Food Costs Money

Good post here from Free Money Finance, probably my favorite of the personal finance blogs.  At least the one I find myself checking the most.  Mostly common sense ways to stretch your buck at the grocery store, but good reminders nonetheless.  I particular like the “shop the perimeter” approach. 

My wife and I are of a generation that isn’t prone to cooking like our parents and grandparents did, and we work hard to not fall into the trap of easy meals.  I’ve noticed the last few years we’ve eschewed entire aisles for weeks at a time.  Most of what we get from the center of the store are staple items.  And cereal, as we’re cereal addicts.  And as maligned as cereal is, it’s not that expensive if you coordinate sales and coupons properly.

My wife and I hit upon a similar version of that same perimeter mantra:  open your pantry and your fridge — if you see more food than boxes, you’re probably eating fairly healthy.  And it’s a myth that eating well is expensive; the prepackaged stuff is ridiculously overpriced for what it is, and it’s usually pretty substandard at that.  Avoiding those center aisles eliminates needless impulse buys as well.

I’d also add that the coupon rule applies to store sales as well — only buy the products you’d normally buy anyway.  Also, plan meals.  My wife is very good about sitting down with the paper on Sunday morning, going over coupons and store inserts and planning a menu for the week.  When we deviate from this, two things occur — we spend more as we shop without aim, and we invariably forget one or two items we need, meaning a wasteful second trip later in the week.

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