Are you tired of having your jaw drop to the floor every time that you get up to the register at the grocery store? Do you feel like you’re wasting money on the food you buy? If so, then you need to learn more about how to save money on groceries.
Doing so can help you save money to use elsewhere in your life. Heck, if you even save so much as $10 on each grocery trip, that’s $40 or more a month that you can be used towards entertainment, gas, and so on.
See below for several tips on how to save money on food and take back control of your hard-earned cash.
1. Create a Budget
Before getting into any of the finer details of how to save money on groceries, let’s start with the basics. If you aren’t already using a monthly budget to sort out your money, then that’s where you need to start.
Perhaps you have a budget, but don’t reference it often. If so, then make it a priority to watch it like a hawk. Make sure every dollar you earn has a job assigned to it.
For groceries specifically, you want to make sure you’re setting a reasonable budget for you and your family. There’s a fine line between budgeting too much money for groceries and budgeting too little money for groceries.
Start by taking a look back at your previous trips via your bank statement (assuming you paid with a card). How much did you spend? Did you use all the food you bought or is there some leftover?
You’ll notice right away that by simply making a budget, you’ll start to view grocery shopping in terms of real dollars, not just “shopping until you drop”.
If you feel that you’re struggling to stick with a budget, then use a financial wellness app such as this platform to get things back in order.
2. Prioritize Proximity
Here’s one thing that doesn’t often get factored into your grocery shopping: the amount of gas you burn while going to different stores to stock up for the week.
While it is smart to go to different grocery stores to stock up on deals, it defeats the purpose if you’re driving all over town to do so.
Generally speaking, there are always one or two grocery chains close to each other. Look for the ones with the closest proximity and use that to save on the gas you’re burning.
For example, let’s say your usual routine is to go to Costco for bulk items, Aldi’s for lower-priced items, and then your local grocery store for everything else.
When looking at a map, you notice that Costco and your go-to grocery store are close to each other, but Aldi’s is 20 mins away. In that case, it might make more sense to forego Aldi’s and do all your shopping at Costco and the local chain store.
3. Purchase In Bulk Whenever You Can
This should be prefaced by saying to factor in health first. Don’t just stock your fridge full of unhealthy and processed foods just because they were $5 cheaper than the organic chicken. It’s all about finding a balance.
Even if you don’t have a family, buying in bulk is advantageous for everyone. If you find yourself buying something every week, why not save money in the process?
If you can’t wrap your head around purchasing a membership for places like Sam’s Club and Costco, think about this: by spending $45 to $60 a year, you can be saving yourself hundreds of dollars in groceries that year.
It’s wise to shop at the bulk store first, then visit the grocery store after to pick up anything you eat in moderation. Buying in bulk not only saves you money, but it also gives consistency to your diet, which can help your fitness goals as well.
3. Create a Checklist
Visuals are powerful tools when grocery shopping. To save as much as possible with each visit, you’ll want a plan of attack before you even enter the store.
Start by creating a checklist for your shopping. This will help keep you accountable and prevent you from wandering around the store, getting tempted by everything you see.
If you let your eyes wander for too long, you’ll find yourself veering off course. Give yourself a list so that you can check it off one by one as you go. Once the list is complete, you head to the checkout. It’s as simple as that.
4. Send One Person
There’s at least one person in every family that would be considered “the shopper” of the relationship (you know who you are). If that person strolls down the aisles with you, you’ll find it merely impossible to stick to your budget.
The better strategy is to have the most financially-responsible person in the family do the shopping and leave the spouse and the kids at home.
If you’re single, then you have to show restraint. Don’t go shopping with friends, just create your own list, grab a cart, and walk down the aisles with your smartphone’s calculator app in-hand the entire time.
How to Save Money on Groceries: Give Yourself Structure
The biggest thing to remember with how to save money on groceries is by providing accountability for yourself through structure. This is where a majority of people set themselves up for failure.
One last tip would be to never shop on an empty stomach. If you do, your eyes will be wider than your wallet and you’re more susceptible to lose track of your goal.
Be sure to browse our website for more articles on budgeting, as well as many other helpful topics that you will enjoy reading.