In bankruptcy, clients have to submit a detailed budget of their expenses. When we go over food and grocery budgets, I find clients frequently don’t really know what they spend on food and groceries. Often, when we get their bank statements and actually go through it, they’re shocked. By sitting down and taking the time to realistically plan out a food budget ahead of time, you can save a surprising amount of money each week. Keep in mind, there is a big difference between a budget and a list of expenses. It may seem simple, but a budget you lay out ahead of time as a set amount you will spend. A list of expenses is simply itemizing the things you bought. Too often, people come up with a quick number in their head, go to the grocery store and just use it as a general guide. When they’re done, they end up with a bill much larger than their planned amount. Take the time to realistically think about meals and plan out what you really need for the week. Be reasonable though – nothing will kill your fledgling frugality faster than a budget that’s impossible to stick to. It’s also a good idea to separate your budget into groceries and eating out, otherwise it’s too easy to overlap (i.e., I’ll get this extra item at the grocery store and then not eat out later – but then you just end up doing both).
Another great way to save money is by taking advantage of coupons and store rewards programs. Coupons are pretty self explanatory and these days with all the popularity of extreme couponing, all it takes is a quick Google search to find coupons for large grocery chains. For local deals, sometimes you have to look a little harder. One local Encino grocery store that has unique coupon and rewards programs is Fresh and Easy. Fresh and Easy has a “friends” program that actually has some pretty big savings if you take advantage of it. First off, as you buy groceries you earn points that you can convert to cash discounts on your bill. Secondly, each week Fresh and Easy puts out some pretty good coupons, like $10 off $50 or $14 off $70. Fresh and Easy’s prices are already pretty competitive so when you start adding in the weekly coupons and points, you can really cut down on your grocery bill. The Fresh and Easy in Encino is located at 15630 Ventura Blvd Encino, Ca 91436.
Two other ways to get high value, easy to use discount coupons and the Encino Chamber of Commerce Valley Discount Card. It’s available for free from the Encino chamber of commerce and has some pretty good discounts at a bunch of local businesses. It’s not just limited to food either, the card includes discounts on all chamber of commerce businesses and covers everything from food, to auto care, and even professional services. All you have to do to get one is stop by the Encino Chamber of Commerce and pick one up, or just attend one of their many events. Another good source of local coupons is the Encino Valpak. The Valpak is ubiquitous, free, and they have one in almost every location in California. Encino is no different. It’s a book full of discounts, promotions, and free stuff. You can access the Encino valpak deals at their website.
These are just some strategies clients have shared with me to find ways to trim their food and grocery budget. If you have any other ideas for how to save money on food or local restaurant deals in Encino, feel free to add them in the comments. And don’t forget to Like us on Facebook, Follow our Twitter and G+ page for even more Bankruptcy news and updates!