Emergency Money can be found in Grocery Budgets
Finding savings is crucial
Consumers everywhere are looking to increase emergency money funds. In the recession, many people were surprised by the performance of their credit resources. For too long people believed that credit would be there for them in times of trial. Unfortunately, during the recession of 2008/2009, credit lenders fell short of their reputation. When things were the worst on consumers, credit card companies went into their own damage control. They increased interest rates, tacked on fees and slashed limits to mitigate their own losses, but did so at the expense of the consumer. Having learned a good lesson, consumers realized that the old mantra “Cash is King” is a phrase to live by.
So how do consumers start storing up emergency money in a depressed economy that’s just starting to recover? One of the biggest expenses every week is the food budget. For people looking to really start saving, it’s the target area to start with.
Eating at restaurants
Everyone likes to eat at their favorite restaurant. For many Americans, it’s almost a ritual of the week to finish a Friday with a meal at a local pizzeria, steak house, or Mexican food diner. The thing about eating in restaurants is that consumers can expect to pay three, four and even five times more than it would cost them to make a comparable meal at home. The only way to cut down on cost is to buy fast-food, but the problem there is health. Most lower-priced fast food is stocked full of calories, fat, sodium, and cholesterol.
The best thing to do when it comes to going to restaurants is to find coupons or specials, and to cut back. Instead of going to restaurants every week, consumers should go once every two weeks. Using “two for one” specials or going on off-nights can also save money.
There is a reason why big-box bulk retailers have grown exponentially in popularity over the years. They offer savings to consumers who have space to store 48-packs of paper towels. Places like Sam’s Club and Costco can save on grocery bills by cutting back prices drastically. The best thing to do with budgeting is to pay close attention to what items cost the most and then see if buying in bulk can bring savings. That savings can better serve consumers by shoring up an emergency money fund or increasing an investment account.
Pay for food with cash
There is a huge lesson to be learned by the recession: Credit costs. It may be convenient and quick, but there is a price for everything. Interest rates can eat away at savings and specials, and if customers don’t pay off their debt immediately, hefty interest rates make the cost of buying on credit even worse. A recent study showed that before the recession about 63% of grocery store shoppers bought items on credit, and only about 40% of that group paid their cards in full at the end of the month. Post-recession, only 37% of consumers are buying food on credit and close to 70% are paying the debt off in full.
It seems that the recession did get through to millions of consumers. They understand the cost of credit and how to manage. Leslie Feinstein, writer for Economy.com, said, “Food, low-cost clothing and everyday expenses shouldn’t require a credit card to manage. Credit is for big-ticket items that would take a big chunk of savings. That is when they are convenient; other times they end up just costing.”
The difficult economy
Finding emergency money is not always easy or quick, but it is still necessary. Looking at grocery buying habits is one of the best ways to increase savings. Cutting back on going to restaurants, buying in bulk, and paying with cash are all tricks experts use to save money. Every consumer needs to do the same, or at minimum cut back, in today’s difficult economy.