How to Save Money on Your Groceries
When it comes to your monthly budget, there are certain things you know you have to include. Rent, utilities, car payment, and cell phone are just a few things that come to mind. Oh, and of course…groceries.
You may be feeling like every time you head to the supermarket that your bill keeps creeping higher and higher – which it may be. But, there are a few tips and tricks that you can use to save some money on your groceries. Give these a try before you shop next time.
Keep a Running Tally
As you’re shopping, keep a running tally of how much you are spending. It doesn’t have to be an exact number. Try rounding up to the nearest quarter as you place items in your cart. This will allow you to have a rough estimate of what your bill should be when you arrive at the checkout. And, it will help keep you within your budget instead of being caught off-guard.
Shop the Season
When it comes to buying produce and things that may arrive during very specific seasons, shop the season you are in. Asparagus and fresh spring peas are going to be very expensive if you go to buy them in November. Even seafood has a season where you can find deals on some of your favorites like shrimp and clams.
Shop the Sales
Does your favorite grocery store send out flyers on the weekend? Do they post Friday deals or let you know when they’re having a stock-up special on certain items? That’s when you should shop for those things (if you’ll use them). Take the time to check out a grocer’s website to see what sales and specials will be offered for the upcoming week.
Plan Your Meals
Every week you should plan your meals so that you only buy what you’re going to use and you cut down on food waste. To take it a step further, you should plan your meals based on what’s available seasonally or what’s on sale.
Check Your Pantry, Frig, Freezer, and Cupboards
Be sure to check your kitchen to see what you currently have available to you. You may be surprised by what’s stashed in your pantry or frozen in your freezer. Don’t let these things go to waste.
Buy In Bulk…Or Don’t
Everyone thinks that buying in bulk saves money. And it does on certain things. But you always need to compare prices. And of course, you need to use what you buy. It’s not cost-effective to buy large quantities of items that will expire or spoil before you use them.
Pay for Groceries With Cash
If you tend to pay for your groceries with your credit card, it may be time to rethink that – especially if you carry over a balance each month. Paying for groceries with cash means you’ll pay no credit card interest and there’s less of a tendency for you to overspend.
Because you’ve gone to the trouble of meal planning and established a grocery list, try to avoid the surprise or impulse purchases. They only add to your bill, and they’re most likely not necessary for your meals.
There are several ways that you can shop for groceries online now. There are services like Shipt where a shopper picks up the groceries on your list and delivers them to your home. Other stores offer the ability to submit a grocery order and you drive to the store for easy pickup. While these options have fees attached to them, you may find you save more because you remove the ability to impulse buy.
Download Some Apps
Be sure to download your grocery store’s app which most likely has online coupons attached to your shopper card. Or, download apps like Ibotta or Checkout 51, which offer cash back when you buy certain goods. Often the cash back is on items you are buying anyway.
Don’t let your grocery bill get out of control. Try these tricks to save a few dollars and keep your grocery bill in check.