Budgeting is essential all year round. The cost of living in 2018 is constantly rising as the economy increases more and more. You have to shop smart and learn to not splurge on meaningless things. People often break their budgets down based on bills, car notes, and student loans, but how are you budgeting an absolute necessity, food?

I mean we need food to live, it should be in your top 5 priorities list when budgeting. I used to make the mistake of never cooking, and always ordering out. And as someone who works five days a week that meant I was buying a meal at least once or twice a day. My money was drying up quickly, and I couldn’t save a dime. Lesson learned, and I figured out how to save so much money by buying the things that I absolutely needed per pay period. Here are some tips below.

Research your meals before you grocery shop


I’m still dabbling with cooking and trying out different things. I get paid bi-weekly, so every pay period I budget just how much money I need to spend on food that I want to cook. I look up quick and easy recipes that are inexpensive and make a grocery list based on the ingredients. It’s actually pretty cool to cook up something different in the kitchen; I feel accomplished after making something that tastes pretty great.

Meal prep

This goes hand in hand with my first tip. Meal prepping is an efficient way to save money. You shop for some healthy to hearty meals and make enough to have for lunch throughout the week. Dishes that have rice and a baked protein, a baked pasta dish, and even soups can go a long way without spoiling.This is why researching your meals can be fun; you can switch up your tastes. When you’re ordering fast food all the time, the food doesn’t last as long, and honestly, who eats leftover fries from Wendy’s? You can even meal prep all 3 essential meals of the day if you’d like.

Rack up those coupons


I’m nowhere near an extreme couponer, but I do love checking out and seeing how much money I’ve saved on the cashier’s screen before swiping my card. Saving money makes you feel good; it’s a part of adulting! As a kid, I used to love cutting out the coupons for my parents every week, and as an adult, I appreciate cutting them out way more. Saving every penny gives you the assurance that you are doing well, because well, you are. Being smart with your money proves that you can handle almost any financial hiccup that may come your way; it’s a sense of security.

Shop smart

Know your brands, and know which places have them at the cheapest price.Circulars come out every week, if you are preparing to grocery shop, start to check off items that you definitely need, and stray away from the items that you want. There is a huge difference between Needs and Wants when it comes to budgeting. I need to pay my rent, but I want to spend $500 on a pair of shoes. Are the shoes more important over the roof that is currently over your head? I think not.

For additional tips on shaving even more coins off your grocery bill check out this PIX11 segment featuring TMA contributor Valerie.

What are some of your tips to saving on your grocery bill? Comment below!

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Rakiya George of Jersey City, NJ. College graduate who majored in Journalism and minored in Television & Radio: I’ve always had an immense love for journalism and college lead me into the direction of fashion journalism, which eventually made me realize that I just love being a creative and speaking on topics that everyone can relate to and have meaning. My purpose is solely to create and spread positivity throughout any platform I become a part of. I hope you enjoy!
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