Top 10 Ways to Save Money on Groceries

Summer time might be winding down, but the kids might still be spending more time at home–which means depleting groceries. Here are some tips on how to save money on food to help make sure their summer snacking and back to school lunches don’t end up breaking the bank.

 

1. Watch the Ads for Grocery Deals

Sometimes you might feel like you are inundated with ads, on the TV, in the newspaper, on the radio, but some ads can actually help you save money on food. Find out when the weekly store ads come out and check out what’s on sale. You can save a bundle if you shop the deals, especially if you’re willing to go to more than one store. Watch out for items that you can stock your pantry with like paper towels, dish soap, coffee, and bar soap. And, for additional money saving options, keep a look out for coupons both in paper format and via digital apps like Coupons.com.

 

2. Have a Strict Budget

Creating a budget is a good idea not only for groceries but also for meals and entertainment. It’s so easy to overspend when you don’t have a ceiling on your expenditures. If you have children, this is a good life lesson for them to learn and apply. Sit down and talk over what your weekly food budget is, and how that will change how you shop. If everyone is onboard, sticking to a budget is an easy way to save money on groceries because people will understand that the sky is NOT the limit.   

 

3. Consider Using Cash to Purchase Groceries

If you really want to know how to save money on food, consider switching to cash for your grocery spending. If you’ve already set a budget, you’ll know how much to pull out from the ATM and because you are paying with cash, you aren’t really given the opportunity to overspend.


Follow these three steps to success:

  • Set a budget
  • Have a list
  • Use cash

 

When you save money on groceries, you’ll have more to spend on the important things like family vacations or a new home.

 

4. Plan Your Meals to Save Money on Groceries

 

Take time to check the sales before you go to the store. Planning out your meals with what’s on sale is one of the most significant ways you can save money on food and score the best grocery deals. Plus, you’ll be saving time because you’ll know what you’ll be having for dinner each night and won’t have to run to the store at the last minute. Meal planning also prevents waste of expensive perishables, whose cost can quickly add up.

 

5. Be Focused and Fast at the Grocery Store

Have you ever found yourself wandering around in the grocery store for way too long? It happens to the best of us. Sometimes while we are strolling aimlessly from the meat department through the aisles we’re adding items to our cart we don’t need and their costs can really start to impact our budget.

 

Consider a challenge the next time you are grocery shopping. Make your list and see how fast you can get what you need and get out of the store. You’ll be surprised how much time you can save, and more importantly how much money you will save on groceries by eliminating impulse buys.

 

6. Shop the Perimeter & Avoid Processed Foods

Did you know that almost 25% of grocery spending is on processed food? That’s right, but an easy way to avoid these expensive temptations is to only shop the perimeter of the store. Think about it; all of the empty calorie and costly, convenient foods are in the center of the store. We’re talking about chips, sodas, and cookies to name a few. Whereas, the perimeter of the grocery store typically has produce, dairy, and meat. Making a quick dash around the outside aisle will save you time and money and ultimately fills your basket with more nutritious foods for you and your family. Try it on your next shopping trip and find healthy grocery deals to stock up on.

 

7. Don’t Waste Your Perishable Groceries

That is a big one–it’s double trouble to spend too much on fruits and veggies only to have them go bad before you can eat them. The best way to handle this is to calculate how many servings of fruits and vegetables you’ll need per week and only buy that amount.

 

For example, if you need one bag of delicious apples, six bananas, two packages of spinach, and four avocados that’s what you put on your list and ignore everything else. It’s not a deal if the items you “saved” on by buying in bulk go bad before you have the chance to eat them.

 

8. Buy What’s in Season

To help save money on grocery consider the time of the year. Fruits and vegetables that are in season cost less, taste better, and have more nutritional value. They will also last longer because they are not shipped across the country and a week old before you get them home.

 

While it might be tempting to buy your favorites year-round, be willing to try a few different local produce items for variety.  For example, if you’ve never had papaya or guava but it’s in season and on sale see what delights you could create. Perhaps there is a new smoothie recipe you could try or a salad you could take into work. You can also ask the produce clerk for ideas.

 

9. Don’t Buy Things at the Checkout Line

There’s no place like the checkout to find the things you don’t need but can’t resist. Check your list, is an expensive magazine or chocolate bar on there? Those two items alone can add over $5 to your bill. Over a month that’s $20. So, step away from the candy, magazines and latest gizmos and save even more money on your grocery bill.

 

10. Check Out Store Brands

What is it about store brands that make us avoid them? Did you know that store brands often have the same ingredients as their higher priced competitors? And many products are made by the same manufacturer and re-labeled for the store. That is especially true for big stores like Costco or Trader Joes. Read the ingredients, and you’ll be able to tell. And then, consider purchasing store brands and watch the money add up.

 

Steps to Save Money on Food Summary

1.   Watch the Ads for Grocery Deals

2.   Have a Strict Budget

3.   Consider Using Cash to Purchase Groceries

4.   Plan Your Meals to Save Money on Groceries

5.   Be Focused and Fast at the Grocery Store

6.   Shop the Perimeter & Avoid Processed Foods

7.   Don’t Waste Your Perishable Groceries

8.   Buy What’s in Season

9.   Don’t Buy Things at the Checkout Line

10. Check Out Store Brands

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed these ten tips on how to save money on your groceries. When you stick to a budget and shop for grocery deals, you’ll be able to have your pantry stocked up quickly for summer and beyond.

 

 

Contributed to Your Home blog by Carol Youmans

Looking for more tips, ideas or inspiration? Return Home here.

Published 9.12.19

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