7 Things You Can Do To Save On Groceries
Grocery shopping is an absolute necessity and we can’t live without it. A 2013 research revealed that Americans spend an average of $330 per month on groceries, and this amount may be higher today. This only proves that putting food on the table is a priority — and it’s mostly where people’s money goes.
Unfortunately, grocery shopping can turn out to be a waste of money if you’re not smart. Impulsive spending, junk food cravings and other factors create unmindful shopping habits that cost you money. That’s why it’s important to be mindful of your grocery spending habits and whether or not there’s a way you can lessen the cost.
Here are some things you can do to save money when you shop for groceries.
1. Make a list and stick with it
This may sound old-fashioned and something only your mom does, but it works. Having a list not only ensures you don’t forget the important stuff, but it also prevents you from buying unimportant stuff. It’s also handy for tracking down what you put in your cart while navigating the store.
This practice is easier said than done. You may find that it’s actually hard to do, especially when you shop with kids. If it’s possible, leave the kids at home (with a guardian, of course) when you shop for groceries.
2. Plan your meals
One reason that people overspend on groceries is that they don’t have specific meals or recipes in mind when shopping for food. Planning your meals will help you narrow down the things you need. You can even plan meals that use the same ingredients just so you don’t have to buy any more product.
It also helps to check your pantry and fridge before shopping so you know what you already have. With this knowledge, you can think of a recipe using ingredients you already have at home. All you need to do is buy the stuff you lack to make or cook the meal you had in mind.
3. Be on the lookout for discounts
Coupons, discounts and sales can save you a significant amount of money over time. Sure, the sale may not be your favorite brand — but it’s worth the temporary switch if your goal is to save money. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to save a few extra bucks, which can come in handy when you really need the money on other expenses.
Discount and price cuts are usually seen right on the shelf or the item’s price tag itself, so don’t ignore these and just take the plunge.
4. Shop with a full stomach
This may sound weird, but hungry people do feel a need to stuff everything they see into their cart. To avoid this, have snack or small meal before you shop. When you’re well-fed, there’s less possibility of grabbing everything in the snack aisle. A study proves that the desire to eat can affect unrelated behaviors such as shopping. When people think “I want to eat,” it quickly turns to “I want.”
5. Buy more of what you need
If you want to save money, then it’s time to stop buying those bag of chips in bulk. However, important and staple food items like bread, meat and milk are totally acceptable if bought in large quantities. It’s important that you understand how it’s okay to buy five gallons of milk and only one pint of ice cream.
The same applies to non-food items. Obviously, a huge bottle of detergent is more sensible than a huge bottle of expensive night cream. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to identify these items, but it does take discipline.
6. Pay in cash
Paying in cash saves you money in two ways: first, you avoid extra charges and second, you can only spend what you have or even less. Credit card charges can add up to $15% the total bill, so grocery shopping with credit is not a good idea. When you only have cash, you’re more likely to stick to your budget and be more conscious about the prices of what you’re buying.
7. Use apps that help you save money
There are several apps for iPhone and Android devices that can help you forecast how much you’ll pay when you get to the counter. Apps like Grocery Pal and Out of Milk lets you make your grocery list, organize them and even tell you about deals on stores near you.
You might not realize it, but grocery shopping is a big part of your daily, weekly and monthly expenses. With these money-saving tips, you should be able to manage your grocery budget better than before. Do you have a grocery-saving tip you want to share? Tell us all about it in the comments!
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