We want to feed our families nutritiously, but how can we do that and save money on groceries? Our finances are as important as our nutrition.
Save money at the supermarket by following basic principles for cheaper groceries. And you can eat cheap healthy food believe it or not. People are always looking for ways to get cheaper groceries and for good reason. According to the U.S. Government’s Census, the average weekly amount spent on groceries was $190, for a total of almost $10,000 per year. Here are some great tips to incorporate into your plan:
- Shop ads. Most grocery stores post their ads on Wednesday, but some do it on Sundays as well. Make a list of the things on sale that you buy.
- Compare prices at different stores.
- Make yourself a price book. This may be very time-consuming but will help you in the end. List the items that you buy. Then put the prices they normally are at each of the stores you shop. Also, keep track of the sales prices.
- Purchase in bulk. If your budget allows stock up on those sales items. If there is a great sale on Tuna or spaghetti sauce that you use regularly, stock up with as much as you can afford. Be sure to keep in mind that you also need storage space for these items.
- Meat is oftentimes your major purchase while grocery shopping. This is a great item to stock up on if you have room to freeze it. If not, keep a close eye on the sales and plan your menu around what meats are on sale that week.
- Keep a list of what you spend, what you cook, and how it works out for you. Saving money on your grocery bill is often trial and error. Keeping notes on your successes as well as your failures will help you save even more money.
- Take care of the food that you do buy. Wash the produce that you buy before storing it. Store it properly. Buy only the fresh produce that you know you will use. Overbuying and then having to throw out what you do not use is not good for the budget at all.
Families spend far more on groceries when they fail to plan ahead. Below are some of the best ways to get cheaper groceries as a result of adequate planning. Decide ahead of time what treats will be purchased, in what quantities, and the maximum price that will be paid for them. Although it may seem like a good idea to skip treats when trying to get cheaper groceries, planning ahead and purchasing treats in small quantities cuts down on a sense of deprivation and keeps shoppers from going on a junk food shopping spree at a later time.
Make a menu plan. Meal planning ensures that money at the grocery store will be more wisely spent since items tossed into the shopping cart actually have a purpose. Menu planning also cuts down on multiple trips to the grocery store throughout the week.
Make a grocery shopping list and stick to it. Shopping lists keep shoppers from purchasing a bunch of unneeded items. Those who grocery shop with a list are more likely to avoid impulse buys at the grocery store.
A family budget plan helps keep families on track financially in every area and a grocery budget is certainly no exception. Smart shoppers keep track of their spending throughout the month and use caution when spending is higher than it should be at any point in the month.
Personal finance expert Dave Ramsey suggests using the envelope system for budgeting. The envelope system works by simply putting the budgeted amount of money for the week’s groceries in cash in an envelope. The value of using the envelope system is that it’s easy to see at a glance how much money there is to spend. When the money in the envelope runs out, it is simply time to stop spending money on groceries.
Save Money Cooking at Home
One of the best ways to get cheaper groceries is to cook from scratch rather than depending on convenience food items. Cooking from scratch can be time-consuming, but it is worth it in the long run both in terms of grocery savings and that food made from scratch is generally healthier than conventional food items.
In addition to cooking from scratch, the less processed food is the better. For example, it is generally cheaper to buy cheese in a block than cheese that is already grated. A food processor is a kitchen appliance worth purchasing as it can reduce the time spent in the kitchen and make it easier to rely less on expensive prepared food items.
Ethnic grocery stores are often a great place to get cheaper groceries. For example, Indian grocery stores have many spices at much lower prices than traditional supermarkets. Spices found at Indian grocery stores are often common ones such as cumin seeds, sesame seeds, coriander seeds, and cardamom.
Relax while you are shopping and cooking. Relaxing will help you concentrate and get the best out of the experience. When shopping if you are stressed, you may just buy the first thing to get out of the store. Try shopping early in the morning or late at night when the stores are less crowded and you can relax more. The same goes with planning your menu. Do it at a time when there are kids or interruptions around.
Save Money Groceries
It’s easy for families to get cheaper groceries when shoppers are willing to plan ahead, create a family budget plan, cook from scratch as much as possible, and explore the possibilities for cheaper groceries found in ethnic grocery stores. It truly is possible to save money on groceries with just a small amount of thoughtful effort.