Most of us wonder where our money is going. The answer for many of us is groceries! We all need to eat, but that doesn’t mean it has to break the bank. Are you spending more on groceries than you need to? If you want to save more on your groceries, read this post to learn 5 tips to spend less on groceries!
5 Tips to Spend Less on Groceries
These 5 tips will help you be a better grocery shopper and empower you to lower your grocery bill.
1. Know the usual price
It’s important to know how much an item usually costs. If you don’t know the usual price, you won’t know if an item is actually on sale or how good a sale actually is.
So how do you know what the usual price is? Well, grocery prices vary by location so your best bet is to start keeping track of prices yourself. You can keep a little price notebook in your purse and quickly jot down the prices of items you buy on a regular basis. Keep a note of the lowest price you’ve seen for that item. Then, when you seen an item is on sale, you can check your price list to see how good that sale is.
I like to take a quick picture when I see a price in the store (usually of the sale sign) so that I can look back at those prices later and record them in my price notebook. You might feel a little silly doing this at first but it becomes kind of fun.
Of course, if you’re actually buying the item, you can save the receipt to record the price.
After a while of keeping track of prices, you’ll start to know what the usual prices are and be able to realize immediately when something is a truly great deal.
2. Scout deals: Where do you find the real deals?
You probably know the obvious place to find sales on groceries: those weekly circulars. If you’re throwing these in the recycling bin without looking at them, I encourage you to start looking. The best deals will be right there on the front page.
There are some other places to look for deals also. It’s a great idea to simply look at the websites of the stores that you shop at.
I’m in Connecticut and the main grocery store chain here is Stop & Shop. The Stop & Shop website offers many coupons that you can load directly to your rewards card and then those coupons are automatically applied at checkout (so long as you use your card).
Whole Foods is another great place to get deals. Many people don’t know this and think of Whole Foods as being a super expensive place to shop. But if you know what you’re doing you can shop there cheaply. You can download the Whole Foods app onto your phone which lists the sales for the week and offers great coupons (for example, $5 off $20 of produce). You just need to have the barcode from the app scanned when you’re checking out. Also, make sure you’re using the Whole Foods coupon book! Grab one every time you’re there so you always have plenty of coupons to use.
I’m sure that many of you shop at different stores, but these ideas can still apply to you. Go to the websites of the stores that you shop at. Explore the savings programs that they offer and make sure that you’re taking advantage of them!
3. Make a list and stick to it!
The best way to avoid those impulse purchases that inflate our grocery bill is to make a shopping list and stick to it!
Before you go to the store, think about what’s on sale and what you’ll need for the week and make a list. Then, remember to bring that list to the store. And stick to the list!
You can write it down on paper if that works for you. I like to make the list in a note on my phone because I know I’ll have that with me in the store. It’s also helpful to use my phone because it’ll save the list week to week and I’ll just have to change a few things.
Using your list to make sure that you get all the groceries that you’ll need in one trip is helpful because then you’ll avoid the trip back to the store and thus the extra opportunities for impulse buys that come with that.
4. Check those dates
Make sure that you’re checking the expiration dates of all the groceries that you’re buying. This may seem obvious, but if you buy the freshest foods that will last the longest, you’ll end up wasting less and saving more as a result.
Stores usually push the older items towards the front and stock the newest ones towards the back of the shelves. I am not afraid to spend an extra minute digging to the back of the shelf to find the item with the best date.
5. Buy in Bulk
Bulk shopping isn’t just for big families! Right now, I’m only shopping for my husband and I, but we love taking advantage of bulk deals. We shop at Costco and stock up when we can. There’s a lot there that we can benefit from even as two people. We buy the big package of mixed greens and it lasts us all week. We also buy our eggs, frozen veggies, meats (that we can freeze), spices, and olive oil from Costco. Costco is also great for paper goods like paper towels, toilet paper, and tissues.
It’s also a great idea to shop the bulk section of the grocery store. I like to buy rice, oats, nuts, and seeds in the bulk section of Whole Foods. I know many other grocery stores have an aisle for bulk items. Check it out!
What do you do to spend less on groceries? Let us know in the comments below.
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