Atlanta Bankruptcy Attorneys Offer Advice on Saving Money at the Grocery Store

Someone once said that the only certain things in life are death and taxes. Apparently, they forgot that we also have to eat.

After the mortgage, food is probably the biggest part of the budget for most folks, with the average family spending roughly $600 a month in groceries not to mention hundreds on eating out. It's also the most unavoidable part of most budgets, according to Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys. Like it or not, we have to eat - even when the cost of staples like bread, milk and meat are skyrocketing while our salaries remain stagnant.

But just because we have to buy groceries doesn't mean we can't find ways to cut costs. Changing just a few of your shopping habits can keep your pantry - and your wallet - from hitting empty.

First, think about what you're buying. Are you a dedicated carnivore? You don't have to go full-out vegetarian, but swapping out meat for beans, eggs or cheese some nights of the week can provide many of the same nutritional benefits at just nickels on the dollar. Are you a label snob? Some store brand goods like sugar and flour are identical to the name brands, except for the price: generic can sometimes cost 50 percent less. If you could buy generic half the time, you could cut a quarter of your grocery budget - more than $1,000 a year. And don't think sales are always a good thing at the grocery store. Stores use specials and promotions to lure you into impulse buys. Unless you already planned on buying the product on sale this week, stick to your grocery list to save money.

Next, think about when you're buying. You probably purchase a few fruits and veggies every time you shop, but prices can vary wildly depending on season. For instance, tomatoes that are a bargain in August are outrageously pricey in January, when they're likely imported from South America. Peaches are cheap in the summer, but a luxury good in the winter. Purchase in-season produce for the best deals. Or shop for frozen or fresh fruits and vegetables in bulk at places like Costco for the lowest prices, in season or not.

Lastly, look at where you're buying. Yes, you can often save by shopping grocery sections at Costco, Wal-Mart or Target. But you can also get good prices (not to mention fresher, longer-keeping food) by buying directly from local small farmers at farmers' markets or farm stands, since you won't be paying for the fuel, labor and time of getting food from growers into grocery stores.

Since so much of our money is spent on food, it's easy to see savings with just a couple changes. But there's only so much room to cut back. If you're so in debt that you can only afford ramen noodles and beans and are still just scraping by, it's time for a new strategy. For many folks, bankruptcy offers an affordable - and realistic - path out of debt. Find out if bankruptcy can help your financial situation when you try a free personal debt analysis with one of our Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys.

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