Despite how much you may budget, it’s hard not to waste money somewhere (a latte here, a new pair of shoes there). Maybe you treat yourself to an expensive dinner every once in a while—even when there’s food at home in the fridge. If this is the case, you certainly aren’t alone.
According to a recent survey conducted by Hloom, the top four ways Americans waste money revolve around food. The number one money-waster? Eating out.
The survey asked 2,000 people to take a look at their budgets and weigh in on the ways they shell out too much cash each year. The survey results say that 70 percent of folks feel they spend too much money eating out, almost a third of people toss out uneaten food, a quarter spend too much on alcohol and another quarter splurge on groceries.
So, how do you circumvent the issue of spending too much money on the food you’re eating? It’s all about mindfulness.
According to CleanSheet, staying in for just one more meal instead of heading to a restaurant each week can save over $600 a year. So it literally pays to keep track of how often you’re going out when you could be cooking at home.
You can also make sure you avoid shopping at the grocery store when you’re hungry. Shopping on an empty stomach can definitely affect your purchases, so make sure you’re not starving as you go down the aisles. Oh, and while you’re at it—reach for the generic instead of the name brand. That can save you quite a few bucks, too.
Of course, food isn’t the only area where Americans overspend. Others thought they waste on credit card interest, cell phone bills and streaming services, just to name a few examples.
The survey also pointed out that while people seem willing to cut down on restaurant meals, there are some luxuries on which they aren’t willing to trim their expenditures. Streaming services, entertainment and cable are among the things people don’t mind paying for.
When it comes to how you spend money, there’s no one right or wrong way. But hey, if you are looking to save some cash, you might need to take a look at how you’re spending. As far as making a change? The refrigerator might be a good place to start.