Retirement brings lots of new changes that we must deal with. One of these changes relates to the amount of food expense and how it will affect our budget. Not only does our income normally decrease but also what we need to buy may change. So how can we make a retirement budget and food work together?
It is very important to determine the amount of dollars we need to set aside for our food budget. The food budget may be affected from both directions. As many people age, they find themselves unable to move about as easily and for this reason they prefer to prepare and eat meals at home. The cost of the retirement budget and food actually needed can be kept lower if we determine that we now have the time to plan for and provide healthier meals prepared at home.
In order to keep the cost down, it is recommended that we keep a list of staple foods and foods that we enjoy the most on a regular basis. These foods can be purchased in larger quantities when they are on sale or at larger discount stores on a monthly basis. Having a good space to store these items, such as a large pantry or storage closet, is also important. Those of us who have family or neighbors who are living under similar retirement budget and food constraints may wish to split the cost of buying some of these foods in larger quantities.
An example of this would be buying seasonal fresh produce such as apples, peaches, or potatoes by the bushel and splitting the cost. Another way to save is to plan ahead and make only one trip to the grocery store a week. Being retired gives us more time to plan ahead. A good list of what will be needed for the upcoming week's menus can keep us on track at the store and also help us to predict what we will need to budget for the trip to the store. Or we may have someone else who can do our grocery shopping for us. If we prepare the list for them, they will bring us only the items on our list.
Many of us prefer not to shop and having a shopper in the family can be not only a convenience but a cost savings as well. If someone else is doing the shopping there will be less likelihood of impulse buying which can ruin our budget. Even hiring a personal shopper to do the job for a small fee would be well worth the savings in most cases. There is much to think about when planning for a retirement budget and food shopping. Sharing what we learn with other family and friends helps us to find more ways to save our money.
Having the money to be able to enjoy our retirement and spend our time with our loved ones in our prime senior years is so very important. These tips for balancing your retirement budget and food costs should give you a good start to having a healthy and happy retirement.