Consumers waste a lot of money. Following these tips can save money on grocery shopping and keep your finances in shape.
Most people have to be more careful with their cash at the moment. One of the biggest wastes of money for many is how much they spend on their grocery shopping. They may simply buy too much food and waste a lot of it and they may buy the wrong kind of foods for their budgets. Or, they simply may not shop in the right way. So, how can people save money grocery shopping?
If an individual doesn’t know how much they have to spend on their grocery shopping then they will probably overspend rather than underspend. The first step to take here is to work out how much money is available for a food shopping budget every week and then to monitor spending. This will make it a lot easier to shop effectively. So set a budget and make a meal plan. Then make your list.
I’ve always found it useful to make a list before I head to the grocery store. It helps me to remember to pick up everything that I need. Planning a menu for the week helps me to make my list more useful. As you plan your menu, mark each item that you need for each meal. Being prepared eliminates last-minute trips to the store for forgotten items.
Doing a big weekly shop with no clear idea of what meals will be cooked is a big mistake. People who do succeed in budgeting wisely here will plan their meals for the week, make a grocery shopping list, and then go out and buy. This ensures that they don’t waste food and money by buying what they don’t need and will simply throw away. It takes a little planning, but that plan will save you big!
Ways to save on groceries
One easy way to make sure to bring home what you need when you walk around a supermarket is to do grocery shopping online. It’s hard to be tempted by the sight and smell of non-essential foods when looking at a picture on a computer! This can also save time and money on gas as online supermarkets will deliver orders to the door. I love Instacart for that. Where we live, walmart delivers as well.
Use the weekly sales papers that the grocery stores put out to help in planning your shopping trip. These sales can sometimes add up to great savings for you, but you must be smart about the trips. Spending your day driving from store to store to take advantage of each one’s sales will end up costing you more when you consider the gas involved and your time. Combine your errands so that you are near a particular store to stop in at it for the sales item. Stopping by a store on your way home from the gym is a good example.
Coupons can save a bit of money when used properly. If you buy something that you wouldn’t normally buy, just because you have a coupon, it would defeat your purpose. Sometimes you might see a coupon for a name-brand item that you would normally buy the generic version of. If the coupon brings the price down to the amount of the generic form or less, then it is a good idea to use it. Be sure to compare the prices carefully.
Many products will come with coupons on their packaging and many offers will come into the home via leaflets and newspapers. Use them. Even if they only save a few cents this is still a saving. Many people will also use online voucher sites to find printable grocery coupons which can also be useful.
Save money on grocery shopping
Some items can easily be purchased in generic form to save money. It takes some sampling to learn which items you are willing to buy generic. Some over-the-counter medications are perfectly fine in the generic form. Some foods taste just as good as the name brands. Other things are not quite so easily replaced with generic. Try the generic form of something one time, and if you find you are content with it, then that’s an item that you can save some money on.
In recent years, the cost of beef has skyrocketed. It saves money on your grocery bill if you limit the amount of beef that you consume and eat more chicken and fish. Pork is also a good alternative. Reducing the amount of red meat that you eat will not only improve your budget but also your health.
Many meal ideas use little or no meat, and that is just as satisfying. Explore cookbooks and the internet to find recipes that appeal to you. Some examples would be a stir fry, or stews and soups. A chef salad with chicken added is also a satisfying meal without using much meat. Use your leftovers to save even more.
Items that you use regularly can be purchased in bulk, and save you money that way. Compare the price that each item would cost you individually and you will see how much you will save. If you have space for storage, buying from a club pack store would help.
The frozen section of the grocery store is your worst enemy when you are trying to save money. Those meals that you just pop into the microwave or the oven may be easy, but they are a big unnecessary expense. The disadvantages to your health are also a concern with these. Eating healthy will save you money. Avoid these prepackaged foods and buy more fresh fruits and vegetables. Buy fruits in season to save money on your produce.
Shopping with kids can be stressful at the best of times. It can make saving money harder than it needs to be. Pester power can drain money out of the pocket at a terrifying rate. Either don’t take the kids shopping or make it clear that they can choose one small treat and one treat only.
There are a variety of online sites that can help find the lowest costs across all the major supermarkets. These can be a useful way of working out which supermarket has the best prices and offers.
Special offers may save money on the face of it but this only applies if the consumer needs to buy them and will use them. It is a good tip to watch out for offers and deals that are useful. It’s not such a good idea to buy them simply because they are there and they look like a good deal. You save the most money by not buying, so make sure you need what you purchase.
Many people will be able to save money grocery shopping easily themselves. Others find it easier to get some help. Some tools may be useful here including menu planners and grocery list software.
Being frugal is a habit that will take time to form, but you’ll get the hang of it and your savings will start to add up in no time. Then you can move on to other health goals from there. You can do it!