“It’s the money you don’t spend that ultimately gives you the freedom to live the life you love.”

Mary Hunt is a best-selling author, columnist and founder of Debt-Proof Living. She shares practical money saving tips on cutting down the grocery budget, and avoiding marketing strategies.

In conjunction with couponing, these simple tips can make a difference to your spending. We need to change our attitude about the way we shop and adopt a new perspective before even entering the store.

Pay with cash, not credit or debit cards.

 “When you go to the grocery store, you have to leave the plastic at home. I am talking credit card, debit card and checkbook. All of those things that allow you to be impulsive to buy more than you plan to when you walked in. ”

The grocery store is designed in a way that makes us want to fill up our carts with items that we might not  have intended to purchase.

 “Everything there has been created to make you buy more, spend more time and fill up your cart. Leave those things at home and take only the amount that you planned ahead. Yes, this is called budgeting. What amount of money did you have to spend?”

Bringing cash and a calculator is a helpful way to only buy the items you had planned for.

 “Right there you have made leaps towards doing better with your money”

Another helpful tip that Mary suggests, in addition to using cash, is to utilize discounts as we find them in the store.

Eat the sales.

Shopping with a menu plan is an expensive way to shop because you will end up spending full price on everything. Instead, be on the lookout for great sales!

 “You can’t afford to pay full price. I can’t afford it these days”

As food prices increase, a helpful way to save money is to find sale items and limit the amount of money spent on going out to eat.  Mary reminds us that eating at restaurants or fast food places a few times every week adds up rather quickly. Going out to eat only on special occasions is a way to eliminate unnecessary spending and ultimately gives you the freedom to live the life you love.

Find more practical money saving tips by visiting Mary Hunt’s Everyday Cheapskate website.

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