While grocery bills may be one of your most significant expenses, there are ways to cut costs and stick to your budget. Implementing small changes can save money on groceries for other needs. Start by checking prices between stores to see who has the best deals on the items you usually buy. Avoid buying pre-chopped veggies and shredded cheese, as these convenience foods are generally more expensive than the whole item.
Grocery prices have gotten so high that it can sometimes be challenging to keep your grocery budget in check. But if you’re smart about it, you can save money while still getting healthy food for your family. Try to shop online as much as possible. This way, you can avoid the temptation to buy extra things while in the store, and you’ll also be able to compare prices between different stores and brands. Using apps on your phone can also make shopping easier by compiling sales and coupons from Walmart.
You can choose the discount code that best fits your needs from their selection of discounts. Another great tip is to take advantage of sales at ethnic markets and farmers’ markets. These types of stores are often cheaper than traditional grocery stores, and they usually have a more comprehensive selection. If you order groceries online, remember to leave a generous tip for the person who delivers your items. They work hard and deserve it! To avoid giving up, consider ordering groceries through a curbside pickup service.
Plan Your Meals in Advance
Meal planning will help you determine what ingredients to buy and avoid wasting food (and money). There are a few different ways to meal plan, including using one of the many free meal planner apps or simply writing down your meals for the week before heading to the store. Sticking to your grocery list can save you time and money as stores try to encourage impulse purchases. — with candy on every checkout line and everything at eye level — so staying true to your shopping list will prevent you from overspending.
Another way to save time and money is to skip the packaged items and buy foods in their original form. It includes cutting the already-cut produce and instead purchasing it whole and shredding it yourself, buying frozen vegetables rather than canned ones, or choosing a block of cheese over pre-shredded cheese. Before you head to the grocery store, look at your local flyers and compare prices between stores. If something you need is on sale at a cheaper store, circle it on your list to stock up.
Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk usually reduces the price per unit of an item. It can save you money in the long run, mainly if your groceries include non-perishables like snacks, paper products, and cleaning supplies. It also works for many types of fresh produce and dairy (though remember to freeze what you wait to consume immediately). Don’t just look at warehouse stores or supermarkets when you shop in bulk – some grocery store chains offer large packages, too. Flip through flyers to compare prices, and pay attention to unit pricing.
Some apps can even do the math for you. When shopping in bulk, choose items you know and love. It’s not a time to be experimental or buy things just because they’re on sale. It’s okay to save food or spend extra on something you don’t need or will likely go bad before you eat it. You can reduce upfront costs by sharing a bulk purchase with someone.
Don’t Go to the Grocery Store When You’re Hungry
You probably heard this tip before — “never go to the grocery store hungry.” While it’s true that hunger can distract you from what you need, it can also lead to buying food items you don’t need. It is best to avoid shopping when you are hungry, especially if you don’t have a meal plan or a list to stick to. When you shop on an empty stomach, it’s easy to gravitate toward the snacks, beverages, and other pre-packaged foods conveniently located in the front of the store. You may also end up buying more than you need, which will result in leftovers that will spoil or go bad before you can use them.
Plan your meals, purchase in bulk when appropriate, and use a credit card with grocery rewards. These strategies will help you make your grocery budget stretch further, which can free up cash for other expenses, such as debt repayment or an emergency savings fund.
Make a List
When you walk into the store with an idea of what you want to buy, it’s much easier to stick to your budget. You can use a pre-made shopping list or create your own. Either way, write it down and take the time to categorize the items into sections so you know what type of aisles to hit first (fresh, frozen, dairy, etc.). Ensure you’re not buying anything that isn’t on your list, even if it’s on sale. Making impulse purchases can quickly accumulate and deplete your food budget. Plus, they’re often a waste of money because you’ll never eat those floppy bundles of celery in your crisper on the shelf.
Another great tip is to keep your receipts and compare prices between stores. It will help you find the best deals and avoid overspending. Also, avoid convenience foods and instead cook your meals at home. That way, you can control the quality of your ingredients and cut back on wasteful impulse buys.