Saving money is the number one way to crawl out of debt, unless of course you can multiply your salary by double or triple. Since it is very probable that the latter case does not apply, you can implement the former suggestion and use the following tips to save money on your household expenses:

Cook Healthy Food at Home

Eating healthy can be a cheap habit, since it involves fewer restaurant and fast food dinners and more home cooked food. The same applies to frozen food and bakery items. While it may be okay to indulge occasionally, there is some serious money to be saved even if you cut your restaurant visits by 50%. Plus, the myth about healthy food being expensive isn’t true. Perhaps organic foods or name-brand diet supplements are, but if you stick with the basics you’ll be surprised how much you save.

To prepare home cooked food, invest in a cookbook. Start practising recipes and save the ones that you really like. Similarly, save on your trips to the grocery store. Avoid buying frozen and processed fruits and vegetables. Buy fresh, in season produce. Also, keep in mind not to overload on perishable items which will end up hurting your pocket in the long run, especially if your fruits and veggies end up in the trash can rather than your cooking pot.

Shopping Trips

There are probably more women who are guilty of exceeding their grocery budgets than men. Men are also prone to overspending on beer and potato chips, but that doesn’t stop women from spending on clothes, shoes and other home apparel. Plus, women are more likely to take their children along for shopping and give in to their kid’s demands for junk food.

To stay on budget, always go for your shopping trips alone. Similarly, never go when you’re hungry. Studies show that when you are ravenous, every edible item on the racks attracts you and ends up in your trolley. Make your grocery list in advance and stick to it. Also, try to make this a weekly instead of a daily ritual. Buy groceries on any one day of the week and avoid spending on other days.

Buy Generic

Most supermarket items stock generic brands that are nowhere near as expensive as the branded products. This is because generic products have little or no marketing and advertising costs. These costs are huge and are passed on to the end-consumer in the case of branded varieties. Instead, avoid buying branded items unless absolutely necessary. As a general rule, avoid buying branded versions of unprocessed foods such as grains. On the other hand, it is a better idea to buy branded processed foods where it is crucial to maintain a standard.

Coming to non-food categories, generic household cleaners and detergents also help to save money. Some store-brands may be mid-tier, but several brands supply their products to be stocked under generic supermarket brands. Look for this information on company newsletters.

For fashion items, usually store-brand merchandise is up to the mark for daily use and this includes clothes and home apparel. For special occasions and holidays, you should be allowed to treat yourself to fashionable brands. Of course, plan your purchases to avail sales and special discounts.

Author Bio: E. W. Steadman writes for TotallyMoney, a great resource whether you are trying to get on top of your personal finances or seeking an unsecured loan.