With the way things go ahead most homes, money is probably tight. We have to admit that often our grocery and food spending is out of control. We often put whatever items looking appetizing into carts and are lazy to cook meals at home. But the bigger the family becomes, the more you realize that something is to be done to manage the grocery shopping rationally.
Here are some advice for you how to spare your money on grocery:
1. Create a Menu
Plan your menu before shopping. A planned menu ensures that you eill buy ingredients to cook healthy meals at home other than ordering pizza or eating out.
Also, you will mention all necessary items in your grocery list and buy them in one trip to the store, without the necessity to return back to store in case you do not have them. This will spare your time and money for gas.
2. Create a Standardized List
You may forget need to purchase items for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and cleaning at the grocery store, concentrating on the products you need to buy for dinner. The list will remind you of all things that you need to purchase and you will not buy more than you need.
3. Check for Sales
The grocery stores put their weekly sales each week, and most of them can be checked online. You can see what is on sale this week and plan your menu around discounted products.
4. Buy In-Season Produce
Fresh fruits and vegetables are good for our health, but unfortunately, fresh produce can be expensive. To spend less choose fruits and vegetables that are in season. They are always cheaper.
5. Use Coupons
Many stores provide various coupons, which are of immense value to any grocery shopper. The savings per coupon may seem to be small, but in total they do add up.
But you should use coupons carefully, as they can not only save money, but also puch you to buy more on impulse purchases.
6. Shop Monthly
An alternative to combining sales and coupons is to shop the least number of times possible. The more you shop, the more impulse purchases you will do. Try to shop only once per month, and only shop at a maximum of two different stores.
7. Choose a Budget-Friendly Store
If you are busy time and cannot afford to spend time clipping coupons and matching them up to sales, focus more on shopping at stores that will save you the money with their generally lower prices. Walmart, for example, offers prices that are 20% less than competitors. ALDI and Trader Joe’s are also known to offer everyday low prices. Avoid costly stores.
8. Don’t Avoid the Dollar Stores
Though many dollar stores do not have a wide variety of foods, there are a number of items you should buy at the dollar store, spices for example. At supermarkets, spices usually cost several dollars, so it is wise to buy them in dollar stores. However, there are many items at dollar stores that are more expensive by unit price (due to smaller package weight or volume) than a regular grocery store, so shop wisely.
9. Choose a Correct Time
First of all, never shop for groceries on an empty stomach. You will definitely buy something unplanned but looking tasty. Try to shop around 10 o’clock in the morning to avoid not only a rumbling stomach, but also the afternoon crowds.
10. Buy Only What You Need
You need self-control to resist the temptation to buy items that are not on your list. On average, impulse buys enlarge your bill by 20% to 30%. Avoid browsing the aisles and lingering in the store. Instead, find exactly what you need, buy the products and leave the store as soon as possible to avoid being tempted.
11. Consider Buying Generic Items
In many cases, there are very few differences between most brand name items and generic items. Many products from the generic lines go head to head with name brands in terms of quality, while other products are sub par at best. However if you buy poor quality products, you may end up tossing them out and wasting the money altogether.
What to Buy from Generic Brands:
- Food Staples. Your basics like flour, sugar, cooking oil, and butter will always taste, and work the same regardless of what the label says.
- Canned Produce. Any basic canned fruit or vegetable will taste the same in a generic brand can.
- Frozen Produce. Name brand frozen produce usually costs twice as much as the generic version,
What to Buy from Name Brands:
- Meat. If meat quality is important for you , you won’t be happy with the generic brand.
- Paper Products. Generic brand paper towels and toilet paper do not hold up as well as the name brands. You will use twice as much for the same effect.
12. Look High and Low for Savings
Grocery stores use many marketing tactics to entice consumers into choosing the most expensive items. For example, stores often stock the most expensive items and brands at eye level, and place the cheaper items and brands on the higher and lower shelves. So check all the shelves for potential savings.
13. Avoid Prepared and Pre-cut Items
It can be a great time-saver at home to use prepackaged and prepared foods. Many grocery stores also offer pre-cut or pre-sliced items which are they are more expensive compared to non-prepared items. Such goods are certainly convenient, but not money-saving at all.
14. Buy Aged Meats
Like wine, meat gets better with age. Still, a lot of meat departments sell the older meat at a discounted price. The clearance meats taste not worse than the newly stocked meats. If the meat is packaged well, don’t be afraid to buy it.
15. Leave Kids at Home
It is more wise to leave kids at home when you go shopping. Kids will ask you to buy almost everything they see on the shelves, and though you will not buy any item they beg for, you will spend more money. Also you will be rushing to finish sooner this temptation challenge from your kids and won’t be able to compare the prices and choose the best deals.