Keep your Food on Budget in December!

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Keep your Food on Budget in December!

Although the month of December is considered as one of the most exciting months of the year, it is also one of the most stressful. From planning what to eat to shopping for ingredients and the entire cooking and table setting process, it might take you hours after hours plus stress and frustration just to bring smiles to your family and friends’ faces as they eat what you prepared.

One way to avoid these problems is by being prepared. Whether you are preparing for Christmas, New Year or any other holiday you celebrate, you can free yourself from stress and frustration with these holiday food shopping tips.

Make Lots of Lists

Making a list can free yourself from getting over your budget and from forgetting the ingredients for your recipe.

One of the biggest enemies to budgets is impulsive purchases. Take it from the SavingsAngel and write down everything that you need and stick to it. Honoring your shopping lists is the key to keep yourself organized and on budget. Retailers are masters at evoking impulsivity. Don’t fall for it.

Avoid Shopping With An Empty Stomach

If you do your shopping while hungry, science says you will buy more food – particularly less-than-healthy choices.

Before you head to the nearest store, make sure you eat something healthy at home. Protein-rich foods, in particular, will keep you (and your kiddos) satiated longer. If you grab a snack before you shop, you can stay within your list as well as your budget. 

Don’t even get me started on impulsive restaurant eating. This can really blow a hole in your holiday budget.

Buy Ingredients In Season

Buy vegetables and fruits that are in season. Not only do they have better quality and flavors, but they are also fresher.

Buying ingredients in season will give you the best value out of your money. Since there is more produce, they tend to be the least expensive. Do a quick Google search to find a calendar of in-season produce.

Shop During The Least Busiest Hours

Avoid going to the grocery stores during the busiest hours. The closer we get to Christmas, the more likely you may encounter what feels like a madhouse – especially around larger shopping centers.

Instead of going in the early evenings or on weekends, try and visit the store during the early morning or later in the evening during the week. Avoid the weekday rush hour which is usually from 5 to 6 in the evening.

Do Not Take The Kids

Sorry kids. Unless you don’t have any choice left, try and leave ‘em at home.

Shopping, especially during the holiday season, can overcrowd the grocery stores. As a Dad of three lovely children, I can speak with authority when I share that the last thing you want to happen is to have kid issues when you are fulfilling a shopping mission. Also, science shows that bringing kids with you leads to more impulsive purchases.

Use Coupons

Coupons are something that you usually encounter when browsing online shops as well as when shopping.

A lot of stores are promoting ads and coupons to drive consumer activity. You can also do a quick web search with your favorite store and “store coupons” to get the latest offers. Do the same thing for every brand that is on your list. Some simple sleuthing can net you $20-$40 an hour for your diligence.

Just a note: When finding great savings opportunities, make sure that you are only using the ones that you really need. Saving 100% (by not buying) is better than saving 50% if the purchase is not something you really want or need.

Combine Coupons

Another way to save even more money and get better deals is by combining or stacking coupons.

There are two coupons available for you to use: The store coupons from your local supermarket and the manufacturer’s coupons, which can be used in any store.

You can combine the store and manufacturer’s coupons to maximize the savings. There are even some stores that allow you to combine multiple store coupons with different dollar values. Make sure to check your local store’s website to know more about the coupon policies.

Join and Use Rewards Card

I’m going to keep this simple. If you don’t participate in rewards / loyalty programs, you are likely leaving money on the table. Nearly every week, I get savings I wasn’t even aware of thanks to instant savings and deals that were available to loyal shoppers.

Use Grocery Apps

There is no shortage of apps that can allow you to save money on groceries!

Plus, these grocery savings apps are offering coupons and additional savings on top of your purchase. By just scanning and uploading your receipt, you can even enjoy additional cashback rewards.

Before you head to do your holiday shopping, install grocery savings apps like Ibotta,, and Fetch Rewards. Just do a search in your app store to load up on the best tools.

Shop Online

While I generally see the best deals on foods in-store, do some cost-comparison with sites like Amazon. You might also compare to Walmart’s Grocery app for real-time pricing. 

I’ve become a big fan of ordering online – or in an app – and picking up directly from the store. The main advantages include some huge time saved – and freedom from impulsive in-store purchases.

Written by Josh Elledge - CEO, UpMyInfluence

Josh Elledge is U.S. Navy veteran and launched UpMyInfluence to help entrepreneurs like himself attract the perfect audiences and grow their authority and influence. While growing their better-than-PR agency, UpMyInfluence discovered that building 7-figure B2B Sales Systems (with zero paid advertising) for agencies, consultants, coaches, and other high-ticket B2B service providers is actually what they do better than anyone else on the planet.

UpMyInfluence was the natural outgrowth of his first startup, which has grossed more than $6 million in sales with zero paid ads. He did it all through building authority and serving audiences in the media.

Josh is a weekly TV consumer expert in Orlando, writes a syndicated newspaper column to 1.1 million readers, and regularly appears on more than 75 TV stations across the country. All told, Josh has appeared in the media more than 2500 times.

Josh loves living in Orlando, FL with his wife and three children.


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