Does it seem like grocery shopping always exceeds your budget? No matter how hard you try, the number on the cashier’s registry always whirls past your allocated food budget for the week. What if there were tips to help you significantly reduce your food bill? Fortunately, I got some for you. Here are 12 easy ways to save money on groceries.
In This Article
- 1. Make a grocery list and stick to it
- 2. Never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry
- 3. Plan Your Meals weekly
- 4. Meal-prep
- 5. Make simpler meals
- 6. Eat less meat and more grains, fruits, and vegetables.
- 7. Give up fast food
- 8 Avoid Soft drinks and opt for more water
- 9. Buy Store Brands
- 10 Compare prices by unit price or weight
- 11. Pick a smaller basket
- 12. Count while you shop
1. Make a grocery list and stick to it
If saving money is a priority for you, creating a grocery list before going shopping will save you money, and here’s how.
Having a clear list of the items you need will keep you focused. In addition, it’ll help you pick only the things you need and, most notably, those that are within your budget.
A grocery list will also help you avoid impulse buying, thus reducing your food expenses.
In addition to saving you money, creating a grocery list will save you time. You’ll be able to get in and get out without spending too much time looking for things you don’t need.
2. Never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry
You’ve probably already heard that you should never go grocery shopping when hungry as it will cause you to buy all manner of junk foods.
In addition to making unhealthy food choices and buying things you definitely don’t need, hunger will amplify your desire to acquire things. Again, stuff that you don’t need.
Even worse is going grocery shopping while hungry and without a grocery list.
To ensure you’re not cruising across the aisles of poor choices without fuel to power you through them, take a healthy snack before hitting the grocery store. And don’t forget your grocery list.
3. Plan Your Meals weekly
Before you go shopping, plan all your meals for the week. Then when at the grocery store, only pick the ingredients you need for the menu.
Also, be sure to check what’s on sale that week so you can plan the meals based on those ingredients.
Recipe ingredient matching sites such as supercook.com can help you with meal ideas based on provided ingredients. It’s a great strategy to help you prepare meals around what you already have or those items on sale that week.
When you have ready meals in your fridge, you won’t feel the need to order take-out or waste money eating at restaurants.
Meal prepping will also help avoid impulse buying. Planning out your ingredients ahead of your grocery shopping will help you stick to the aisles that have the foods you want.
Buying food in bulk for your meal preps is additionally an excellent way to save money.
5. Make simpler meals
Complex recipes are demanding regarding the number of ingredients they need, not to mention time and energy.
When you’re on a grocery budget, keeping your dishes simple is crucial.
Pick one or two dish recipes that require a maximum of five ingredients.
An even better strategy would be to choose weekly recipes that share some of the ingredients since buying them in bulk will save you money.
6. Eat less meat and more grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Meat is a good source of protein but can be pretty expensive.
As an alternative, go for plant-based sources like beans, chickpeas, lentils, or tofu.
Eating meat a few days a week and substituting it with grains and vegetables will reduce your food bill.
7. Give up fast food
These unhealthy, highly processed foods are not only sabotaging your weight loss but also your wallet.
If it’s the convenience of fast food that’s appealing to you, try meal prepping. That way, you’ll always have a healthy and cheap option whenever you don’t have time to prepare a meal.
You can also get healthy snacks such as granola bars.
8 Avoid Soft drinks and opt for more water
In addition to being unhealthy, soft drinks are those things you don’t really need yet cost you a lot.
So remove them from your grocery list and opt for water, which is free and good for your health.
Your health and wallet will be grateful.
9. Buy Store Brands
Buying store brands is the quickest way to save money on anything you put in your shopping cart. They could easily save you 30%.
10 Compare prices by unit price or weight
When comparing the price of similar products, it’s advisable to look at unit prices. This is because the unit price will tell you how much the item costs per 100g or kg.
Here’s an example scenario: you’re looking to buy some rice for the week. There are two brands priced at $4 and $6. You might immediately think that the $4 is the cheaper option. However, if you check the unit prices, you’ll realize that the $4 rice pack costs $4 per kg. The $6 pack, on the other hand, costs $3 per kg. So now you can see that the $6 pack is the better buy.
You don’t have to worry about calculating the unit price for each product. Supermarkets will often have the price per 100g in small print just under the regular price.
11. Pick a smaller basket
A trick grocery stores use to get you to spend more in their store is to offer oversized shopping baskets and carts. The large baskets give the illusion that you have fewer groceries and thus more room to buy more.
To get around this trick, choose the smallest grocery basket. It’ll have room only for the things you need.
If you’re buying a few items, skip the basket altogether and just take them into your hands.
12. Count while you shop
Here’s a trick that’s easy to do but also easy not to do: keep track of how much you’re spending while shopping.
Every time you add an item to your basket, maintain a clear overview of how much you’ve spent so far.
You could round up the prices to whole numbers and keep adding them up, or you could use your phone’s calculator.
This will help you avoid overspending and keep you within your budget.
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