I don’t know about you, but every time I go to the grocery store I seem to spend way more than I thought I was. I often find myself saying “I was only coming in here to buy one thing, but $100 later….” The worst part is, generally I know that I’ll have to go back to the same store in a week or less because I forgot something. So about 6 months ago I started to really think of ways to cut my grocery spending. With holidays coming up, it’s the perfect time for you to try some of these tips!
1. Create a shopping list, and stick to it!
This is every money conscious person’s top item. There is a reason for it, it works! Creating a list and only buying what is on it, will cut down on buying items that you don’t really need. As well as preventing you from buying that “amazing sale” that isn’t really a sale. You can make this even better by making your list while looking at the weekly sales, and planning a list that buys what is on sale.
2. Don’t shop when you are hungry
An oldie but super true. When I am hungry I find that a lot more things look absolutely delicious. Making it harder to keep to #1. Do yourself and your budget a favor and save the shopping until after you’ve eaten.
3. Buy the same things every week
This one might be a bit counter intuitive, because grocery stores generally have sales in cycles. But there are 3 good reasons for this. One by buying the same thing every week, you’ll get to know what the good sales and what the fake sale prices are. Secondly by buying the same thing, you’ll be able to better plan out how long a particular item will last you. Do you know how long a container of cream of tartar lasts? But I bet you know exactly how long a container of milk will last. Lastly by buying generally the same items over and over, you know that you won’t waste any of it. Which is a big source of lost money on groceries.
4. Use unit prices, not absolute prices.
This one is a bit more work, but it can save you money on every purchase. Last weekend I was at a grocery store picking up some cinnamon. I used too much for my Coffee Cake and what do you know it was on sale! Now I know that usually buying the larger containers is usually cheaper, however the sale was a dollar off all sizes. Which meant that the smallest container actually ended up being .50 cheaper per oz! So remember always check the unit price, you never know what size could be the cheapest.
5. Substitute cheaper alternatives
This one takes a bit of knowledge and planning, but it can really make a big difference. There are easy things like buying generic pasta instead of brand name. Which can easily save you 50%. But there are also more advanced substitutes like imitation vanilla extract, or buttermilk substitutes and knowing when you could use it over normal. But definitely using cheaper alternatives when they are available can cut the amount you spend.
6. Don’t spend less, go less often!
This one is probably the one I use most often. If going to the store seems to always end with you buying more than you expected. Then the simple solution is go less often! I kinda make it a game to see how long I can last without going to the store again. Also it’s great at making sure you don’t have random things lying in your fridge or freezer. This trick works great, although you do have to try to use the other tricks with this one, or it’ll be like when you get off a diet and then eat the entire snack drawer.
Those are some tips and tricks that I have found really helpful in making my grocery bill less and more manageable. Were these helpful? Do you have any favorite tricks? Let me know in the comments!