15 Budget Grocery Shopping Tips to Save Money
One of the best ways to save money is to improve the way you go grocery shopping. Follow these 15 tips, and you will be able to cut your grocery bill without sacrificing food quality and flavor.
Plan What to Buy and Stick To It
Create a list and take inventory of what you have on hand before shopping so that you only buy what needs replacing, not more than you need. You can cut your grocery bill in half by only buying what you need.
Shop With Cash
A debit card can help control impulse buying and overspending because you’re limited by how much money is actually in your account at any given time. Knowing the price of your regular items will also help you better budget and prepare for your weekly shop.
Buy Generic Brands
If a generic brand is available for an item, it usually tastes just as good as the name-brand version but costs less – which means more savings for your wallet!
Buy In Bulk
You can save even up to 50% when you buy items in bulk. Try buying non-perishables in bulk, such as rice, pasta, beans, and lentils. That way, you will be able to save a substantial amount of money.
Compare Unit Prices
Always compare the per ounce or serving price of an item from different manufacturers – you will see that one brand may be cheaper than another even though the list price seems higher!
Plan Ahead For Special Events
Planning ahead can significantly cut down on your overall cost by not buying special ingredients that may need to be prepared just before the event. Research any specialty dishes beforehand so that you eliminate the added expense of purchasing an ingredient you don’t already have on hand.
Grocery Shop With Coupons
Try your best to avoid paying full price! There are billions of coupons every year, so utilizing them wisely will save you a ton of money. You can save even more by shopping at discount grocery stores and checking store weekly ads regularly.
Learn How to Read a Label
Know what you are buying. A trend in food labeling is about misleading marketing and not informing the customer about how healthy or nutritious the product actually is. To learn how to read a label to avoid being fooled.
Freeze Extra Food
When food goes on sale at the store, stock up by buying extra quantities that can be frozen until needed. Lean cuts of meat and fresh produce are both great candidates for freezing. Sometimes stores will offer weekly deals on large cuts of meat if you bring your own containers. Finding these deals really adds up!
Online coupons and discounts are easy to find. Many online grocery stores offer free shipping, too, so why not take advantage of this to ensure that you are getting the best deal?
Find Alternative Uses for Your Food
Here is one way to stretch your dollar even further by thinking outside the box. For example, if the recipe calls for a cup of flour, try substituting in some whole wheat flour or breadcrumbs. If it needs eggs, try using applesauce instead. Use what’s on hand to experiment and you may find a new favourite!
Buy Locally-Grown Produce
Locally-grown produce, especially those in season, is fresher and typically costs less than produce picked before ripening, transported great distances, and then stored for weeks.
Bring Along Reusable Bags
Avoid the paper or plastic dilemma by bringing your own bags, preferably reusable ones. You can usually even get a discount when using them at the grocery store. They are undoubtedly better for the environment too!
Don’t Shop Hungry
This one is hard! If you’re hungry, you’ll end up spending more money than you can afford because of the way your brain reacts to hunger pangs. It is a common phenomenon where the body protests, “I need food NOW!” So schedule your grocery visit when you aren’t hungry! Or, better yet, eat a light meal before your shopping trip to avoid that ravenous feeling.
Limit In-Store Shopping to One Day Per Week
Try to limit your shopping trips to one day per week (unless you have a really good list). Shopping frequently may cause you to spend more money than intended because it is too easy for those impulse buys.
Some of these tips are so simple; you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of them before. Some others will change your grocery shopping routine for the better.
Remember that saving money is all about making small changes in our daily lives to significantly impact our budget at the end of each month or year. If one of these tips saves you $1 per week, then by the end of the year, you have over $50, and that’s more than enough to buy something nice for yourself. Happy saving!