Strategies to Help You Save Money On Groceries.
You may think it won’t make much difference in your budget to save money on groceries. It’s just a few dollars or cents here and there, right? Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Groceries are one of the largest portions of every family’s budget. We buy them often. We buy many different types of products when we purchase groceries. We see special offers and enticing advertising for everything sold in grocery stores.
Even small savings on items we buy regularly can add up to big savings over the course of a year. Here are a few strategies shared with Time/Money by supermarket savings experts for ways to find hidden savings on your next grocery trip.
1. Do an inventory.
Take stock of your pantry and freezer once a month to get a sense of what items you need and what you can skip buying, says Annette Economides, co-author of Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America’s Cheapest Family. Her husband and co-author Steve adds, “you don’t want to get in a panic when you’re in the grocery store and impulse buy an item at full price only to go home and find you’ve already got it.” Use an app like Out of Milk to help with your inventory.
2. Plan meals by the ads.
“A lot of people make a weekly meal plan and then go look for a deal,” says Steve Economides. “Instead, look first at the deals and plan your meals around what’s on sale. This way, you can get meals for half price.”
3. Use up your pantry.
Americans typically toss about 25% of the groceries we buy, according to the National Resources Defense Council. To prevent your food from turning into wasted money, sort through your fridge and pantry about once a week for items that are about to expire and place those in a designated space so that you remember to eat them before they go bad. Plug in what you’ve got at Supercook to find recipes that will help you use up your ingredients.
4. Shop only once a week.
“The less you shop, the more you save,” says Annette Economides. Reduce impulse purchases and save gas by planning your shopping list so that you get a week’s worth of groceries in one shot.
5. Look for substitutes.
Review your last grocery receipt and circle your most expensive purchases. When you’re next in the store, consider swapping these items for lower-cost alternatives—like ground turkey for ground beef. Subbing out a few items each trip can add up.
– via MONEY.com
Eat Well While You Save Money On Groceries
Saving money on groceries doesn’t have to mean eating less food or low-quality food. Actually, you may find that paying close attention to what you buy at the grocery store will cause you to enjoy a better diet.
Don’t believe it? Here are just a few ways that you can eat well and save money on groceries.
Cut the junk.
Evaluate how much money you are spending on items such as soda (regular or diet), cookies, crackers, prepackaged meals, processed foods, etc. Limit or completely cut out these unhealthy foods. Your wallet and your body will thank you.
Eat out less.
At first glance, it may seem that fast food is less expensive than cooking at home. But if you’re cooking for two or more people, that’s rarely the case. For example, a meal for a family of four at a fast-food restaurant in the U.S. such as McDonald’s, with drinks and a small side of fries each, can set you back anywhere from $20 to $30. Preparing a simple, healthy beef stew, spaghetti Bolognese, or roast chicken with potatoes and vegetables can cost far less and likely leave you leftovers for lunches the next day as well. This is an easy way to save money and even have some extra to spend on higher quality foods.
Shop the perimeter of the store first.
This way you will fill your cart with healthy whole foods like fresh produce and meat, leaving less room for the “junk food fillers” and thus saving money.
– via www.helpguide.org
Do you have methods you use to save money on groceries?