Saving on the Food Budget

Food co-ops

What is the best way to save money on food purchases?

A suggestion for some families to consider is to join a food co-op. A food co-op is an organization of several families combining their buying power to buy products in bulk, which can result in an average savings of 15 to 20 percent.

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The most successful food co-ops are usually formed between people who are compatible in nature.

The savings with the food co-op are twofold. First, the labor: the cost of putting it on the shelf and storage.

Second, quantity discount: some food wholesalers give an additional discount to members of the co-op who will purchase case lots.

Perishables such as meat, bread, and milk cannot be bought through a food co-op, and co-ops can be a lot of trouble, requiring a great deal of effort and compromise on the part of all involved. Everyone must be willing to work.

Using coupons

Coupons offering discounts on sales and services can be very helpful to the budget when used wisely.

The only danger involved in the use of coupons is their tendency to encourage compulsive buying.

If you find a coupon entitling you to a discount on an item you would not buy otherwise, don't let this affect your purchasing decision.

On the other hand, if the coupon is for a favorite name-brand product that is normally priced beyond your budget, and the discount brings the cost of the product down to a more reasonable price range, then by all means take advantage of this opportunity.

Use coupons wisely.  The food category--12 percent of Net Spendable Income--includes all the food and beverages bought at a grocery store, including pet food.

This does not include take-out food or eating out expenses. These go under Entertainment.

If you receive food stamps, the amount of food stamps should be added to the amount of cash spent to determine the total food category.

Copyright Crown Financial Ministries. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For more information about this and other financial resources, please visit www.crown.org.

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