24 Tips How to Save Money on GroceriesSmart saving
One way to remain afloat during these hard times is to consider adjusting your spending habits. You may also consider tightening your grocery budget for other reasons such as to stay out of debt and keep more money in your account for retirement.
Regardless of your reasons to keep some bucks, one of the best ways you can accomplish this is by saving money on food by reducing the amount you spend on buying groceries. We have researched and compiled the following tips for saving money on groceries.
That sounds enthralling? Well, let’s dive in and see how we can keep this rolling!
24 Simple Ways to Save on Groceries
When you want to save some coins on anything, planning is a crucial ingredient, and saving on groceries is not an exception.
You should have heard about the famous saying, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This quote resonates well to save on grocery shopping.
How to Save at Home
If you cannot start saving at home, then there is no way you will find it easy to achieve this at the grocery store. So do the following beforehand;
1. Create a menu
This is one thing that many people are ignorant of. However, creating a menu, either a weekly or a monthly menu, is one of the best ways you can cut costs on your grocery shopping. By knowing the meals that you need weekly, you can confine yourself to obtaining only the items for such meals and avoid unnecessary expenditure on items you don’t need.
Creating a meal also enables you to include other things that you might need to complement the main meal, such as salads and side dishes.
2. Create an inventory list
It is essential to know the household items that you regularly use in your household. So, to accomplish this, you need to list them somewhere.
Some house household items that are consumed regularly include;
The essence of having this inventory list is that when you are making your trip to buy your groceries in a store that also sells other things apart from groceries, you will buy them alongside your foodstuffs.
In turn, this saves you some bucks and also time by getting those household items along with your groceries. What an ingenious tip on how to cut grocery bill!
3. Grow your own produce
One of the best ways to save money on food is to cultivate your own garden and include all the stuff you usually go to get at the store. But, this is not like a walk in the park as it sounds here. You need a sizeable farm and dedicate some time to it.
However, if you don’t have a large farm, you can grow some herbs such as rosemary, lavender, mint, parsley, and oregano on your windowsills. The foods grown at home are fresher, nutritious, and inexpensive than those bought from stores.
4. Freeze meals
Creating a list that will aid you to get large portions is an excellent way to salvage some dollars on food.
If you can divide that portion and keep it in a freezer to use it in the next meal, then you are adding to your food savings. Freezing your meal is one of the most prudent ways to save money on groceries.
Make sure you utilize freeze bags so that your food doesn’t get freezer burnt before the next meal.
5. Come up with a shopping list
Coming up with a grocery list is a sure-fire way to save money grocery shopping. A grocery list will confine you to obtaining only the stuff you need.
Often, when people don’t have a list of the things they need when out for shopping, they end and making impulse buying. In the case of groceries, the extra items get spoilt if they are not used.
6. Check your pantry
Check your pantry in advance. Note the stuff you want to add and the ones you don’t want to purchase more.
This way, you will not make a mistake of purchasing items you already have and buying less or completely ignoring items you don’t have.
7. Shop at discount stores
The place where you shop also determines to some extent whether you save some money or not. I like buying my groceries at discount grocery stores since I know it will save not only some bucks but also time.
These stores don't attract mass traffic, and hence you can move freely, picking what you need. That saves time.
8. Use coupons
Whether you are a casual coupon user or you are a pro couponer, coupons can aid you when shopping for foodstuffs. Though the savings might seem negligible, those cents add up, and in the end, you realize they are not small savings.
For instance, yesterday I went shopping for groceries and saved $25, although many of my coupons were for 30 cents.
However, you ought to exercise some restraint when using coupons. Though they save you some bucks, they are notorious bait for impulse purchases. The extra items add up and cost you more than you had planned. So, strategize and know what you want to clip your coupons on.
9. Check out farmers’ markets
If you need to produce items, it makes sense to check out what the local markets have to offer. You can get the same produce items at a relatively lower price compared to what you would have paid at the grocery store.
In addition to low prices, you will be supporting local farmers in your location. What a win-win situation!
10. Make meals with the items in your pantry
Before leaving your house to buy groceries, consider making meals with the items remaining in your pantry to free up space for the new things.
Sometimes you might have some stuff you stopped buying, and you no longer need them. Exhausting all the old items in your store will not only save you some bucks, but it will also create space for new things you buy.
11. Eat before you go shopping
Guys, I know you have heard it since it is factual: If you go shopping famished, your shopping will be driven by your stomach. Anything you come across in the store will seem appetizing-even the inedible stuff!
If you are going to shop with friends, make sure they are all okay since pals care for pals. Take that snack together!
12. Never throw food away
Don’t be quick to throw home-made foodstuffs away. For example, if the last supper you had roasted chicken, you can use the leftovers to prepare fajitas for supper the following night.
There are myriad ways you can ensure your leftovers are not thrown away. It is a brilliant way to save money on food.
How to Save at Grocery Store
If you have created the list of foodstuffs you are planning to buy, and you have compared prices of various online platforms and selected the best grocery store to buy your groceries, now it's the right time to start shopping.
The next tips we are going to give you here are meant to guide you in making the right decisions while in the grocery store. Note that certain tips might be valuable in physical stores and not in online shopping. Others will apply to both. Let’s take a peek.
13. Leave kids home
If you have ever gone with kids for shopping, you know what this means. They are not only hard to concentrate, but you are more likely to find extra items in your cart at the counter when paying for them!
You know the consequences that have on your grocery budget.
14. Only take what you need
Often, shoppers are tempted to buy things they had never planned to buy. Remember the reason why you created your grocery list- to avoid impulse buying. So stick to what is in your grocery list.
Deviating from your grocery list is a sure-fire way to spoil your budget grocery shopping.
15. Buy generic products
In most cases, you find the same item in a generic version of the name brand.
Sometimes you might be lucky to get generic brands that are also organic. Talk about a win-win grocery shopping on a budget.
You will not only save but also get quality products as well.
Here are some generic items you may consider:
Frozen items: things like frozen breakfast pancakes, chicken nuggets, waffles, and tater tots can be purchased in the generic version.
Canned items: items like canned vegetables and fruits are the same in a generic version.
Food staples: things like sugar, flour, butter, and olive oil can be purchased in generic brands.
Snacks: purchasing items such as tortilla chips, granola bars, and party mix taste the same as the name brand products.
16. Buy based on unit costs
For instance, you might have a packet consisting of 30 items and another one composed of 25 pieces. The best way to compare these two items is to calculate the cost per unit is across the board.
17. Buy produce in bags
This is another aspect where the cost per unit comes in handy. When you buy in bags, the cost is usually lower than when you purchase an individual product. Take, for instance, buying individual apples rather than in bags.
A 5-pound bag of apples is not only cheaper but also perfectly prepared. That saves your time.
18. Get rainchecks
What do you do if you go shopping for groceries, but you find out a particular item you needed has been sold out? Most people go back or look elsewhere. However, the best way is to get a rain check.
A rain check is one of the smart grocery shopping tips you can consider. You get a guarantee of the item you needed and also the price when the item is replenished. Simply file the item away for your next trip to the store.
19. Check on the low and high shelves for savings
Remember that grocery stores are there to make profits like any other business. So, they use all the tactics to coerce you to choose the most costly items.
One of the primary techniques they use is that of placing the most expensive brands within your reach, for instance, on lower shelves and putting the cheaper ones on higher shelves.
So, as you shop around, bear in your mind that some shelves up there you are ignoring could help you save on groceries.
20. Take your eyes from pre-cut and prepared items
Undoubtedly, eating prepared and pre-packaged foods at home is a time saver. Most grocery stores are also taking this opportunity and pre-cutting and pre-slicing groceries for customers who like readily pre-packaged stuff.
While you might find it convenient, you will pay more for that convenience when you buy pre-prepared foodstuffs.
You shouldn’t buy pre-packaged items if you want to cut costs on your groceries. For smart grocery shopping, if possible, make your food from the ingredients as they are.
It is possible to make it from scratch, and you will be surprised by how much you will be able to save.
21. If possible, track your items as they get scanned
A human being is prone to error, and sometimes the products you take might be mislabelled. Sometimes your coupons are incorrectly scanned, or cashiers enter the codes wrongly.
So, be there when your items are being scanned. If you notice any error, let your cashier know about it.
In cases where you cannot check the cashier as he scans your items, ensure you read your receipts carefully before you go out to ascertain everything is okay.
22. Don’t take checkout aisle items
This is another technique used by groceries to tap into impulse shoppers. DON’T ever take anything from checkout aisles. Those things are strategically placed there to tempt people while they are waiting at the counter.
Items like chocolates, sweets, soft drinks, and even magazines may easily lure you to take one or more as you wait. So, keep that in mind and stick to what is on your shopping list. If the item is on your shopping list, then it is okay if you take it.
23. Check clearance racks
Yes, I know you are wondering whether there are clearance racks in grocery stores. Specifically, the bakery has a lot of stuff on sale for clearance. That is a saving opportunity you shouldn’t let it slip off your fingers.
24. Buy in bulk
Buying in bulk is another best way to save on groceries. However, you should play by the rules- Only buy in bulk if you are pretty sure that you will use all those items you buy.
Otherwise, your stuff will go bad if they are perishable and you will ultimately end up losing rather than saving.
Grocery shopping tips are endless. If you choose to try one particular tip, then you should make it effective. The key idea that will definitely promise you significant savings when grocery shopping on a budget is the cautious planning of your meals.
By creating a good strategy, you can come up with a complete shopping list based on the items you already have in your pantry, what you have run out of and what you need to add.
Creating a straightforward, budget-cautious, and healthy menu plan doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Begin with one or two meals, plan for leftovers so that you have something for lunches. Prepare simple and quick foods for your breakfast.
Just like trying anything for the first time, experiment severally and don’t be quick to quit. Your plan might turn out to be the best way for you to save time and money!