Grocery shopping can often times take up a large chunk of our monthly budget. I know most of us are always trying to save money where we can, and shopping for groceries are no exception. With the help of some smart shopping tips and habits, it is possible for you to save money on groceries. Here are some of the methods you can employ to save money on groceries so you can stick to your budget.
Eat Less Meat
It’s no secret that meat is expensive and adds up to a big number on your grocery bill. Eating less meat could save you up to a $1000 a year. I’m not saying that you should cut meat out completely, but limiting it to 2 or 3 times per week could go a long way towards saving you some money.
Replace some of your usual meat based meals with meals not centered on meat. You can try things like eating more veggies, lentils or beans. You can also buy more chicken instead of the meat you would normally buy, as chicken often tends to be cheaper than meat.
Don’t Shop While Hungry
Avoid shopping for groceries when you are hungry. You are much more likely to blow your food budget when you are hungry and reaching for everything in sight that looks tasty. Rather eat a good meal before you go grocery shopping, this way it’s easier to stick to your shopping list.
Skip Prepared Food & Meals
I know buying prepared food can be super convenient and a great time saver, but that convenience doesn’t always come cheap. In almost all cases, if you buy the ingredients and make the meal yourself, you’ll end up getting a lot more bang for you buck. If you end up making more than you need, you can always freeze the leftovers and save it for later.
Buy in Bulk
Bulk items are often listed at a cheaper price per item than the price of the individual item. If you see an item that you know you will use available in bulk on special, it might be a good idea to buy in bulk. This way you can stock up on items that you know you will need while it’s on sale and ensure you have enough of it until it goes on sale again.
Meal planning goes hand in hand with your shopping list. If you plan your meals for the week ahead of time, you can create your shopping list accordingly. This helps you stick to your meal plan as well as your budget. Before you plan your meals, look at the weekly specials of the stores around you and see if you can incorporate those items in your meal plan to save extra money.
Using coupons can be a great way to save money on groceries, however, make sure you don’t fall into the trap of buying things you don’t really need simply to make use of coupons. To make the most effective use of coupons, combine them with store sales to save even more.
Make A List
There is a saying that goes “Failing to plan, is planning to fail”. This is also true when going shopping. Make a shopping list before you go shopping and stick to it.
Once you have your list, you can also look at the different stores around you to see if they are running any specials on the items you need. Having a list to stick to holds you accountable and ensures that you only buy what you really need.
Be Aware of Sales
When you already have a shopping list planned out, it’s easier to shop the sales. If you know exactly what you are looking for, its easier to match up which stores have a sale or promotion running on those items. You can also combine this with meal planning and plan your meal according to the sales of the shops around you.
Skip the Brand Names
I know we all love buying brand names, it’s the products we know and love, but sometimes we can get the exact same product from a generic brand for a lot cheaper. Generic brands often have the same product and quality, so don’t be afraid to give it a try. If you are skeptical, you can also compare the ingredients of your favorite brand to that of the generic brand – chances are they will be almost identical!
Compare Prices per Unit Size
We all sometimes reach for the biggest size and think that we’ll be saving money by buying the bigger container. Unfortunately this isn’t always true as some companies are more sneaky with their prices. You’ll be surprised to know that in some cases buying two or more smaller containers actually works out cheaper than buying the large one.
Hope you found these tips useful and that they actually help you to save money on groceries going forward. If you have any other habits that help you save money on groceries, let me know, I’d love to hear about them!