What should I do to save more money on groceries? It is the question that we all asked ourselves when we started to take a closer look at our shopping habits.
You can reduce costs on eating out or stop buying clothes, but you will always need to make sure you have enough money for groceries.
Grocery shopping takes a big part in every family budget, but it is important to realize that you probably do not need everything. Sometimes you just get bored with what you have in the fridge and decide to go to the shops and try something new, ending up spending more than you planned.
Take a look at the below tips that I use to save more money on groceries:
Save Money On Groceries By Meal Planning
Meal planning is the first step that you need to take when you want to save money on groceries.
Every weekend you should have a look at some recipes and plan for the following week, write a shopping list and reach the store. A good meal plan will help you spend less on your groceries, use all the ingredients that you have, reduce food waste and eat healthier.
We use $5 Meal Plan and really love it. It is really easy to use as they send us everything we need through email.
It will only cost you $5 a month plus you get a 14 days free trial and if you do not like it, you can cancel it at any time. They will send you a meal plan and a shopping list every week.
Shop With A Grocery List
You should not go to a store without a grocery list because you will never know what to buy or how much it will cost you and end up paying money on things that you do not actually need.
A shopping list will help you focus on the things that you are supposed to buy and ignore the rest. Stick to the list even if you see offers on all the other products. If it is not on the list do not buy it.
Have A Budget And Shop With A Calculator
You should NEVER go shopping without a budget. You would not know how much money you have left and end up overspending and buying things that you do not need.
Take control of your money and set up a weekly budget. When you are at the store, put al the prices as you go on your phone calculator and do not allow yourself to overspend.
I always do that when I go to the supermarket, it is really easy, and you know exactly how much you need to pay.
Eat Before You Shop
Shopping when you are hungry will only you make you buy more. You should always go shopping after a meal, especially after an evening meal.
If that you cannot do that at least have a snack before going to the grocery store. It will certainly keep you full during the shopping trip and will also stop you from buying random items just because they look tasty.
We buy generic items most of the time, and we never felt a big difference. You probably know that most of the generic items are produced in the same factories as the brand ones, just packed differently. You pay extra for a name not for quality.
Do not overspend just because the brand company paid extra on marketing and design.
Buy Frozen Groceries
Switching your buying habits to frozen food could make a real difference in your budget.
The frozen goods are not only cheaper, but you will also save money by cutting down the amount of food you throw away compared with the fresh food which not always used in time or stored properly.
On your next shopping trip, think about replacing a few items that you would normally buy fresh for frozen and see how it works for you.
Shop With Cash
This is one of the best ways to save money on groceries, if you leave your credit and debit card at home, then you will only spend the cash that you have.
You will also be more careful with what you put in the cart because you know exactly what you can afford.
Make An Inventory
Before taking another shopping trip, make an inventory of what you have in your pantry, fridge, and freezer. You will find some delicious things you have forgotten about or have just been saved for a special occasion.
For the following days, you should try to use most of the stuff that you already have and plan your meal around that.
Check Unit Prices
Checking the unit prices is one of the most important things to do if you want to save money at the supermarket. Almost every price tag has two prices written on it, the big one is the price that you will be paying when you get to the till and the smaller one in the corner is the unit price.
Make sure that you check it every time and you will always go home with the best bargain.
Buy In Bulk
Buying in bulk is a great way to save money, shop less often and reduce the amount of food waste.
Just make sure that you use everything before it expires. Things like spices, dry pasta, nuts, rice, canned goods, dried fruits, and vegetables will last you for months or sometimes years and you should always be looking to buy them in bulk.
Check Your Receipt (At The Store)
Checking your receipt is very important. Mistakes happen and you should catch them early. No one wants to waste any more time and money by coming back to the store.
I find mistakes almost every time I go shopping. Once we bought a cake platter that had a yellow sticker on, but we were charged the full price. Once we saw that we went to the customer service desk, we got our money back plus a store voucher.
So, it is always worth to check your receipt.
Use A Smaller Cart
No one likes to walk around the store with a big empty cart. So instead, just get a smaller one and fill it with the things that you need.
Or if you are only going to the shop to buy one or two things, do not get one at all, carry them in your hand and this should definitely stop impulse buying and save you money.
Grow Your Own
Growing your own food can be deeply rewarding, you save money, eat healthily and if you love gardening as I do, this is a non-expensive free time activity that you can enjoy with the whole family.
Shop After The Holidays
All major supermarkets buy more stock than usual to ensure that they do not run for the holidays.
Luckily for us, after the holiday ends they always sell the leftovers at a fraction of the price. Take advantage of that and go to the supermarket after the holidays.
I always buy wrapping paper and Christmas cards on Boxing day to save money.
Leave a comment below and let me know what other suggestions you have on how to save money on groceries?