You can clip coupons to your heart’s content and still feel like your grocery bill is over the top. So, here are a few tips to avoid overspending at the supermarket:
How to save money on groceries before you go to the store
There are a bunch of ways to save money on groceries. Plus a few things you can do before you even head to the store.
- Create a grocery budget – Plan a budget before you shop and stick to it. It’s a great way to avoid spending on things you don’t need.
- Plan your meals around sales – Check the paper or grocer’s website for discounts before you go. Then you can search for recipes based on what’s on sale.
- Make a grocery list - This is an easy way to save on groceries. List your needs and wants. Stick to your list and avoid temptation.
- Find coupons – Couponing can be tricky. Don’t buy something just because there’s a coupon. Look for coupons for things you actually use.
- Do your price research – A great way to save money on food shopping is to compare prices before you go. Search websites to see who has the best deals.
- Join your favorite grocery store’s loyalty program – Most grocery stores have rewards programs that can add up to real savings the more you shop.
- Take inventory of what’s in your pantry – You might forget about things you already have. Scan your pantry while you make your list so you don’t buy something you don’t need.
- Shop alone – More isn’t always merrier when it comes to saving money on food. You could lose focus or get enticed by someone else’s appetite. Maybe get specific about kids who always ask for a bunch more stuff when they shop with you.
- Avoid grocery shopping when you’re hungry or tired – Shopping when you’re tired could lead to forgetting things you need. And shopping when you’re hungry can be detrimental to your grocery bill. Try to go shortly after you’ve eaten to avoid impulse purchases.
Money saving tips while you’re at the store
You’ve done the prep work and you’re ready to shop. Here are some tips on how to save money on food while you’re in the store.
- Choose the store brand – Buying generic items can save you money without compromising on quality.
- Avoid the middle shelves and endcaps – Middle shelves and the ends of aisles are strategically stocked to sell, but not always at the best price. Look below your eyeline for better pricing.
- Slice your own deli meats – One of the more surprising grocery saving tips is to buy meat in bulk and freeze what you don’t need. If your family eats a lot of turkey, buy an entire breast and slice it as needed at home.
- Buy in-season fruits and vegetables – It’s generally cheaper.
- Don’t purchase the store’s prepared foods – If a prepared dish looks yummy, save some money and get the ingredients to make it yourself at home.
- Buy pantry staples in bulk when they’re on sale – Save on essentials like salt and pepper by buying in bulk.
How to save money on groceries after you go to the store
You made it home, but that doesn’t mean the saving has stop. Here are some tips for saving money on groceries, even after the shopping is done.
- Check your receipt for mistakes – Check your inventory against your receipt and price stickers to make sure you weren’t accidentally overcharged.
- Store your food properly – One of the worst ways to lose money on groceries is to waste them. Keep up on expiration dates. Get creative with items before they go bad. You might discover a new favorite family recipe.
Additional tips on saving money on groceries
- Grow your own herbs – Herbs and spices can get a little pricey. Save yourself some bucks by growing your own.
- Use apps – Search for grocery saving apps. Your usual store probably has its own, but don’t forget to check your favorite brands, too.
- Buy certain items from a drugstore or dollar store – Dollar stores are a great source for everyday items, like spices.
- Use a cash back credit card or a card with travel rewards – Smart grocery shopping can start with earning cash back or travel rewards for buying things you need frequently.
Now, it’s time to put your savings to work. Keep track of what you save and add it to your vacation or home renovation budget or use the extra money to treat yourself.