Shrink Your Food Bill.

There’s at least one thing that shows up on everyone’s budget: Food Costs. And we spend more than we think on food – for most, it’s a fairly good portion. It may not seem like it, but food costs are one of the most flexible areas in your budget. Here’s some ways to trim the fat:

Cut Coupons. Saving a mere $10 a week on groceries means there’s $500 more in your account at the end of the year. Take a note from serious savers: combine in-store coupons with those from manufacturers and add in good sales for a winning combination.

Drink water. Grabbing a bottle of water or two from a vending machine or gas station every week? You’re losing a fortune! Fill up at home (or work) for big savings. And if you’re ordering anything other water when you go out to eat, you’re missing the best part of the meal because water’s free!

Stay in season. We know it’s hard to accept that your favorite food isn’t in season year-round, but, save money and find new favorites by trying in-season produce!

Spend more time, not money. Those individually wrapped cookies are cute and easy to throw in a lunch box, but they’re also costing you. Buy the big box and make your own smaller portions.

Avoid the name brands. Generic/store versions of the same product are generally less than the name brands. Do the math – it can really add up!

Stock up. If you find a great deal on nonperishable groceries and/or toiletries, don’t forget to stock up. That can equal big savings in the long run.

Be flexible on where you shop. Drugstores often offer rock bottom sales to get you back in the door. And combined with manufacturers’ coupons, your purchases could be free!

Plan your meals. Planning can help you buy around what’s on sale or in season while discouraging impulse purchases.