May 22, 2014
Groceries are something everyone needs, yet they are something that can quickly add up and cost you substantially if you are not careful. Luckily, most grocery stores have strong marketing teams behind them who want to bring revenue to their stores and also help save you money. With the right strategy, you can save significantly while shopping for groceries.
1. Choose the store that will save you more
You may have a “favorite” grocery store where you regularly shop, but this store isn’t necessarily the cheapest. If you know a different location is having a sale on items you always buy, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Look for coupons and ads for every grocery store within a few miles of your house, and price match before you ever leave the house.
2. Buy in bulk
Buying in bulk is an amazingly simple practice that can save you big money in the long run. While not every item is cheaper to buy in bulk, warehouse stores and warehouse clubs typically offer products in larger quantities and at cheaper rates that most regular grocery stores. Choose the 10 items you know you will use consistently and buy them in bulk. Additionally, don’t be afraid to stock up when something is on sale. If you know you will use a product, it is much cheaper to pay for it when it’s 40% off.
3. Don’t be afraid to use coupons
Coupons may have a reputation of being “nerdy,” but there is absolutely nothing shameful about saving money with minimal effort! Check out websites like couponmom.com and coupons.com to find instant deals. Check with your local grocery stores to see if they offer rewards programs on groceries and fuel. Many stores even offer digital coupons that you can load onto your loyalty card for absolutely no cost.
4. Waste less food
If you are more determined to actually use all of your food, you will find yourself making fewer trips to the grocery store each month. Set a goal to use what is still in your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Only throw away the things that are no longer safe to eat, and make meals from the “bits and pieces” of the ingredients you paid for weeks or months ago. Open up those cans and bags of pasta instead of paying for another overpriced meal at a restaurant.
5. Keep an updated inventory and grocery list
Each time you run out of something, write down what you still have and what you need. When you go to the grocery store, only buy what is on your list. Try to plan your meal schedule ahead of time, so you’ll know exactly what to purchase. The more food you have on hand, the less likely it is that you will eat out or spend even more money on food.
6. Never shop hungry
Shopping hungry is a dangerous mistake many people make. Hunger makes you more prone to impulse-buy and load up your cart with items you don’t need. Hungry people tend to be more irritable and will do whatever it takes to get out of a store quickly—meaning their judgement is not as sharp and they will be less likely to compare prices and actually think about what foods they are buying.
7. Buy generic
This no-brainer solution is the ultimate key when it comes to saving money at the store. Most generic products are completely identical to their name brand counterparts, and they can be anywhere from a few cents to several dollars cheaper. Just make sure you are comparing the unit pricing for items before you pick up the generic—in rare cases, buying the generic version is a worse deal.
There truly are specific resources designed to help you save money at the grocery store. If you take the time to research and do your homework before you head out the door, you will find yourself making “cents” of all your saved dollars.