You’ll often read about personal finance based on long-term commitments like budgeting. And it is true. Gaining control of personal finances requires forming good long-term habits.
But those habits have to start somewhere, and sometimes they can take root with simple money hacks. One of the most effective areas to try a money hack is your food budget. It’s the area you can most easily control, and it can often yield big savings.
Here are a few you can try in 2022.
Shop for groceries online
This hack is mostly behavioral. Groceries aren’t cheaper online, but shopping from the comfort of home helps you avoid tempting smells and sights in places like the store deli and bakery.
Clicking a few buttons online and having your groceries delivered curbside helps you avoid those battles with temptation. And it’s a lot less stressful than fighting the grocery store crowds!
Make a meal plan
Making a meal plan does two things that save money. First, it signals you are not going to spend money eating out. Second, putting cash into grocery purchases creates friction between yourself and the restaurant during the week. That means you have extra funds for a nice weekend restaurant meal.
But do yourself a favor and make the weeknight meals easy to fix. Even the biggest foodie can get discouraged at cooking and cleaning up after a long day at work.
Don’t shop hungry
This is an excellent hack whether you are in the store or online. Do yourself a favor and eat a little snack before shopping for groceries. There are enough temptations to spend money unnecessarily without adding hunger to the mix.
Buy your veggies frozen
The thought of washing, chopping, and preparing fresh vegetables may be just enough to stop you from cooking at home.
Frozen veggies are just as healthy as fresh ones, and you are more likely to use them because they are so convenient.
Also, fresh vegetables tend to go bad quickly and get thrown away. Food bought and not eaten is a 100% loss.
Shop from a standard grocery list
Put together a quick grocery list on your phone with the ingredients needed in your meal plan. Then, take a quick look at the pantry, fridge, and freezer to make sure you actually need it.
This little habit may even lead you into the next hack.
Try Shelf Cooking
No matter how well you plan, there are bound to be extra ingredients that pile up.
That’s okay. Shelf Cooking is a website that can help you make a meal from whatever you have on hand. That can save on groceries and make life a little easier in the long run. The site is also full of little hacks to help you save time in the kitchen.
There you have it! Tap into these simple tricks as a way to cultivate long-term habits that can put some money back in your pocket.