How to set a shopping budget for yourself

10 May 2012

Money is tight for many people these days. The economic downturn has left many people without a job, dwindling savings, and less purchasing power. The price of food and other goods have risen along with the rising price of oil and transportation costs. This creates a need to make the most of the available money that you have. Here are some suggestions for how to set a shopping budget for yourself:

Budgeting Tips

  • Analyze Recent Grocery Bills – Tack stock of the items you have bought, particularly non-essential expensive items. Notice how long you were able to go between trips. It also would be helpful to plan out a weekly menu in advance. In seeing all of your purchases and expenses placed out for you to see, you can find ways to cut down.
  • Make Items From Scratch – Most food items are cheaper when they are homemade. Also, they usually taste better and are without preservatives and artificial coloring and sweeteners.  
  • Limit Grocery Shopping to Weekly Trips – If possible, schedule a weekly shopping trip. You can set up meal plans and better plan for your budget, and also you save on time and transportation costs, compared to going multiple times each week.  
  • Shop the Sales – Look in newspaper fliers for the store specials and use coupons. Many stores also have free member rewards cards for in-store discounts. For sales items with a longer shelf-life, buy them in larger quantities to save money on future trips.  
  • Do a Cash-Based Grocery Budget – Using cash opposed to debit or credit cards helps control spending. If you actually have to physically have to count out your money you will be more apt to pay closer attention to what you buy. It serves as a hard spending cutoff.  
  • Shop at Local Discount Stores – Some food producers, such as bread factories, have discount stores where you can purchase their food products at a fraction of the price. However, sometimes these items are close to or past their expiration date. You can rectify this by freezing any items that you don't immediately use.  
  • Make the Most of Your Food – Save the leftovers from meals and use them throughout the week or incorporate them in other recipes. Use extra vegetables in soups or salads and use bread ends for croutons or stuffing.

If you have in keen interest in financial matters and want to pursue a career in accounting, find out more information on obtaining an online accounting degree.


eHow (2012)

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