Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Dine In and Save

Though cost of living prices keep increasing it seems as if work wages fail to rise along. Fortunately many find a pay day loan helps them through difficult financial times.  It can be incredibly challenging to keep good quality food on-hand, especially for families with several mouths to feed. A breakdown comparing the cost of dining out versus cooking meals at home may not initially seem glaringly different for those prone to fast food establishments. Yet the long-term savings incurred by planning nutritious meals at home cannot be disputed. Some savings may be difficult to factor at first, yet added health benefits of home meals should be considered as part of the equation. With simple and affordable ingredients a world of dining possibilities are at hand; best yet, there will be no question of the healthfulness of meals prepared at home. Switching the mindset from fast to slower, more beneficial fuel for one's body will, in time, show many improvements—both in one's budget and health. Thankfully there are plenty of ways to save whilst taking the great positive step to dine in.

Coupons are no new thing. Yet it's remarkable how many forget to use them. Grocery stores offer them, as do individual food makers. There are also a number of ways in which one can save such as immediately at check out, upon return of a product label, or by mailing in for a rebate. That's old news but what may be much more surprising is just how easy coupon collecting has become. Yes the old school paper clippings still exist but digital coupons are catching up fast in terms of popularity. Look online to see if your regular store is tech savvy. If so there will most likely be options of discounts being downloaded to a loyalty card presented at checkout and the option to print some coupons, if desired. The grocery store should also have a digital copy of the weekly ad on hand and the most progressive even offer a mobile phone app as an added bonus.

Shopping multiple locations can be very beneficial but there's a caution to this type of saving's plan. For one, the travel time and transportation costs should be factored in to see if it's worth the trouble.  Are the savings big enough to warrant all that effort? It can be habit-forming, finding good deals—so make sure that truly is what's being found. Another thing to be wary of is the possibility of overbuying. Well you've come all this way, right? Unless there is an excellent deal, the duplicate items are non-perishable and can be stored, or it's a buy-one-get-one-free opportunity then don't let the extra travel time looking for savings extend the budget. That said, if planning more exotic meals it would be wise to look into markets for specific cuisines such as Latino, Vietnamese, etc. as the prices should be much better and the selection considerably broader than in your own standard grocery store.

Comparison shop
Thanks to the internet this can be done quite easily without ever leaving the house. It's well-known that some stores offer a deal for one particular item one week and then others may follow suit or have their own deal. Though one offer may be a discount for the purchase or one, a deal somewhere else may be particularly good for buying three or more. Does it take a bit of detective work? Yes. But it's a great feeling finding the real deals, and those savings can be turned around into purchasing more quality ingredients.

Shop together
This tip is particularly handy for singles and smaller families. Say you find a great deal on tangerines but know you and your family will never eat them all in time. Buying a large number of items and then letting them go to waste is not saving. So join forces with friends and keep an eye out for each other.

Saving money can become habit-forming, particularly when long-term good health is one of the positive side-effects. Yet when one gets into the game of saving and finds joy in it, it's a big win all across the board.

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