Grocery shopping can be quite an ordeal. You have to shop for the essentials; after all, you and your family must eat. On the other hand, it is very easy to get carried away at the grocery store. All those bright and engaging sales ads can lead you to spend more money than you intended to, and ten extra items that weren’t on your list later, you are in a state of disbelief.
According to Business Insider, the average American household spends anywhere between $314-516/month on groceries, depending on the cost of living in a specific location.
Luckily, we are here to give you the rundown on how you can cut your grocery expenses down. With these tips and tricks, you are guaranteed to save at least $100/month on groceries.
11 Tips on How You Can Save Money on Groceries:
Plan Your Meals and Make a List
Meal planning has been a very common trend in recent years, and its appeal is understandable. Planning a weekly menu allows you to know what ingredients a recipe calls for each day. You are then able to check your pantry and fridge and figure out what you need to shop for. Not only is meal prep a time saver on busy nights, but it also prevents you from last-minute trips to the store and buying things you don’t truly need. You can write down your meal plan or use an app to keep track of everything.
Check Your Inventory
Along the lines of the first tip, check your pantry and fridge so you know what you are running low on and have an abundance of. For example, if you have ten cans of green beans, utilize them in your meal for that week. If you see you are running low on sugar, then add it onto your grocery list so you remember to restock. By having a set schedule of when to check your inventory (whether that be weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly), you are keeping yourself accountable.
Buy in Bulk (For Items You Frequently Use)
Does your family consume rice or pasta like it is going out of style? Then go ahead and buy it in bulk. Buying a bag of potatoes in bulk is significantly cheaper than buying loose potatoes. Warehouse style stores like Costco or Sam’s Club are great places to buy items in bulk for a fraction of the cost. Make sure you only buy in bulk what you know you will definitely use up, so you can maximize storage space.
Another way to buy bulk in specific quantities is to check out the bulk bins. Unfortunately, the bulk bins tend to get neglected, but if you pay attention you will notice that buying the exact amount of granola you need for the week instead of a huge bag that may go to waste is much more cost-effective.
Avoid the Middle Shelves
Did you know that grocery stores purposely put the pricier brand name items on the middle shelves where they are at eye level? Make sure to check out the top and bottom shelves for the more affordable generic brand items.
Start at the Middle of the Store
Alright, so I know we just advised to avoid middle shelves, but start at the middle of the actual store. There is a reason why fresh and colorful produce, as well as sale items are at the very outskirts and near the entrances of stores; to tempt you.
Check Unit Prices & Weight and Size
While one bag of flour may seem like the better deal compared to the one next to it, double-check the unit prices, as well as weight and size. You want to ensure you know how much of a product you are purchasing and how much it will cost you. The same case goes with items offered individually or in multipacks.
Scan through multiple weekly ads before you head out for your grocery trip. A store like Aldi will most likely have a better deal on produce than Whole Foods. Make sure to price match whatever is on your list. It doesn’t take long to do and saves you money.
Apps such as Ibotta allow you to save money when you shop. They allow you to redeem cashback on certain items from both online and in-store shopping. “You can browse offers through the app before shopping in-store or start with it when you shop online. “Then from there, you need to simply submit your receipts or you can also link your loyalty accounts.
This may seem like a no brainer, but I am telling you there are a ton of people who do not utilize coupons to their full advantage. Grocery stores have coupons for specific deals or items on sale that week, but sites such as Hip2Save and The Krazy Coupon Lady are great resources to get started on couponing. Just make sure you use coupons on items you truly need. It can be very easy to buy ten boxes of cereal instead of two just because you have a coupon.
Buy In-Season Produce
Fruits and vegetables that are in season will be cheaper since there is an abundance of them during a specific time. For produce that is out of season, your best option is to buy it frozen over fresh. Not only is it more affordable, but its shelf life is much longer.
Here is the deal with shopping online. You get to enjoy the beauty of ordering and waiting for your groceries from the comfort of your own home. While shopping online for groceries is typically a bit more costly, it prevents you from tossing in random items into your cart as you peruse the grocery store aisles. So, proceed with trying out this tip with caution. If you happen to be someone who clicks away when online shopping, it might not be for you.
That is a wrap on some tips and tricks on how to save money grocery shopping. It can be a stress-free endeavor when approached correctly. As long as you plan ahead and know how to shop, you are guaranteed to save a significant amount of money on your monthly groceries. $50-$100 less spent on grocery items can go towards savings, vacations, or that pool you always wanted installed in your backyard. It all starts with smart shopping and saving.