The average family spends $200 a month on groceries. In addition to the cost of food, that’s a lot of money going toward food, even for those that are frugal with their cash.
The more you can keep your grocery costs down, the more money you’ll have left over for other things. Luckily, you can find ways to save money while shopping at the grocery store without sacrificing your diet or nutrition.
Here are 8 ways you can save money while grocery shopping without sacrificing your diet or nutrition.
#1. Plan Your Meals
Planning your meals ahead of time will help you save money on groceries by not having to purchase an entire month’s worth of food at once. If you’re not sure what you need or what you can do with what you already have, create a meal plan.
This will make sure you have everything you need for the next few weeks and that you don’t have to go shopping every week for new food. The more organized you are when grocery shopping, the less time you’ll have to spend in the store.
Plus, you’ll be able to spend more time cooking or eating your meal. If you’re not sure what to buy next or where to start, create a shopping list.
Be sure to cross items off as you purchase them so you don’t have to constantly add things to your list and forget to erase them when they’re gone.
#2. Keep an Eye on the Coupons
Make sure you’re keeping an eye on your store’s weekly ad circular and any other online coupons you may have access to. While it may sound like a hassle to keep track of coupons, it actually saves you a lot of money.
If you’re shopping at a store with in-store coupons, scan the items you’re looking to buy while you’re in the store. You’ll be able to keep track of your spending and you may even be able to find a coupon you didn’t know about.
If you’re shopping online, sign up for all the store’s mailing lists, reviews and other email newsletters to get notified whenever there are new coupons to be had.
#3. Don’t Shop on an Empty Stomach
While you may be tempted to pick up a snack before heading to the grocery store or eat a quick meal before you run out the door, this is a terrible idea. Not only is this a bad idea for your health, but it’s also a bad idea for your wallet.
By not eating anything before you go grocery shopping, you’re increasing your chances of impulse buying and making unnecessary trips to the store. If you must eat or drink something before you go, make it something healthy and light.
Something like an apple or a container of yogurt won’t make you fat, and they’re easy to eat while you’re in the store.
#4. Stock Your Kitchen
When you’re at the grocery store, take a few minutes to browse the aisles. If you see something you think you may need or want for your home, pick it up.
This could be spices, certain types of flour, or even a certain type of pasta that you don’t usually buy. Stocking your kitchen with staples will help you save money on groceries by not having to regularly purchase things you already have in your pantry.
#5. Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk can save you a lot of money on your grocery bill. If you’re able to save up enough money for a large order of a particular item, you can ship the items out to be delivered to your home.
This is a great way to get items that might otherwise be too expensive for you to afford regularly. Buying in bulk also allows you to buy things that don’t need to be kept in the refrigerator, which saves you even more money.
It’s important to remember to store things properly and use the items you buy in a timely manner so they don’t go bad.
#6. Check the Label Before You Buy
Before you make any purchases at the grocery store, do your research and find out as much as you can about the item you’re about to buy. This will allow you to get an idea of how much you need to buy and if you need to buy it in larger quantities.
This will also help you make sure you’re not wasting money on items that you don’t need or want. Find websites, apps and other resources that list ingredients in common grocery items so you can get an idea of what you’re buying and what they’re made of.
#7. Be a Smart Shoppers
As much as you need to keep an eye on your grocery bill, you also need to keep an eye on your grocery spending. Don’t shop solely for sale items. Shoppers often tend to prioritize items on sale, but this tends to lead to excessively high grocery bills.
Instead, use this time to stock up on items you use on a regular basis, such as non-perishable items, flour, rice, canned and dry goods, etc. Don’t let yourself get distracted while grocery shopping.
This will allow you to keep track of your spending and also won’t allow you to be interrupted. Don’t overcomplicate your shopping experience. The more complicated or time-consuming a shopping experience is, the more likely you are to break or lose focus and make mistakes while shopping.
#8. Make Meal Planning Easier
If you find yourself trying to decide what to cook for lunch or dinner each night, try meal planning. This way, you don’t have to worry about what to make each day, and you’re more likely to participate in the cooking process.
You may find that meal planning helps you save money on groceries by ensuring you don’t often find yourself shopping for new food or purchasing large quantities of ingredients you cook with regularly.
No matter how much you try to keep grocery costs down, they are going to increase every year. The only way to manage a grocery budget that won’t put a strain on your family is to put in some work. You can save money by planning your meals and buying in bulk, checking the labels before you buy, being a smart shopper, and making meal planning easier.
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