Are you having a tough time saving money at the grocery store? Don’t worry, you are not the only one!
Grocery items are essential and this expense cannot be avoided. However, grocery shopping can prove to be very expensive. You can easily go in the grocery store and come out with empty pockets, and whether you feed your entire family or just yourself, grocery shopping will cost you a big chunk of your income.
Research says that food is the third largest household expense. Maybe you can’t save a large amount of money, but you can definitely lower the amount spent. In order to invest your money more productively, you need to cut down on your shopping expenditure. There are some really smart ways to save money on your grocery shopping. Let’s discuss the 12 best tips.
1. Using Your Pantry
You mostly go for grocery shopping without planning ahead and that costs you a lot of money. You need to be careful about it and plan a week or, at least, two days before you go to a grocery store. This planning includes checking your pantry for the things you already have in stock so you don’t buy them again. This includes checking your refrigerator and freezer too and looking for things with a close to ending expiration date. This way you will be able to use them before you throw them away.
2. Shop only once a week
You might have heard that the less you shop the more you save and it is undoubtedly true. Going to the grocery supermarkets only once a week will not only save a major chunk of your income from being spent on things you need, but will also save on your car’s fuel or gas. This will also save a lot of your time and energy which you generally exhaust while going grocery shopping every other day.
3. Staying Away from the Inner Aisles
Obviously, the supermarket owners want you to be tempted to buy items that are not even on your shopping list so that they can reap greater profits. Fancy items like chocolates, ready to eat desserts and precooked foods are displayed in such a way that you pass by them while going to the aisles that display items you actually need like milk and dairy products. You definitely will be motivated to start impulse shopping and buying those unnecessary things, but you should act smart and stay away from those lucrative inner aisles. You should stick to the items you actually need, if you really want to save your money, as otherwise it you might be tempted.
4. Look for Deals First and then make your List
We know that mostly you make a list and then check for deals on those items. However, the correct way is to first look at the different discount offers and then make a list accordingly. This will help you know what is available at a lower price beforehand, so you should buy those items while also analyzing what not to buy.
5. Do some Research
You definitely need to do some research if you plan to save money on groceries. This can be done by making a list of the most common items on your grocery list like milk, eggs and cereals etc. and checking their prices in different grocery stores in your locality.
This way you will know where these items are available at cheaper prices, so you don’t have to go through the trouble of buying things that are too expensive at that time. If you are wondering that this will take a lot of your time, then you should definitely try it anyway and you will come to realize that it was worth the time and it will help you save money.
6. Using Coupons
The most important way to save money is by using online coupons that can help you save a great amount of your money. These coupons are available on a number of websites. You just need to think wisely and download coupons that are going to benefit you the most. You can either print them or add their score to your store loyalty cards so that you don’t have to worry about not being able to take them to the store when you need them.
7. Don’t Just Go For Brand Names
It’s just a myth that only famous brands provide the best quality of cereals or other grocery items. You should not always be tempted by the brand names. It is cheaper to buy generic options which are easily available at every grocery store. If you are still in doubt about buying the right thing, you can always check the ingredients, just to be sure.
8. Knowing The Record Low Prices
You need to know when items on your grocery list are available at the lowest possible price. This will help you save a huge amount from your annual expenditure on grocery items. This also includes looking for rain sales on important and most wanted grocery items, like olive oil, which will be sold out sooner than you can imagine.
9. Looking for alternatives
You can analyze your last grocery bill and get to know the names of the most expensive items on it. This can be really useful in saving your money if you look for their cheaper substitutes. This will help you save a lot in the long run. For example, you can buy ground beef as a cheaper alternative for ground turkey, which costs more.
10. Avoiding Canned Beans and Mixed Spices
You probably want to save your time by buying canned beans, which are quite an addition to the total of your grocery bill. Instead of the expensive canned beans that can always expire in your
pantry, you need to buy cheaper dried beans and boil them all at once and freeze them for future use. This will not only save your time and money, but you can bet that those home cooked beans will taste much better and fresher than the canned version.
Similarly, mixed spices are just a temptation as you can mostly prepare them with the spices you already have in your house or by growing extra herbs in your garden. This will give you the opportunity to grow your spices according to your own liking and also help you save a good amount of your money in the long run.
11. Don’t Go to the Store Hungry
Now that is actually very important, because most of us go grocery shopping after work and before having dinner. So you certainly are hungry while shopping and you are more likely to buy more
than you actually need because of the hunger pangs you feel. This also increases your grocery bill, as you feel too hungry and are tired of looking up and down the aisles for the cheapest items. You shop haphazardly because you need to get home and have dinner.
As you know, it’s a strategy of supermarkets that they place more expensive items on racks that you will see first, so if you are hungry and in a hurry, then it’s most likely that you shop from those racks and have to pay a higher grocery bill. You should always shop for groceries on weekends after you have satisfied your appetite properly and have ample time.
12. Prepared Foods Need to be Avoided
You definitely need to skip prepared foods, as they are much more expensive than you can imagine. Preparing them yourself won’t take much time. Take grated cheese, for example. It is not at all difficult and time consuming, so why waste your money on buying grated cheese? Furthermore, this also includes sliced fruits and washed organic salads as they are just charging you extra money. It is not convenient to buy sliced fruits or washed salads because you have to consume them as soon as possible because they are perishable. Thus, slicing and dicing your food yourself can help you save a great amount of money.
Now you definitely are aware of the simplest ways to save your money. Just don’t fall into the trap of fancy packing and expensive brands. Rather, shop by acting and thinking smart, so you can save extra bucks from your grocery list and put them to some productive use.
Just remember these 12 easy things the next time you go shopping and you will definitely see the difference yourself. Soon enough, you will be a master at shopping wisely and will be saving a big sum of money, every month!