For many households, the biggest budget goes to grocery shopping. This is especially true when you have a large family. With the price of goods going out of control these days, many are forced to tighten their belts and find ways to save money on groceries.
There are a lot of supermarket shopping strategies that can help you get groceries without having to make you or your family starve.
Here, we have gathered these tips and tricks on how you can save money on groceries.
Check what you have then make a list.
Many of us make the mistake of grocery shopping without first taking a look at what we already have. We may pass by the supermarket. Or maybe we’re just in a rush. But this is a bad move since most of us end up buying items that we already have. That’s a waste of money.
So, before you leave the house to get groceries, check your pantry, fridge, and freezer first. See what supplies are running out and list them down. This way, you only get to buy what you really need.
Stick to the list.
The only way to stay within budget is to stick strictly to the grocery list. Fight the urge to buy on impulse. If you are curious about a product, take note of it. Then try to see if you can squeeze it within the budget for your next trip to the supermarket.
Only buy what you really need at the moment to avoid additional expenses.
Do not take the kids with you.
Did you know that most moms prefer to do grocery shopping all by themselves? It is actually one of the best ways to ensure that they get to stick to their grocery list.
Kids are easily distracted by flashy packaging and would often ask for items that are not on the list. Plus, there are the tantrums that follow when you can’t get what they want. So, doing grocery shopping by yourself is also a way to have more control over your spending.
Eat before you go shopping.
Another way to prevent making impulse purchases at the supermarket is to make sure your tummy is full before you go grocery shopping. Research shows that people are tempted to buy more when they are hungry.
When you are famished and you are surrounded by all those food products, you instantly have a huge tendency to want everything that looks good. Not only that but it often leads to unhealthy snack purchases too.
Start collecting coupons.
Have you seen the TV show Extreme Couponing? You would be amazed how some families can get a lot of products for so little money! So, why not try couponing as well? You can get them from online deals, magazines, and local papers.
But when it comes to couponing, you have to do it wisely. Only use it when you need it – don’t go crazy and stock up on a year’s worth of supply. Be wary of offers since they may just be tempting you to spend more money in the long run.
Avoid buying groceries online.
There is no doubt that online shopping is very convenient. This is especially true when you are the type who has no time to drop by the supermarket.
But getting your groceries online is actually more expensive than getting them yourself. Most online grocery services are fulfilled by third parties. So, aside from the delivery cost, you also have to pay service fees.
Start with a basket instead of a cart.
If you only have a few items on your grocery list, use a basket instead of a cart. Or go for the mini cart than the full-sized ones.
This is because when you see that there is a lot of space left in your cart, there is a chance that you will be tempted to buy more. Only upgrade to a cart if you really have to.
Using the basket is also great when you have to commute on the way home since you get an idea of how heavy your bags will be. Plus, basket lanes are faster when it comes to checking out so you can skip the long lines.
Consider switching to generic brands.
If you have been buying branded products and you think you are open to trying something else, why not make the switch to something cheaper or generic? Not everything has to be a premium brand. The difference may just be a few dollars but it adds up to a huge save in the long run.
Purchase whole fruits and vegetables.
Pre-peeled and chopped fruits and vegetables actually cost more than whole ones. Although it saves you time from doing it yourself, it is best to forget about them when you are trying to save money on groceries.
Buy whole fruits and vegetables instead to save money. Plus, you can be assured that they are clean and safe to eat since you are handling them yourself.
Purchase what is in season.
If you splurge more on fruits and vegetables, one simple way to save money on groceries is to eat what is in season.
In-season products are cheaper because there is a lot of supply. if you crave fruits or vegetables that are no longer in season, they will be more expensive because the supply is not locally sourced. Plus, in-season fruits and vegetables will also be tastier.
Stop buying prepackaged and frozen meals.
Frozen microwave meals and other prepackaged meals may be very convenient when you do not have the time to cook but they are ridiculously expensive and unhealthy.
If you compare the cost of these products with how much you spend preparing the meal yourself, you will find a huge price difference plus you also have a bigger serving with a homecooked meal.
Sign up for newsletters.
Newsletters usually go straight to the spam folder for some, but they are actually helpful most of the time. They give loyal customers a heads-up on upcoming sales and sometimes come with exclusive promos or discounts.
So, if you frequent a certain supermarket and they have a newsletter, do not hesitate to sign up. The next time you head to the store, check your inbox to see if there are some good offers that you can avail of.
Limit your trips to the supermarket.
If you have your own car, why not limit your trips to the supermarket? Instead of getting your groceries weekly, why not try getting them every other week or if you can, once a month?
The logic behind this is that the less you are in the store, the fewer chances you do impulse purchases – and that’s how you can potentially save money.
Shop with a calculator.
If you really have a tendency for impulse buying and you have difficulty avoiding it, try out this simple strategy. Use the calculator on your phone. Before you put an item in your cart, add up the price to see how far your total is.
This makes you more aware of your budget. It also saves you from embarrassment at the counter when you find you have to take back some items because you do not have enough cash on you.
Consider getting a wholesale store membership.
If you have a huge household to feed or if you are the type who goes through your stock quickly, or just the type who loves to stock up on goods because you barely leave the house, you should consider shopping in wholesale clubs or stores. They sell food in bulk at low prices per unit. They also carry some household items like paper towels and toilet paper.
However, you have to be prepared to spend more since you are buying in large quantities. But since you are buying in bulk, it will be a long time before your next grocery trip.
Before you commit, make sure that you will be shopping there a lot and that you can consume everything you buy to get your money’s worth.
Be wiser when using credit cards.
If you pay for your groceries with a credit card, check which ones can give you cash back or reward points. Those points can be a great help when you accumulate a lot of them.
Make sure to always pay your credit card charges in full every month so that your interest rates won’t eat up your savings. Also, keep track of spending caps or annual fees.
Start saving now!
Remember, you don’t have to starve yourself or your family just to save money on groceries.
Whether you are working on a very limited budget, or you are unable to keep up with the ever-growing prices of groceries, we are sure you will find a couple of tips from above to help you out!