Should you cut your budget at grocery stores?
Groceries are something that make up a major chunk of everybody’s budget, so finding a way to save a little money on groceries can add up to big savings over time. This article is the first in a 5 part series about saving money at grocery stores. We start with a question that may not be as easy as you think: Should you cut your grocery budget?
Many people at some time in their lives have found themselves in a situation where they had no money and had to slash their grocery budget to the bare minimum by eating ramen noodles or red beans and rice. Is this the best way to save money?
Is cutting your grocery budget good for your health?
If you are looking to cut your expenses you should remember that slashing your grocery budget is probably not the best way to save money. Although in my family we try to watch every penny on all the other purchases we make, it doesn’t bother me at all if we have a huge grocery bill. The reason I don’t mind paying a lot for groceries is I know a high grocery bill means a lot less spent in other areas, and I know that a small grocery budget might not be good for your health.
Let’s imagine for a moment that you slash your grocery budget to the absolute minimum. If you were to do this, think about what kind of foods you would buy. Some of the things you would buy would be healthy staples, like rice and beans. Your diet wouldn’t have a lot of variety though, and wouldn’t include much fresh fruit or vegetables because they can be fairly expensive. Instead of fresh fruit and vegetables, you would buy junk food which is much cheaper. So if you minimize your grocery budget you will likely be less healthy and then you would end up spending more on health care. Especially for me, as I have some health problems such as high blood pressure from being overweight.
Does spending less on groceries really save you money?
The other thing that would happen is that you would get bored with eating rice and beans, so you would be tempted to go out to eat more. Because of this temptation, you will most likely wind up going out to eat at restaurants more often than you would have if you had just gotten the foods you wanted from your grocery store in the first place. For example, you might decide not to buy a steak at a grocery store because it costs $5. But when you really want a steak and have to get one from a restaurant how much will it cost you. More than $5 I’ll bet. Because you are eating out more, there is no doubt the total amount you spend on food will be higher.
So when your grocery bill is high, don’t worry about it. I sometimes pay as much as $200 when my family goes shopping, but I am OK with that because I know that paying a lot at the grocery store means I am saving much more than that when I don’t go to restaurants. I also know that buying fresh fruit and vegetables won’t save me any money up front, but will make me healthier and cut down on my doctors bills in the long run.
Now that we know it’s OK to spend money at the grocery store, I still want to make sure my money goes as far as possible when I do buy food. In our the remaining articles in this series, we will look at ways to save money on the groceries you do buy.
Do you think spending more on groceries could be good for your budget as a whole?