27 Grocery Shopping Tips to Help You Save Money
Most people never care how much they spend at the grocery store. Homeowners will simply drive to the nearest grocery store and put all the appetizing items inside the cart. This is especially common whenever their pantry or refrigerator is almost empty. There are those who rarely prepare the home-made meals and will always run to the store nearby to buy an ingredient in case they have inkling to cooking something.
You will only begin to notice the mistakes when your food spending and grocery expense are out of control. This will commonly come out clearly when you start keeping a household budget. This happens when you do not have a methodology to shop on a budget nor you do not have any meaningful strategy to save money. Regardless of whether you are feeding a whole family or feeding yourself, you will definitely realize that the groceries will always take a huge bite of your paycheck.
There are lots of simple ways you can always use to ensure you save money on groceries. Here are top tips that will help you cut your grocery spending by 50% or more! Additionally, not only will you save but you will also get a better value for your money.
1. Planning Ahead
You need to make it a habit of taking stock of your freezer and pantry once a month in order to get a sense of the items you will need and what you will not buy when you are shopping. Definitely, you will not prefer buying an item in a grocery store at full price only to return home and find you have it already. This way, develop a habit that you shall not shop for any grocery before confirming that there isn’t any in your fridge.
2. Plan Meals by the Ads
According to Steve Economides, most people will always come up with a weekly meal plan and then go looking for a deal. Instead, you first need to look at the deals and plan your meals depending on what is on sale. This will ensure you get meals at half price. Therefore, if you prefer buying food from the mall, check any offer, as these are perfect times to save some money.
3. Sort Your Groceries Once Per Week
According to the National Resources Defense Council, Americans will always toss up to 25% of the groceries we purchase. In order to prevent your food from being a waste of money, always sort through your pantry and fridge at least once a week for the items which are about to expire and place them at strategic space to enable you remember to use them before they expire.
4. Shop Only Once a Week
The less you shop, the more you will be saving. Try reducing impulse purchases and save gas by planning your shopping list to ensure you are able to get groceries for a whole week in one shot. Therefore, make groceries shopping a serious business.
5. Try Get Substitutes
Look for substitutes by reviewing your last grocery receipt and note the most expensive purchases. When at the store, always consider swapping such items for expensive purchases. Research shows that this one among the greatest strategies you can apply to reduce your expenses.
6. Getting the Best Price
Purchase the top obvious items you always buy for example detergent, milk, cereal and bananas and try making a onetime mission to a few stores in your area trying to compare the prices. Your goal is to be sure you are shopping at the store with the lowest overall prices for your day-to-day needs. Luckily these days, you can compare the prices online, which makes it easier.
7. Be Aware of the Rock-Bottom Price
Try learning the price range of the items you frequently buy to ensure you recognize when they will hit their lowest and stock up at the right time. For example, for my family, the boneless chicken breast is my biggest grocery expense. In my area, they will always drop to $2 a pound and peak at $5 pound after three weeks. I will nearly save up to %500 a year buy just stocking one item when they are at their lowest price. However, be careful not to restock when prices are high.
8. Always Be Wary of the 10 for $10 Sales Strategy
You need to be wary of the stores which are selling 10 for just $10 or any promotion where a store is offering several items for one price. Always take some time and check the price for the item to make sure it is discounted and not just thinking that a clever signage of 89 cans be sold 10 for $10 is a steal. In case it is a discount, you need to be aware that you do not have to buy 10 to get the lower price.
9. Weight it Out
Do not just compare the sticker price of items but the price per pounce or pound in order to be sure you will be able to get the best deal. Most of the stores will always post this number on the label on the shelf. Don’t let the bones and fat included in meats mislead you, look at the cost per serving instead.
10. Download Coupons
You do not require scissors and circulars anymore. Try visiting redplum.com, Coupons.com or SmartSource.com to see what coupons are available in your area. You can either load them or print them out and load them onto your loyalty card so you don’t have to remember bringing them with you.You can find coupons online for almost any store you can think of. Here is an example of Target discount codes.
11. Deploy the Coupons Wisely
Most people always think that they should use their coupons right away when they find it. You can always wait until the item is at a really good sale price. This will ensure you get savings from both the coupon and the store discount.
12. Purchase for 10 Weeks at a Time
Sales will always run through cycles, typically on eight to 12 weeks rotation. For example, if you will be going through a box of cereal a week, you can get 10 when they are a deal and it will see you through the weeks when the box of cereal will be at full price.
13. Get an IOU
In case a sale item is currently out of stock, try asking the store for a rain check. A slip of paper will always grant you the sale price of an item when the item is back in stock regardless of whether the promotion is still on. In case you do not want to get back into the store, always try asking the manager if you can sub a similar item for the one currently on sale.
13. Photograph Your Receipt
You can always earn cash back at the groceries by using apps like checkout, SavingStar and Ibotta. These services will always offer cash-back deals on different range of goods and you will always need to take photos of the receipt as a proof that you bought the item in order to take advantage of the kickback.
14. Always Be Smarter in the Store
Choose one grocery store and one drug store you frequently shop at. Get familiar with their promotions they run and the rewards the offer and sign up for their loyalty programs
15. Understand the Layout
The more you walk down the aisles, the more likely you will be able to add items to your shopping basket that you did not plan to buy. So, when you plan to go and buy an ingredient, go straight to the shelf.
16. Go Alone
The bigger you’re shopping party, the more likely you will be making impulse purchases. When we go shopping in a group, about 65% of the items in our baskets are unplanned. It will be great if you can go shopping without your kid or spouse. Additionally, you won’t feel pressured or intimidated by friends who will buy almost anything on the shelves.
17. Pack Mints
You can either pack mints or eat before you go. A recent study found out consumers are more likely to spend if their appetites have been stimulated beforehand. This explains why most of the baked rotisseries chickens and goods are always at the entrance of any store.
18. Bring Your Own SoundTrack
Studies reveal that most stores will always play music with slower beats to encourage you to move slowly when walking through the aisles. The slower pace will always make the shoppers buy 29% more.
19. Use of Goldilocks Cart
According to Lindstrom, doubling the size of a cart will make shopper buy 40% more and choosing the handheld baskets can equally be disastrous. A study from a Marketing Research Journal found the strain that comes with a carrying basket as it will make you more likely to opt for vice products like soda and candy.
20. Look Low and High
Always try and avoid the end caps and middle shelves. Scan the bottom and top shelves instead since this is where you will always get the less expensive brands and some great deals.
21. Check Yourself Out
Impulse purchases will drop by 32% for women and 17% for men when the shoppers decide to use the self- checkout line instead of using the staffed checkout. This is because there is less merchandise where you can pick last minute around the stands.
22. Save on Specifics
You will be spending more on the cold cuts than you need when you are purchasing the freshly cut meats from behind the deli counter. Instead, you should opt for large chunks of the prepackaged meat.
23. Do Your Own Dicing and Slicing
Buying large or whole pieces of food is another trick you can apply. Though it can be time consuming, try buying a whole chicken, block pineapple or cheese and do the chopping yourself.
24. Don’t Buy Milk at the Supermarket
Research shows that milk sold in supermarkets is sold at a higher price than in the milk stores. As earlier indicated, identify where the prices are lower.
25. Plant Your Own Herbs
Yes, you can easily grow your own herbs and stop buying bundles of herbs. This way, you will save money, avoid wastage, and you will have a variety of fresh herbs you can use when you want
26. Always Follow the Produce Cycle
You can always save 30-50% on the price of produce by purchasing what is in a season. You can buy extra berries when they are cheap and freeze them if you will need them in the off-season.
27. Check the Seafood Labels
You will always find products labeled ‘previously frozen’ at the counter in small type. This is the same product you will always find in a frozen food aisle for as much as 40% less. You can always purchase the frozen and do the thawing yourself. Your fish will always be fresher and you will not have to use it right away.
You can try one tip and it a really good one. Yes, one of the tips that will definitely save you most money is when you are on a budget and shopping at the grocery. Try planning for your snacks and meals ahead of time. By panning ahead, you will always make your shopping list based on what you have already. Making a nutritious, easy and budget conscious menu plan is not that hard. You can start with two or three dinners and plan for the leftovers. Add snacks and ensure you store the quick and easy breakfast foods on hand. Always give it a try before you decide. Saving money and time will just be good for you and your budget.