Whether you live by yourself or with a big family, one of the most crucial aspects of budgeting your living expenses is by knowing some tips and tricks when grocery shopping. The good news is that there are numerous money-saving hacks that are quite common and popular for some household owners. Read along with this article if you want to know more about them.
Inflation has become concurrent with innovations and evolutions in the ways of life. As a result, everything just seems more expensive than a few years ago. Without control and planning, it can be easy to blow your grocery budget.
Having said that, it’s time to deploy the following smart money-saving ways when grocery shopping:
- Create A Grocery List And Stick To It
A list can help you avoid buying unnecessary items at the supermarket. If you’re an impulsive buyer, this is even more paramount to you than anyone else. After all, it can be very easy to keep adding stuff to your shopping cart, not realizing how much that would total. Creating a grocery list ahead of time will prevent you from doing so. You can depend on it as a guide and follow it strictly to control your expenses.
Another point to consider when grocery shopping is to avoid doing it on an empty stomach. Chances are you or your family will be more likely to give in to purchasing some more food and meals available in the supermarket. The truth is, you can actually cook and eat at home. Hence, it’s best to eat your meals first before heading to grocery stores. This is an effective approach to avoiding purchasing spur-of-the-moment items.
This is one of the easiest ways to save money on groceries. While preparing the list, research the most affordable discount supermarkets near you. For instance, you can search for No Frills Flyer Weekly Specials and other discount offers and low-price deals that stores offer. You’ll be able to get a hint on what items will allow you to save more bucks.
- Take Advantage Of Coupons
Subscribing to newsletters or joining exclusive grocery brands will give you an advantage in coupons and sale announcements. The former is a smart grocery-saving hack that allows you to use it when purchasing any item. Take advantage of additional discounts by removing coupons on pamphlets or screening them out from your emails.
Find the best deals by sifting through the weekly circular in the mail. They can be very helpful and useful for your next grocery run. Whether you use digital or printed coupons, you can ask the grocery store ahead of time how to avail and use the coupons. Use the ones that are most valuable for you. This step can be pretty basic, but it’s always a fail-proof way to save a few dollars.
- Use Budgeting Apps
If you’re the type who is extremely organized when managing your finances, you’re probably open to using some apps and software for effective budgeting. The good news is that you can download some budgeting apps to help you control and manage your daily and monthly expenses. This app will forecast and show you how much you’ve spent and saved.
Personal finance apps can help you save for multiple goals and limit excess spending. Because of such features, they can be pretty handy when you go shopping for groceries. This app analyzes your spending, and you can have smarter decisions whenever you’re out for a grocery run.
- Purchase In Bulk
One great tip to save money on groceries is to go to wholesale grocery stores. By buying in bulk, you can save a lot of money. You may find it beneficial to join a wholesale club if you have a large family. After all, you will need to feed more mouths, so it’s best to purchase everything in bulk. However, do note that this approach will require you to shell out large amounts of cash initially. But you can feel that you’re saving money in the long run since you won’t have to keep repurchasing items as soon as they go out of stock.
Check your budget first and see if you have enough cash to spare purchasing everything in bulk. One good financing alternative is to use your credit card, earn reward points, and pay them during the due date. Some of these wholesale clubs even have partnerships with some credit card companies, so you can get additional discounts or receive freebies when you purchase their required total amount.
- Estimate Your Grocery Budget
As mentioned, creating a list or using a budgeting app is essential. Another similar or in-parallel with those tips is to estimate your grocery budget. Take a look at your list and estimate how much each one would cost. Once you get their estimates, you can finally develop an estimated budget. Whether you’re snacking on low-fat snacks and desserts or you need to purchase more proteins and meat, it’s crucial to be aware of their prices.
You can get more familiar with their individual prices by checking stores online or noting them when grocery shopping. Another way is to keep your old receipts and refer to the prices you regularly purchase. This way, you already know how much they are. This will still give you a rough idea of how much you’re spending. While it may not be 100% accurate, at least you know how much you need to spend.
- Consider Timing
Getting a good deal depends on timing. Depending on where you live, there may be some days of the week when your favorite grocery stores hold out special promotions and offers. This is a common tactic for some, especially when they need to dispose of their old stocks.
One common trick is to purchase freshly-prepped food items at the end of the day. Many establishments throw them out when left unpurchased. Before doing so, they’ll offer them at slashed prices. It’s wise to take advantage of this time and purchase your goods at half the price. If you intend to buy deli and bakery goods, you can surely score big sales by shopping right before closing.
- Leverage Loyalty Or Reward Cards
Another marketing gimmick for many grocery companies is the reward or loyalty point systems. You can download the loyalty app for the stores you frequent most often. This enables you to add more discounts directly to your loyalty card. As soon as the purchase is made, the savings are applied automatically.
Sometimes, the reward card allows you to accumulate points every time you purchase something. Once the points reach a benchmark, you can use them as cash to purchase anything in the store. Many stores offer this promotion and it’s easy to find them in pharmacies, coffee shops, gas stations, and grocery chain stores.
- Stock Up On Essentials
When an item is on sale, buying two or three can make a big difference. However, it’s essential to note that bigger isn’t always better. Sometimes, it’s best to stock up on smaller sizes but in more units. This prevents expiration easily and enables you to control the quality of the product inside. Smaller packs and jars will leave less room for air which can help keep the product fresher for a longer time.
- Make A Habit Of Comparing Prices
Compare prices at several grocery stores if you live near several of them. Check out the sales and see which store offers the items you need for less. You can scan prices while running errands other than grocery shopping.
This simple step can optimize savings. However, it’s best not to waste a lot of effort and time doing this. You don’t have to drive to a grocery store just to get their prices and go back home empty-handed. Only do this when it’s favorable to your situation. A good alternative is to compare prices on virtual stores, as they are easier and more convenient.
- Try Out Gardening
Despite its limitations, gardening is actually a great way to eat healthy on a budget. This is even more for you if you have a green thumb. Try growing your own produce and crops at home. Some of the easiest starter-friendly veggies to try are tomatoes, herbs, and bell peppers. You don’t have to require a lot of space to start your own garden at home.
In fact, there are plenty of indoor gardening kits available too. You can deploy several pots near the window for easy sunlight access. You can begin by planting herbs right there on your kitchen windowsill. As soon as they start growing, you can easily pick some and toss them into the pan as you prepare meals and dishes.
- Ensure To Consume What You Buy
Finally, the most important money-saving habit for groceries is not to let anything go to waste. It’s important to check your fridge and ensure that it’s free from spoiled and smelly food. Remember to consume everything you buy, not waste a cent or dime.
There’s no point in applying all the money-saving tips when your grocery items end up spoiling and being thrown away. The best way to ensure you consume everything is by applying the “first in, first out” technique and researching how to incorporate ingredients and alternatives to various dishes. Make sure you don’t throw away any food.
With inflation on the rise lately, it’s sad to say that these money-saving tips will not be enough to battle the issue. However, these methods are effective on their own, and each and every small saving can add up significantly over time and in the long run. Hopefully, you can apply the techniques mentioned in this article to get smarter with your grocery shopping.