Save Money Grocery Shopping
If you want to learn the simplest and best ways to save a lot on groceries, read on! Because, after paying for your mortgage (or rent) and car, it’s probably the next biggest expense in your budget.
This article is perfect if you’re in the habit of preparing a weekly shopping list that is based on what you already have available in your pantry. If you’re not doing this, don’t worry…check out this post. It provides the simple steps to get you started and also to adopt it as a standard practice.
Below is a golden list of tips to save money on groceries. To get these savings, all you need to do, is to make them a regular habit.
If you can, shop midweek and not at the weekend. Because, lots of stores offer their biggest discounts and deals midweek. Some even stack last weeks deals with this weeks deals. Cha ching!
Before You Leave For The Grocery Store:
- Have something to eat and feel full, so that you’re not hungry when shopping.
- Set a spending limit within your budget and stick to it. Remember, you’re only shopping for one week at a time.
- If you need to shop at more than one store, decide on the most efficient route and stick to it. Save gas, time and the environment.
- Check relevant store(s) app or flyers for coupons or offers for items on your list.
- Pack enough reusable bags so that you won’t need to buy any. Be as green as you can be, every little bit adds up to alot!
- Shop without kids, if possible, keeping them safe at home – if you can’t say no to impulse buying what they ask/plead for.
- If you can, take a calculator (or use your phone) to add up how much you are spending. That way you know if you are on budget and roughly what total to expect when you, or the cashier rings (read step 4) up your groceries.
- Make sure you have your grocery list with you.
Don’t Buy Items That Waste Money:
- Bottled water. Unless you have only have access to water that is unfit to drink, this is a waste of money. Use a filter and reusable water bottle. Like it cold, keep it in the fridge.
- Grated or shredded cheese. It takes seconds to do this for yourself.
- Pre cut fruit or vegetables. These are expensive and may have chemicals added to keep them fresh. They’re exposed to surface areas when they’re being cut up, which actually makes them go off more quickly. Added to this, people manually do the cutting, which gives even more opportunity for contamination to take place.
- Sliced mushrooms. Buy whole and slice yourself.
- Items from the ‘serve yourself’ deli counter. A unhygienic breeding ground for germs and other nasties. Anyone can use these, they may accidentally touch the food with clean hands, dirty hands, something could fall in, anything could happen! Don’t go there.
- Individually packaged snack sized portions.
- Items on sale, that you will never use! A bargain isn’t a bargain if you don’t use it. These items are usually stock that isn’t moving that the store needs to off load.
When You’re In The Store:
- SStick to your grocery list! You’re on a mission, no shiny object syndrome needed!
- Shop in season for fruit and vegetables.
- Shop in the outer aisles, as much as possible. You’ll be shopping for fresh, unprocessed foods for the week that way. The middle aisles are full of processed foods.
- Bag your own fresh produce, when it’s cheaper, which it often is. Check the cost per ounce or pound, this will tell you.
- Check for Reduced Price Labels for items on your list. These items will still be fresh, they may need used quickly or frozen and can provide some good savings. Don’t be tempted to buy too much to freeze, unless you know you will use it soon. Creating a discounted frozen stock of food, can end up in waste too!
- If you’re buying eggs, check the pack date, (which is the Julian date) vs the sell by date. The Julian date is a three digit code on the side of the egg carton. For example, Jan 1 is Day 1, Dec 31 is Day 365. If kept refrigerated, eggs are safe to be consumed four to five weeks beyond that date.
- To check eggs are not cracked, run two fingers over the eggs. If they tip back as you run your fingers over them in the container, they aren’t cracked. If they don’t, they are most likely stuck to the carton because they are cracked.
- If buying frozen food, check there for freezer burn or ice crystals. If there is, put it back and find a package that doesn’t have it.
- For packaged food, check the expiration dates.
- When shopping in the inner aisles, check the top and lower shelves. Items are often less expensive when you have to work to reach them.
- Brands vs generic. Check the ingredients as many are the same, but not all. Many people think generic cheese doesn’t taste the same, for example, yet for tinned tomatoes they do. If the price difference is substantial, it may be worth testing out one time, so see if the generic brand will work for you and your family.
- Check package sizes. Sometimes one big vs two small is less expensive, dried pasta for example. This won’t spoil if you don’t use it all at one time. However, don’t buy more than you need either, if it’s an item not often used in your kitchen.
- Be careful about buying non grocery items, like alcohol. These are usually cheaper in superstores like Costco.
- Check your receipt!
These 28 tips will help you save money and time. Remember, our goal is to maximize your money and simplify your life.
You most likely do some of these without thinking about it. Take a moment and pat yourself on the back for being a good shopper.
Add the other tips and you will be a super savvy shopper! Every cent you save of your hard earned cash, is money to save, or spend, on something you value. Affording yourself freedom of choice is priceless.
Comment below and share tips that you plan to start using from this list. Let me know about ones that you already use, and think should be on the list, I’d love to try them too.