April 7, 2023
Know how to balance monthly spending on food and restaurants.
Have you noticed higher food prices at the grocery store? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2023 report on the Consumer Price Index, the price of groceries has jumped 12.4% since October 2021. It is important to make a conscious choice to budget the expense of groceries while still providing enjoyable and nutritious meals. Try these tips to get your food budget back on track.
Track what you spend.
Did you know that food is the second highest household expense behind mortgage or rent? It is important to know what you are currently spending on food so that you can get a picture of your current monthly spending habits. Try a spreadsheet or another budgeting tool that breaks down spending habits to get the full picture. From here you can reevaluate the most expensive categories for the next month and even cut out unnecessary purchases. You might be surprised by what you find!
Set aside a percentage of your income for grocery spending.
Worried about making your grocery budget work for the whole week? Stretch your money further by planning meals around sale items and shopping for produce that is in season. Some grocery stores also have loyalty programs to help you save in the future.
Cut down on eating out.
When planning your budget, make sure to incorporate buying meals at restaurants into your spending; you might realize you are spending more than you thought. It may be in your wallet’s best interest to consider how often you are going out to eat, ordering takeout, buying drinks at bars, or getting your morning coffee – and stick to a limit. There are other fun and cheap alternatives such as cooking for a date at home, learning a new recipe, making your own cocktails, or investing in a coffee maker.
Try meal prepping and reduce food waste.
Not only will bringing meals to work save you money on lunch, you will also save time during the week by cooking ahead of time. Strategies for meal prepping such as buying in bulk, freezing extra food and planning grocery lists ahead are great habits for saving money.
Need help creating a budget, tracking spending or starting a savings account? Visit Citizens First Bank and our experienced staff can help you succeed financially. Stop in, give us a call, or visit our website today to speak to one of our financial experts today.