If you're vigilant about keeping tabs on your personal checking account throughout the month but still find that your month-end balance is nowhere near where you'd like it to be, you might be having trouble thinking of ways to cut back on your monthly expenditures. Take a moment to calculate and consider how much you're spending on groceries -- especially if you're feeding a family. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's estimate for average monthly grocery expenses for a family of four ranges from nearly $800 to nearly $1,200, depending on factors such as the quality of groceries that are bought. If you're concerned that your grocery bills are eating into your checking account too much, here are some steps to take.
Check Out The Discounted Produce
Many shoppers make the mistake of breezing past the discounted produce stand without even pausing to consider it, but the reality is that this not-so-hidden area of your supermarket can yield impressive deals -- especially if you're creative in the kitchen. While it's true that you'll see some items that are clearly past their prime, others are ideal for feeding your family. In the case of apples, for example, they might be slightly wilted and lack visual appeal, but if they're firm and don't show any signs of rot, you can peel and enjoy them or cook them into applesauce -- you'll never know the difference except for how this change impacts your checking account.
Make Use Of Coupons
There's no need to be embarrassed about being frugal by using coupons. Many shoppers subscribe to weekly coupon websites that deliver coupons to your inbox each week, while other people use coupon apps on their smartphones to save time while they save money. Additionally, it never hurts to search for the name of a product that you'll be buying alongside the search phrase "coupon," as you might find something you can print and display at the grocery store.
Shop At Stores That Price Match
It's admirable to browse all the various grocery flyers each week and look for the best deals at various retailers, but you might not have time to visit several stores on the day that you shop. Get the best of both worlds by shopping at a supermarket that price matches. Provided you have the competitors' flyers in hand, you'll be able to save a substantial amount of money each week and have a reason to smile when you look at your checking account balance.
If you find that you're struggling to pay bills and buy the groceries you need, consider taking out a loan with a bank like FCN Bank.