Isn’t it a little too easy to go overboard with your grocery expenditures? Today we will show you how to save money on groceries. Fluorescent lighting, showy product labels, or a squeaky wheel on the shopping cart may be the source of your emotional stress – and your financial well-being. While we are unable to change the wheel, we can provide you with some suggestions on how to save money on your grocery bill.
Here are 15 simple strategies for grocery shopping on a strict budget.
Check Your Refrigerator First
There are some people who go to the grocery store without first taking note of what they already have in their homes. Check your refrigerator and pantry before you go out and buy too many loaves of bread or gallons of milk. Picture what you already have and write a list of the things you know you’ll need.
Know when to Shop
Getting a good deal is all about being in the right place at the right time. Many experts believe that shopping for groceries on Wednesdays is more cost-effective. This is due to the fact that grocery stores refill their shelves in the middle of the week and mark down items that did not sell the previous week.
However, because they are in the process of adjusting the discounts, they frequently continue to honor the price reductions from the previous week’s sale. If going on a Wednesday isn’t an option, try to avoid going on weekends if at all possible. Larger crowds result in fewer bargains.
When it comes to bargains, the time of day is also important. To be first in line for clearance items, you have to get there early. However, if you are a late riser, shopping immediately before closing time when the deli and bakery counters are desperately trying to sell off the remainder of their stock is another excellent method to earn substantial savings.
Shop with a Calculator
If you’re trying to stick to a set budget, pick a number (for example, not spending more than $50 at the grocery store) and hold yourself accountable to it every day. One method of accomplishing this is to calculate each item as it is added to your cart. The fact that your phone has a calculator built in means that you have no excuse!
Writing a paper list and crossing things off as you go is more rewarding than using an electronic list, but going digital means you won’t lose your list and have to recall everything you were planning to buy. This will also help you avoid making rushed purchasing decisions.
Think Before You Buy in Bulk
Purchasing in bulk is great… when it actually saves you money. But you shouldn’t instantly assume that buying in bulk at a bargain store is the most cost-effective solution. When you’re shopping grocery on a tight budget, make a point of comparing the price per unit or ounce for the items you’re considering purchasing.
Even though it may be tempting to stock up, refrain from purchasing more than you actually require, especially when it comes to perishable foods. Purchasing bulk cereal may be a wise investment for a family of four, but if you and your spouse are the only ones in the house, you should probably skip the 40-count of Greek yogurt.
Try Different Grocery Stores
Why did you choose this particular grocery store to do your shopping? Is it the friendliest of them all? Is it the one that is nearest to your home or the one that is most handy for your commute? If we’re being completely honest, the majority of us probably shop where we do just out of habit. It could be difficult, but it’s may be time to walk away from your favorite grocery store.
Also, if you want to save money on food, be sure to look through the weekly ads in your neighborhood to see what items are on sale at competing grocery stores in your area. It’s possible that purchasing at the store down the street will end up costing you more money in the long term than you anticipated.
Start Making Simpler Dishes
When it comes to grocery shopping on a strict budget, keeping things simple is essential. The decision to prepare a complicated meal can easily consume a full week’s budget merely due to the large quantity of ingredients that are required. If you want to start saving money on groceries, choose a few easy, yet delicious, recipes that you enjoy and that only call for a maximum of five ingredients to get started.
To make things even better, when planning about meals for the upcoming week, look for recipes that include common ingredients.
In most cases, fresh fruits and vegetables are less expensive than purchasing processed snack foods, and they are also more beneficial. Look for low-cost items such as bananas and small carrots, and take advantage of deals to stock your pantry with nutritious foods for the whole family. Fruit and vegetables should be cut into snack-size quantities and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for quick accessibility.
Make sure you use see-through containers so that everyone in the family can plainly see the snacks and is more likely to reach for them when they are hungry.
Buy Baked Goods Frozen
If you don’t have a strong preference when it comes to your late-night sugar fix, you can consider making a pit stop at the frozen food department instead of the bakery. Costco’s frozen cookies, bread, bagels, and other goods are much less expensive than the company’s fresh varieties.
According to their website, a 24-box of fresh cookies costs $7.99, while a box of 180 cookies costs $34.99. (Please keep in mind that they are Canadian dollars, not US dollars, and that the Costco bakery’s frozen cookies are not available in U.S. warehouses.)
Get Dried Beans Instead of Canned
Preparing meals with dried beans takes a little additional time to soak (unless you have an Instant Pot), but it saves you a lot of money in the long run. For convenience, canned beans are excellent, but dried beans will stretch your dollar further—and taste better.
For $5, you could receive FOUR pounds of dried beans instead of one 15-ounce can (which is approximately half liquid and half cooked beans, making it $2 per pound), saving $1. 25 per pound on dried beans (which is $1.25 per pound dried, and they double in size when cooked). Make a large batch of cooked beans and store them in pint or quart containers for later use in the freezer.
Go Meat-free at least One Day a Week
This is no secret that buying meat is one of the most expensive food items you can purchase, especially if you are trying to get organic meat. To get over this problem, you can set yourself the challenge of being meat-free at least one day per week for at least a month.
Not only will this save you money and expand your vegetarian cooking variety, but you may also discover that it is not as difficult as it appears and begin to consume less meat in general as a result.
Look at the Lower Shelves
The placement of their most costly fruit at an eye level is a common tactic supermarkets use to encourage you to spend more money than you intended on your grocery budget. While shopping for the same sorts of food that are being sold a shelf or two below eye level, you will note that the costs tend to reduce, with the cheapest items being found closer to ground level.
Buy the Sunday Paper (for coupons)
Subscribing to the Sunday newspaper is a worthwhile investment. Grocery offers such as buy one get one free can be found in abundance in paper circulars. Look for coupons in the newspaper that are applicable to the things you know you’ll be purchasing.
However, be careful of promotions that have too many restrictions or are difficult to fulfil. Offers such as buy one, get one half off appear to be worthwhile, but they may lead you to spend more money in order to obtain two of a given product when you only require one.
Shop at Salvage Stores
Do you want to learn how to save money on groceries the right way? Check out salvage stores if you want to save money. This one-of-a-kind retail segment specializes on selling canned food and other items that have passed their expiration dates.
Although it may sound disgusting, many foods have longer shelf lives than you might expect, and they are sometimes sold at a substantial discount after the official expiration date listed on the packaging.
Pay in Cash
Dave Ramsey’s envelope budgeting approach is excellent for keeping a check on your grocery costs. If you choose this budgeting strategy, you must withdraw your monthly income from the bank in cash and divide it into different envelopes in accordance with your budgeting objectives.
To do this, separate envelopes for your fixed costs and separate envelopes for your variable costs, which include things like entertainment, clothing purchasing, eating out, and grocery shopping. By paying for your food with a specific quantity of physical cash, it is nearly difficult to go beyond on your spending!
Learn Sale Cycles
Candy sales are particularly strong around holidays such as Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, and Halloween. If you’re looking for a good deal, check out the clearance section after the holidays are over. Stores will offer big discounts on their seasonal products, allowing you to stock up on supplies at a reasonable cost.
Many retailers offer better deals during the first week of the month, and this is frequently the case. This behavior is a result of the paycheck cycle, in which merchants are more likely to compete for customers’ attention when they know they have recently been paid.
A few simple practices can help you cut your monthly grocery bill, stay on track with your budget, and reach your financial objectives more quickly. There will be more money available to pay down debt, save for the future, or put aside for something fun—like a babysitter and a lovely meal out where someone else prepares the food and cleans up!
Following your newfound knowledge of food budgeting, put one of these money-saving strategies to use on your next trip to the supermarket. You might be astonished by how much money you manage to keep in your pocket. Who knows, you might even find yourself becoming a lot more innovative in the kitchen.