Grocery shopping with cash only helped me shave 25% off my monthly bill, but I’m not sticking to the strategy

jen glantz groceries

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One of the biggest money problems I’m always trying to solve is spending too much on food every month. I’m quite a picky eater, so when I know I like a certain meal or list of ingredients, I get stubborn about buying them regardless of the price.

My problem got worse at the start of the pandemic when I gave into pandemic spending and doubled my grocery bill to stock my freezer and pantry with essentials. Since then, I’ve noticed that my bill has stayed higher than normal because I’m cooking the majority of my meals at home and don’t really have much of a plan. Instead, I buy a mix of everything I want, spend too much money, and have a lot of wasted food at the end of the week.

This needed to stop, and I realized the only way I could significantly control my spending was to lower the amount of money I brought with me to the store, which meant hiding the credit card and just bringing cash.

My goal was to shave 25% off my grocery bill by using cash only. To do that, I set a budget and put the cash for that week in an envelope and took only that (no other form of payment) to the store. Here’s how I was able to stick to that and save 25% every month. 

Using cash helped me stick to my budget 

I have been a budget maker and breaker for many years, especially when it comes to grocery shopping. It’s hard to stick to a budget when you know what you like to eat and want to buy it regardless of the price tag. 

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But because I had to save money and I was forcing myself to pay with cash only, I had to spend around 30 minutes a week setting a budget for my groceries. This number was based on how many meals I would eat at home (versus at a restaurant or takeout) so that I could spend only what I needed. 

Setting a strict budget and putting aside the cash in an envelope to shop made the budgeting process more deliberate and easier to stick to.

Budgeting made me more aware of prices 

I always feel shocked when I check out at the grocery store and see how much money I spent on what feels like not a lot of groceries. The price of food isn’t something I’ve paid much attention to in the past. I would load up my cart and then roll my eyes at the bill I had to pay with my credit card. But now that I had cash only in my pocket, I had to pay attention to the prices of items. I did research before I got to the store, clipped coupons, and walked up and down the aisle to find the best deals and the …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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