Grocery costs can make up a good portion of our household budget, if we are not careful. It is important to set aside a food budget for the month, and stick to it. Here are a few helpful tips that will save you money.
Shop in the Outer Aisles
The outer aisles of a grocery contain all the food staples. You will fruits, vegetables, meat, bread and dairy. Spend most of your grocery budget on these important food items.
Bring a List
Having a shopping list is very important to keep you on track. This will stop you from buying everything in sight. This will also ensure that you buy everything that you need. Forgetting an important food item will force you to drive back to the grocery store, where you will most likely buy more items than the one that you intended to buy.
Planning meals is a great way to save money at the grocery store. A weekly meal plan will help minimize temptations and over-spending. When you are not sure what you will be eating tomorrow or the day after, you end up buying too many groceries.
Shop for Deals
Flyers are available to us for a reason. They aren’t only meant for the recycle bin. Flyers contain many deals and savings. It’s also great to look over different grocery store flyers to compare prices. Sometimes a grocery store that you wouldn’t normally shop at will have great deals as well.
Buy “Knock Off” Brands
We are all prone to buy name brand food items. But usually a name brand items are much more expensive than a generic brand. Many people also think that a name brand item is much better than a generic brand but that’s not always the case. A lot of generic brand items are equally tasty if not more. As keep in mind that name brand items are often on sale. Sometimes when they are on sale they are even cheaper than the generic brand name. Take advantage of the sales and stock up on your favorite brands.
Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk can save you a lot of money. A good item to buy in bulk is meat. It may seem expensive to buy a case of chicken breast, a bulk pack of ground beef or steaks, but when calculated it ends up being a lot cheaper per portion. Buy in bulk, portion them in bags and freeze them.
Avoid Buying Pre-Packaged Food
Pre-packaged food is more expensive. You pay for the convenience as well as the labor that was put into packaging the product. Choose regular Romaine lettuce over pre-washed Romaine lettuce, frozen juice over readymade boxed juice, pre-portioned snacks as opposed to a box regular etc.
Shop with Cash
Set aside a certain amount of cash for groceries. Using cash at the grocery store will make you a lot more conscious of what you really need and how much everything costs. You will probably have to do some calculating in your head as you are shopping to stay on budget. When using a credit card or debit card to pay, you are more prone to overspend because you have a lot more money to play with.
Don’t Shop When You are Hungry
Never shop on an empty stomach. This will cause you to overspend because everything will look appetizing. You will end up with a cart full of junk food with very little healthy items or ingredients to prepare meals.