After you go grocery shopping, that’s when it hit you: your groceries cost so much you feel like your money disappeared into thin air. You might wonder if there’s a way to keep a frugal grocery budget without depriving yourself so much.
Well, there are many factors that involve grocery budget: prices, consumption, and personal preference on brands (you might be allergic to something, who knows!). If you’re wondering how to spend less money on food, here are 14 grocery shopping hacks that will help you.
How to Grocery Shop for One: Plan for Leftovers
When you buy food in bulk, you can save money.
Even if you don’t think you will use all the food, you can always reuse the leftovers for a new meal. You can turn roasts into soups and add meats to salads or put it on sandwiches. Don’t throw out leftovers or pass up a bargain before you think about ways to use that food.
Shopping for Groceries Too Far In Advance
If you think you can buy a month’s worth of food in one trip, think again.
Not only will this stress you out, but you will likely buy things that will expire before you use them. You might even forget why you bought them and fail to use them.
Not Checking Prices When You Go Grocery Shopping
If you are one of those people who fly through the store without checking prices, you might feel like you have found a way to finish your shopping faster.
That may be true, but you are probably spending more money. It’s worth spending a few extra seconds comparing prices to save money.
Buying Name Brand Products When Going to Shop
Sure the name brand products always look the best, but are they really? In most cases, you are paying for that fancy packaging and not what’s inside it.
Off-brand products are just as good and almost always cost less. At least try the generic before you commit to only buying a name-brand item.
Not Buying In Bulk
You might look at bulk problems as more expensive, but you could save money with them in the long run.
You may be able to buy meat and other products in bulk, separate them into freezer bags or containers, and then use them as needed. Always compare the prices.
Always Buying Fresh
Sure, fresh is best in most cases, but that doesn’t mean you always have to buy fresh produce.
Think about how you are using the item. In some cases, frozen or canned foods may be a better option and almost always cheaper. Don’t be afraid to compare the prices of fresh produce with canned and frozen.
You can also learn how to plan a week’s worth of meals so you will know which items to buy fresh, and which ingredients you can opt for a canned or frozen one.
Shopping While Hungry
If you have ever gone shopping while hungry, you have probably already made this mistake.
You can’t help but want to buy and eat everything in the store. If you are on a budget, this can make it hard to stay on track. Have a snack before you hit the grocery store, so that you don’t overspend.
Buying Pre-Cut Produce
Pre-cut produce is convenient, but it’s also very expensive. You can save a lot of money on your favorite fruits and vegetables by just cutting them yourself.
Unless the pre-cut fruit is on sale, it’s probably a waste of money.
Stores often offer discounts or special deals certain times of the week or month. Don’t ignore them.
These deals are worth the time and hassle. You can stock up on some staples and save a lot of money. Pay attention to ads and flyers to find deals at your local stores.
Shopping At The Wrong Time of Day
Your brain is better at solving problems and thinking clearly at certain times of the day. Make sure you shop when you are feeling sharp. This way, you will pay attention to the price and the amount of money you are spending while at the store.
If you are stressed or tired, avoid shopping until a later time.
Shopping Too Often
Don’t get in the habit of shopping weekly. Sometimes you might not need to buy as much as you think. Before you go, check your fridge and cabinets to make sure you actually need to go grocery shopping.
You will find this keeps you from buying things you don’t need and overspending.
Not Using Loyalty Programs
It might seem annoying to sign up for all those loyalty programs, but they can pay off.
Stores offer great discounts and coupons for their loyal customers. Because you can sign up for them online, you don’t have to take the time to do it in the store. Just keep your loyalty card with you when you shop.
Using A Big Cart
If you have a big cart, you are much more likely to fill it up. If you are wondering if you need those extra cases of pop and can’t fit them into your cart, you are much more likely to put them back.
If you only need a few things, use a basket instead of a full-sized shopping cart.
Buying The Cheapest Products
If you have a frugal grocery budget, this is one thing that would come to your mind when it comes to saving money. You might think that saving money at the grocery store is as easy as buying the cheapest product you can find, but this isn’t always true.
Sometimes, the cheaper products come in the same size box but offer less product. Be sure to compare weights and sizes and then make sure you are getting a good deal, not just a cheap price.
These are not fool-proof tricks since all these would still depend on your consumption. But these healthy grocery shopping tips are a great start on cutting down your household grocery cost by almost half. You can also use a grocery budget app to track your expenses and see the difference these hacks make on every grocery run you have.