for sale on Wednesday.
My observation has been that manager’s markdown perishables items based on the delivery days. It also varies from store to store, what you need is, to observe your local supermarket when they place items for sale.
If you have been trying for some time to cut your grocery bill, start with a budget, don’t procrastinate. It’s quite common to get off track even the following budget, don’t get discouraged. The important thing is not to be hard on yourself but to get back on track, remember you haven’t failed at it unless you have decided to quit.