If you are following a budget or simply want to cut costs, saving money when buying groceries is the way to go. Poorly planned trips and impulse buys can quickly tank your grocery shopping budget, leaving you with an empty bank account and random items that don’t make a complete meal.
If this sounds like you, here are some tips to help you save money on your grocery shopping trips.
Plan Your Meals
Start saving on your grocery bill before you ever leave your home by creating a comprehensive meal plan. By planning out your meals, you’ll know exactly what and how much you need to buy of each item instead of winging it for the entire trip.
Want to supercharge your meal planning savings? Check out your local weekly sales circular and plan your meal based on what items will be on sale.
Know When To Shop
Strategic grocery shopping starts with knowing when to shop so you can catch the sales and chose from a freshly-stocked selection of items.
Follow these tips to make sure you are shopping on the best days:
- Know what day the weekly sales circular is released.
- Ask what day, or days, the store is stocked to either shop the freshly-stocked shelves or the pre-stocking discounts.
- Shop as early as possible to beat the crowds and have first access to sale items.
Knowing when to shop is an important step to saving on your grocery bill.
Eat Before You Shop
Want to save more at the grocery store? Eat before you shop. You’ll spend more when you shop on an empty stomach because being hungry makes you want to buy the things you see in front of you. Hunger lowers your impulse control and results in purchases you’ll likely regret.
The next time you go shopping, eat a full meal beforehand so you don’t get the urge to buy everything in the store.
Make A List And Stick To It
Much like meal planning is essential for saving money on your groceries, making a list and sticking to it is just as important.
Walking into a grocery store without a clear plan of what you need to buy usually results in purchasing items based purely on impulse, instead of what you need. You can avoid this problem by making a detailed list – from gourmet deli ingredients to household cleaning products, and more; and committing to sticking to the list.
If you have the urge to buy an item that’s not on the list, skip it! While it may seem small to throw a cheap item in your basket, over time, those cheap buys add up to a lot of wasted money.
Stick to your list and save money during your shopping trip.
Shop At Cheap Grocery Stores
Want to save more money on your groceries? Shop at a cheap grocery store. While it may be tempting to buy all of your groceries at one of the major chains, doing so can quickly eat up your grocery shopping budget.
There are a few stores that are known for their affordable pricing, including:
- Trader Joe’s
- Sam’s Club
- Market Basket
By shopping the deals at the major chains and the more affordable grocery stores, you can have the best of both worlds and save a lot of money on your groceries.
Don’t Forget About Drugstores
Did you know that drugstores can be one of the cheapest places to buy groceries? Shopping drugstore sales can save you a lot of money on your groceries, even more than shopping at the major chains.
There are a few items that are generally cheaper at a drugstore than a grocery store, including:
Drugstores use the lower-priced items to get you in the door so you will buy their higher-priced items. Take advantage of these deals and put your local drugstore into your shopping rotation.
Take Advantage Of Farmer’s Markets
If you’re wondering where to buy cheap groceries, your local Farmer’s Market is the place!
Farmer’s Markets are ideal because they allow you to support local businesses, which is great for the environment and the community, while buying various items at a discounted rate. Best of all, you’ll be buying the freshest, in-season produce along with other tasty treats.
Shopping at a Farmer’s Market is a win-win situation.
Shop The Deals
Every grocery store has sales and deals on certain items in their store. By shopping the deals and looking for the best sams club promo codes, for example, you can stock up on pantry items and save money in the process.
Follow these tips to make sure you are getting the most up-to-date deals:
- Sign up for the store newsletter
- Check the weekly sales circular
- Download the store app to see if there are any extra savings offered
- Opt-in for the store’s loyalty program and rewards card
- Find coupons before you go
- Check your local newspaper for any deals
By following these tips, you’ll be sure to get the best deal on your purchases.
Tip: Looking for Kroger deals? Check out the Kroger Free Friday Download!
Buy Frozen Instead Of Fresh
Want to save money on your produce? Buy frozen!
While many people prefer to buy fresh produce instead of frozen, fresh produce is more expensive, goes bad quickly and oftentimes, isn’t as healthy as frozen produce. By buying frozen over fresh, you can save money, buy in bulk without breaking the bank and take home produce that lasts for more than just a few days.
Generic products are items that are not branded and generally have plain packaging when compared to a name brand product. Many generic items are the same quality as the more expensive brand name items and taking advantage of this could save you a lot on your grocery bill.
Of course, not all items are created equal, but there are a lot of products you can safely buy generic.
Saving Money When Buying Groceries: The Bottom Line
By following a few tips and tricks, buying groceries can be a stress-free and money-saving adventure instead of a budget draining weekly or monthly exercise.
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