Consumer debt can have drastic effects on a person’s life. When you have too many debts, you’ll feel insecure, and the quality of the relationship in your family will be affected, as well. Debts can also lead to depression and anxiety, which can affect your ability to focus and be productive.
Fortunately, there are countless ways to avoid consumer debt — and learning how to budget when grocery shopping is one.
According to statistics, consumers spend about $386.92 per month or $4,643 every year on groceries. Although food is a basic necessity among households, you still need to budget how much you spend for it to avoid debts long-term.
Here are effective budget hacks to avoid consumer debts:
7 effective budget hacks to avoid consumer debt
Look out for promos and discounts
In an attempt to haul in new customers and retain new ones, supermarkets and groceries will often have promos and discounts. While some stores offer these gimmicks every week, others do so once or twice a month.
To save money on groceries, look out for promos and discounts. Most stores will announce their promos and discounts through their weekly ads and websites, so make sure to check regularly. If possible, sign up for the store’s newsletter to receive updates straight to your email inbox.
Plan your meals
You’ll likely end up picking items you don’t need if you don’t have any idea what meals you’re going to prepare for the week. This habit will make you spend more and, in some cases, increase your food waste, as well.
Make sure that none of these happens by making a list of the meals you want to prepare for a week and then creating an inventory of the essential ingredients. This will prevent you from doubling up on items and buying items that you don’t actually need. Plus, this will save you a lot of time when grocery shopping as you already know what items to buy.
Write a shopping list and make sure to stick to It
Perhaps one of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to avoiding consumer debt is to create a shopping list. However, not everyone is successful in using a grocery list, as many still buy items that they already have at home or miss out on buying items they actually need.
To write an effective grocery list, check your pantry to determine which items are needed and which ones you still have in stock. Don’t forget to check your fridge, too. Have the discipline to stick to your list and avoid buying impulsively. Once you follow all of these hacks, you can finally harness the power of an effective shopping list!
Don’t shop hungry
One of the biggest misconceptions people have when it comes to avoiding consumer debts is that they have to implement complicated processes just to succeed. This isn’t true because shopping when you’re full will already go a long way in your attempt to save money on groceries.
You should never shop when you’re hungry, as this will cause you to put extra food items in your grocery basket or trolley. Shopping on an empty stomach will make you less thoughtful and motivate you to become more focused on satisfying that hunger — which usually means buying unhealthy and unwanted food items.
Pack your lunch
Ordering from food establishments is convenient but can eventually hurt your bank account. Meals from restaurants and fast-food chains are expensive, and buying your lunch from them every day can cause debt.
Instead of ordering takeout from your favorite food establishment, opt to pack your lunch. Do this the night before so you can save yourself stress in the morning and money in the long run. Sure, packing your lunch every night will require time, but this allows you to personalize your meals based on your nutritional requirements and encourages you to try out different recipes.
Thanks to the growth of e-commerce, shopping has become more convenient than ever. As long as you have a stable internet connection, you can buy any items online and have them delivered to your doorstep. But do you know that shopping online can also help in avoiding consumer debt?
Shopping for your staples online is one of the best ways to minimize impulsive shopping and distractions around a brick-and-mortar store. This will also save you plenty of resources as you don’t have to allot too much time and drive yourself from your home to the store.
Most online shops also offer free delivery services, especially for first-time buyers or bulk orders. Using these promos will help you save more money!
Your consistency counts
Avoiding consumer debts requires time and effort, so don’t expect to see results overnight once you’ve applied all of the tips mentioned here. Aim to incorporate these tips into your lifestyle and practice them regularly. As long as you’re consistent with your efforts, it won’t be long before you can finally live a debt-free life without compromising your grocery shopping!