Grocery stores are expensive. It’s too easy to walk down the grocery store aisle and fill up your basket with things and items that aren’t in your list, maybe it’s the fluorescent lighting, strategically placed products at checkout (you know how grocery stores do this kind of stuff, don’t you), or other things that will leave you with an empty wallet.
That’s why grocery stores are the number one place where most families spend their most money. And since we all need to eat to stay alive, there’s really no way around this.
Despite the high cost, buying groceries and making home meals is still the cheapest, the healthiest and the smartest way to get fed. However, while it’s so hard to cute your groceries spending in half, there are plenty of smart tricks that you can do to avoid over-spending at the supermarket.
17 Best Tips To Save Money On Grocery Store
Down below we listed some of our top 15 tips that will definitely help you (we hope) and save you money on groceries when you’re shopping on a budget starting with:
Write A Groceries List
One of the first things that will help you save a lot of money in groceries is to write a grocery list and take it with you. Prepare a list at home with everything you need, based on your weekly meal plan and check your fridge and pantry, just to make sure you don’t bring anything that you already have.
This list will help you remember everything and help you save money as well, but without the guidance of the list, you may remember everything, but I can guarantee you’ll come out with a bunch of stuff that you don’t need (we all did that). So next time you go grocery shopping make a list and stick to it.
Do Not Go Grocery Shopping When You’re Hungry
This might sound funny but it’s extremely important. Many people go to the grocery store after work and before dinner, which is the time we start to get hungry. If you buy groceries when you’re hungry your stomach will force you to buy all types of food that you don’t necessarily need.
So try to eat something before you go shopping and you’ll be more likely to stick to your list. Remember our goal here is to buy everything we need and stay away from other stuff that we don’t need. Also, another great tip is to get the shopping out of the way on the weekends.
Plan Your Meals
This is really one of the best tips on this list. Planning your meals is important, take a few minutes (15 or 20 minutes) during your downtime or before heading to the supermarket and plan your meals.
This doesn’t have to be exhausting or detailed, but once you decide what you’ll make for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, write out the ingredients needed for each meal on your list (plus a couple of snacks). That way you’ll be saving yourself from buying tons of unnecessary stuff and lower your grocery bill.
Set Up A Budget
I personally when I go to the grocery store I know exactly how much money I will spend, and I try my best to not past that. This is really great idea to do on you’re next grocery shopping trip. Along with your list, setting up a budget before going to the supermarket will help you to prevent overspending.
Always Pay With Cash
The best way to be sure you’ll end up with a lower grocery bill is to stick with your list and Pay With Cash. When you go grocery shopping with cash in your hand and not your credit card, you know exactly how much you have and how much you can spend. Once the cash runs out, that’s it. It’s a really smart way to lower your bill
Also if you have that problem (like most of us have) where you eat like a king at the beginning of the month and then scraping by at the end, you can take out cash for groceries every week instead of once a month.
Try To Shop When Your Kids Are Not Around
While sometimes you can’t avoid shopping with children, it’s best to go grocery shopping when they’re not around. Don’t get me wrong here, everyone loves his own children, but bringing them into the supermarket not only will make it hard for you to shop (keep an eye on them, chasing them, you know) but it will add up an extra $20 or $30 in your grocery bill.
Children will want to buy food items and candy that you don’t need, and it’s not always easy to say no, so it’s a great idea to shop when they’re at school or at their grandparent’s house.
Consider Shopping In Different Grocery Stores
You need to ask yourself why you picked your current grocery store? Is it because the friendliest or is it in the most convenient locations, or for some other reasons. If we’re being honest, most of us choose their grocery store and shop where we do out of habit.
So don’t let a comfortable routine cost you more money, because you can drive just a few blocks away from your current every month grocery store, and find the same items, but with less price (different stores have different savings). Also, if you want to save money on food, be sure to check the weekly ads in your area for what’s on sale at competing grocery stores.
Stay Away From The inner Aisles And The Middle Shelf
Most grocery stores are strategically designed to place all the essentials that you need, such as dairy and produce and other stuff, on the opposite ends of the store.
This way most shoppers are forced to pass through all the aisles, and they might pick something that they don’t even need. So try to skip all the way to the end of the store to find the goodies you need.
Not only that grocery stores hire people and pay them really well, just so they determine the ideal spots to put food on shelves. One of those spots is on the middle shelf because it’s well at eye level. So next time you go grocery shopping look up and down and avoid concentration on the middle shelf alone.
If you believe that coupons are a thing of the past or only for your grandparents, well let me tell you that you are so wrong. If you’re not using coupons for your groceries you’re really missing out on a great opportunity to save lots of money. (when I say lots of money I don’t mean right away but with time).
Coupons can save you money, check out sites like coupons.com or eBates, and other similar discount sites for virtual coupons on thousands of grocery items. for great deals. And you can also sing up for a cashback program with eBates, and you can get up to 30 percent of your spendings back to your PayPal account.
There is a high possibility that you might be used to a particular brand of cereal or sugar, but the generic options are usually cheaper (i personally buy generic products because they taste the same, and they are just an off-brand, which makes them less expensive).
Generic brands often use name-brand products with their own labels on it, and they offer it at a better price, the one thing you need to do is to check the ingredients to make sure you’re getting the same product.
Make Sure To Use Your Leftovers
We all have leftovers after making a meal right, so instead of through that food away and waste it, why not secure it in your fridge and use it for lunch the next day. This way you don’t have to buy lunch and wast money, you’ll leftovers from yesterday can do the work and keep your stomach full until you get back home and cook dinner.
Buy In Bulk
Buying in bulk is really an excellent idea to save money. If you’re heading to the grocery store, make a list of items you want to buy in bulk. Canned foods and other similar items with long shelf lives are great for buying in bulk.
Also really important thing is to look at the shelf pricing, the chances are you’ll find two prices. The higher price in the bold (large font) is for a single unit. If you look under that you’ll find a smaller, cheap bulk price if you take more than one set.
Pay Attention For Specials And Deals
When you go grocery shopping keep an eye on specials. Most stores do weekly deals on some of the food, so you need to stay alert. These specials are often unadvertised and can be found on the top or bottom shelf. It’s really a great idea because you can save some money with those deals.
Remember to buy only the thing that you’ll be using and on your list, and avoid other stuff.
Cut Back On Meat And Try Meatless Meals
We all know how expensive it is to buy large quantities of meat, especially when the meat isn’t on sale. So instead of buying lots of meat, find some meatless recipes and cook them on Mondays or any other day of the week you want. Doing this will defiantly lower your grocery bill for sure.
There are really some delicious meatless meals that you cant try, Google and Youtube are full of recipes, just search and you’ll be surprised with the results.
Stay As Far As Possible From Prepared Foods
If there is one thing I highly recommend is to stay away from the prepared foods. Don’t buy them no matter how good they look, because they are so much expensive, and not healthy at all, and you can make them easily at your home.
Instead of buying the pre-made foods, you can buy all the ingredients and make it for a fraction of the price at home. It will taste much and much better, and it would be much healthier and cheaper.
Shop In Seasons
This is very basic but really important as well. You have to eat the produce that’s in season. This is not only going to taste better, but it’s also will save a lot of money because buying out-of-season items will definitely cost you more. So only buy fruits and veggies that are in season.
Keep An Eye At Checkout
Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying you should not trust the cashier at checkout, but you should always watch what they ring up, they are human too and they can make some mistakes right. So it’s really important as your items are being scanned, to keep an eye of the register so that you can catch any mispriced items.
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