A few days ago, I lingered at the deli section, wondering if 1 pound of sliced chicken breast for nearly $10 was worth buying. But then I thought, I can totally buy 4 pounds of frozen chicken breast for just $8. I didn’t have to go anywhere special for this inexpensive, glorious chicken meat -- I just had to walk to the frozen aisle of the grocery store. And that folks, is how you gain store smarts.
Saving money is a hard to do, but it can be even harder when you’re in college. You’d think that when you’re penny-pinchin’, it’ll be easier to be cost effective -- but it takes wit, analytical skills, and control. But don’t worry, I’ll give you five ways you can be a penny-pinchin’, money saving machine.
Do you have what it takes to be the world’s next top saver?
1- Write a Shopping List
Plan ahead and stick to the list. This will prevent you from buying unnecessary items, or forgetting the things you really need. Yeah, so no more of those grab-and-go cupcakes, or that last minute decision on a RedBox movie.
2- Plan Your Meals
When you plan your meals, it’s easier to maintain a cheaper eating habit -- meal planning is not only for healthy eating! Planning your meals helps eliminate food waste. For example, when you plan your meals, you know exactly what you need to buy, what you need to prepare, cook, and eat. You never have to worry about moldy bread, because you've already plan to eat it way before it is set to expire.
3- Buy Store Brands
Most store brands are just a good as the established food brands, but they’re just cheaper. Just look at the nutrition facts to compare and contrast. Most often, two identical products will have identical ingredients. Bonus tip: this can apply to medicines too.
4- Cook it Yourself
Pre-cooked and pre-sliced foods will often be more expensive. You are essentially paying for the labor in these conveniently prepare foods. Just do it yourself. A medium whole chicken that’s uncooked, cost about $4. A cooked rotisserie chicken, that’s slightly smaller, cost about $7. That’s nearly twice the amount. Don’t be lazy. Go prepare your own foods.
5- Coupons + Weekly Ads
I know, this sound sort of lame, but you’d be surprised how much money you can save with coupons. I’d suggest also viewing weekly ads, you can tweak your shopping list. Instead of having potatoes this week, switch it out for that rice that’s on sale.