How much do you spend on groceries per month? Surprisingly, food is the average family third largest expense after housing and transport. Given you have to eat to survive and how big an expense it is to maintain a healthy life, it’s true you can’t compromise on the quality of the groceries you buy. However, due to the prices of food soaring high, there is a need to be conscious of your shopping habits which will go a long way of saving some money.
Therefore, we no further ado; here are some incredible techniques to reduce your grocery shopping expenses.
1. Make a List
No matter how much you think you are a disciplined shopper, always make a list before going out to buy groceries. When you do this, it’s unlikely you will end up buying any items you haven’t planned for. If you stick to your list even if you are shopping with your kids, you won’t be tempted to buy any unnecessary food items you had not budgeted for.
2. Don’t Shop While You are Hungry
Another ideal way to cut down your expenses is to avoid going to the store while hungry. According to recent research, it was noted that shopping on an empty stomach is one of the most frequent reasons people overspend. This is because most of the decisions you make come from the desire to eat. Therefore, make sure you always eat before leaving the house. However, if you are not coming from home, avoiding shopping between 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. since you will already be feeling a bit hungry. Overall, try to shop on the weekends, when your stomach will definitely be full.
3. Shop Online
If you are an impulsive spender, then you should consider shopping online to reduce your grocery shopping expenses. Nowadays, many stores have the pickup option that will definitely save you money and time as well. To get your groceries delivered easily, you can sign up on some websites such as Ebates, Ibotta, and TopCashBack.
4. Buy In-Season Products
One big mistake many shoppers do is to ignore the in-season products. Even if to stay healthy we require fresh fruits and vegetables, that does not mean we should overspend on them. For example, when we look at fruits you can buy Apples, oranges, pears, cranberries, and kiwifruit among others from November and December season. For vegetables, you can find beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, kale and many more. If you plan your meals around what’s on sale, then be assured you won’t spend so much as if you bought off-season products.
5. Use Basic Ingredients
Although you are used to buying ingredients only usable for one meal, it’s time to save some money by buying basic ingredients. Remember, it’s a lot cheaper to buy basic, affordable ingredients to use in several dishes than focusing on specialty ones. By doing this, it will be easier to stick to your budget and overspend.
6. Check Out New Offers Online
As it has become the norm, many stores advertise online the different offers they have for their customers. By checking out these offers, you have a chance to know if they are any discounts given on particular products at the moment. Buying discount gift cards online is also a great option to save on groceries since you can save up to 10% of the full price offered in regular stores. Check out stores like Walmart, Costco, and Target for reduced grocery prices.
7. Check Your Pantry When Making a List
Do you check how much food left in the pantry before going shopping? Make it a habit f-checking if you have included an item on your list yet you have it in plenty in the pantry. That’s because often we tend to forget some food or ingredients we bought weeks ago and stored in the pantry. Other places to check as you make a list should be the fridge and freezer.
8. Only Carry Enough Cash for the Budgeted Groceries
Have you ever left the house to go buy a few things only to come back with a bag full of groceries and an empty wallet? That’s what carrying a lot of cash will do to you. Therefore, to make sure you don’t repeat the same mistake you need to only carry enough cash for the budgeted items.
9. Try Various Groceries Stores
I know you love a particular grocery store because it’s near your house or sells the best cookies ever! But should that be enough reason to not save some money? No matter how much you enjoy shopping at that specific store; it’s good to try out other stores for a change. Yes, different stores sell the same products at different prices, but you will never get to compare the prices if you don’t venture out. However, if you are not sure which grocery stores are worth visiting, ask around, I am sure your friends and even work colleagues will be willing to share their favorite spots with you.
10. Schedule Your Shopping Days
Scheduling your shopping days is another great way to not only save some money but also your time. When you shop once a week you will minimize your trips to the grocery stores, therefore, reducing your spending expenditure. That’s why I insist that before you leave the house always have a list ready to ensure you buy everything at once thus also saving transport.
11. Carry Packed Food to Work
I know you love enjoying your lunch dates with your co-workers but have you ever calculated how much you spend per month on lunch? Even if it might seem little since to your defense you visit the cheapest joint, every dollar counts and you might be spending a lot more than you think. Since you have to always prepare supper, make sure you add an extra plate and pack it carefully to eat for lunch the next day. If you do this for a month, I am sure you will get to see a great difference in your saving before the month ends.
Don’t have a grocery budget? Then it’s your entire fault you are not saving on your grocery shopping. Don’t waste more time and just start by implementing the above techniques and get to see your grocery spending expenses start to reduce.