Ever since I was a kid I was brought up to be frugal and to save and budget money. * Disclaimer: I am not a financial planner.
Eat out less.
When you're not at home, it's much easier to eat unhealthy food and drink sugary beverages. But if you're trying to cut costs, eating out less is a good idea.
- Eat less junk food when dining out. Try ordering the water or unsweetened iced tea instead of soda or juice. Also avoid appetizers that aren't on special—they'll just fill up your stomach with calories and cost more than an entree would have anyway!
- Get most of your meals at home rather than going out to eat more often than once every week or so (if possible). Cooking for yourself will also help keep temptation away since there won't be any cookies nearby calling your name while you're trying to watch TV while keeping an eye on the stovetop!
- If leftovers are an option, take them home with you after eating at a restaurant instead of throwing them away—it'll save tons o' money over time!
Don't shop hungry.
If you want to save money on groceries, it's important to avoid these four terrible times for grocery shopping:
- When you're hungry. Grocery stores are full of delicious-looking food that makes people hungry, and many people go straight into the supermarket after work or school. If you bring food with you, but don't have time to eat it before getting in line at the checkout counter, this can lead to impulse buys on junk food while waiting in line.
- When you're tired. You may think that having extra energy means that you'll be able to do more during your trip—but while fatigue may help keep some impulses at bay (like buying unnecessary items), it also leads people toward unhealthy snacks like candy bars and potato chips as quick solutions instead of healthy alternatives like fruits and vegetables.
- When life gets busy for any reason (and let's be honest here: if there isn't something stressful going on in our lives right now then we're doing something wrong). Stress leads us toward anything that will give us an immediate sense of relief from what's bothering us; which means when we get home from work stressed out because our boss yelled at us again or because traffic was so bad today...we might head straight into the kitchen cabinet where all those tempting salty snacks are hiding!
Buy store brands.
Store brands are often just as good as the name brands, and they can be significantly cheaper. In fact, store-brand products are sometimes healthier than name-brand ones—just look at the nutrition label! You'll probably notice that many of the most popular store brands are organic or GMO-free. That's because they don't have to spend money on advertising (like name-brands do), so they're able to put more money into making their product better for you and the environment.
Buy in bulk.
I know you’re probably thinking, “But what if I can only afford to buy in bulk once a month?” That’s fine! Just start small and work your way up. Start with buying things that are on sale or heavily discounted, like cereal or toilet paper. Also, look for items that come with coupons or gift cards—if you find those while you are at the grocery store, definitely take advantage of them too! If all else fails, just buy one extra item each time you go shopping until it becomes easier to do so.
Use store apps to save money.
If you want to save money on groceries, use the store's app. For example, Kroger has a great app that lets you find coupons and deals. The app also lets you check out weekly ads and sales, as well as recipes from the store or from other users. You can even search for healthy recipes or add your own recipe if it's not already in their database!
Compare prices across stores and shop in person when you can.
The next time you're at the store, take a quick inventory of all the brands and prices for similar items. A good rule of thumb is to compare prices across stores and buy the food item that has the lowest price per unit (e.g., weight, ounce). If an item's price varies between stores, see if it's cheaper to buy in bulk at one location rather than buying smaller quantities at another. For example, you may find that a particular brand sells its cereal in large boxes but only has smaller boxes available in your local supermarket; however, if this same brand can be found sold in larger quantities at a warehouse club like Costco or Sam’s Club within driving distance from where you live then it might make sense to go there instead because they will generally have lower prices overall than any other retailer due their scale and proximity advantages compared with traditional small businesses such as grocery stores or specialty markets with limited product offerings (i.e., Trader Joe’s).
It's easy to save money on groceries if you adopt some simple habits.
- Eat out less.
- Don’t shop hungry.
- Buy store brands instead of name brands to save money on groceries.
- Buy in bulk if you have the storage space and time to freeze or refrigerate ingredients until you need them, which can mean big savings since stores often offer discounts when you buy more than one unit at a time.
- Use grocery store apps to save money with coupons and special offers, even if it’s only five dollars here or there—every little bit helps! You can also use these apps to compare prices across different stores near your home or work so that when it comes time for an actual trip to the store, you know exactly where to go based on price!
So there you have it: the top six ways to save money on groceries. With these tips in mind, you can start saving hundreds of dollars a year on your grocery bill. And remember, the best way to save money is to never buy something in the first place!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2022 Shanon Sandquist