Do you feel like every time you visit the grocery store your bill is a few dollars higher? Are you tired of the grocery bill creep? You’re not alone! Luckily, there are ways to save money at the grocery store without sacrificing nutrition or variety.
Here are 7 strategies that will help you cut your grocery bill.
1. Go to the store with a plan
First, plan your menu for the week. Then, sit down with a calculator and plan what ingredients you need for your menu. A plan makes it less tempting to impulse buy groceries you don’t need.
Be realistic about your list. It should be based on your family’s eating habits and preferences. If you purchase too many groceries, some of it will go to waste – and so will your money!
Websites like Grocery IQ help you create a shopping list based on the ingredients in your recipes.
Hot Tip: Make sure you eat before grocery shopping! Shopping hungrier tends to make you purchase more, making you spend more when shopping hungry.
2. Buy in-season and on sale
One way to save on purchases at the grocery store is to buy in-season products, particularly produce. Keep an eye out for sales because you can also find great deals on out-of-season grocery items! Check websites like Coupon Network for deals on produce and other grocery items.
3. Shop in bulk
When you buy groceries in bulk, the price-per-ounce drops significantly. Keep in mind that certain grocery items are better for buying in bulk. Beans, rice, grains, and other dry essential ingredients have long shelf lives. They won’t expire for months or even years after you purchase them.
Avoid buying items like produce or other perishables in bulk. Chances are high that these highly perishable items will go to waste if you buy them in bulk – it’s simply too difficult to use them all before they expire. If you have a large freezer (or even better, a second freezer), buying meat in bulk and freezing it is a great way to save money.
The biggest downside to buying in bulk for most households is that they simply don’t have enough space. If you live in an apartment or small home, buying in bulk may not be practical.
4. Don’t buy fresh produce you won’t eat
Did you know that one-third of all food is wasted each year? To avoid contributing to this statistic, keep a detailed list of the foods you allow to go bad.
We’ve all bought a certain vegetable with the hopes that we’ll use it for a weekday dinner, but after a week it’s rotting in the back of the refrigerator. Stick with what you know and love to save money and waste less food.
5. Check your kitchen first
Before you go to the store, take an inventory of your pantry and fridge. Chances are there’s a few ingredients that you forgot you already have on hand.
Far too often we assume we’ve run out of something in the kitchen and purchase it at the store, only to realize it’s already sitting in our pantry.
6. Buy generic versions of your favorite brands
For some items like baking supplies, canned goods, and paper goods, you can buy generic versions of your favorite brands. Store-brand items are usually just as good as name-brand products; the difference between a name-brand item and its generic or store-brand equivalent can be as much as $5 per item.
7. Only buy what you know you’ll eat
When budgets are tight, don’t experiment with new foods or those you haven’t enjoyed in the past. Chances are if you don’t like a food it’ll just go to waste, which is just like throwing money in the trash!
Keep a list of the items you most frequently purchase each month. A running total of the cost of those items will ensure you stay within budget.
The cost of groceries is a top household expense and an absolute necessity. While grocery shopping can be expensive, it’s also one of the first places to look for savings.
Using these seven tips you can offset rising food costs due to inflation. Be smart and realistic about your spending and you’ll save as much money as possible!