Going shopping for groceries is no joke!
Seriously, have you noticed how much your shopping budget is recently?
Mine used to be horrendous until I learned a few little tricks that started to help me out.
I have finally been able to cut the cost of my grocery budget each month.
I want to show you how to save money on groceries too.
It’s so easy to go shopping and just fill up your shopping basket without ever considering the consequences of what you are doing.
If you have been happily grocery shopping on a whim, just know that there is still hope.
We have all been there before and done that.
With a few minor adjustments, you can be on your way to having a more cost-effective grocery shop each month.
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22 Tips on how to save money on groceries
1. Have a pre-prepared shopping list
Having a prepared shopping list before you go shopping is the single most important thing that you can do.
I’ve done it millions of times before where I have gone shopping without a list only to find I have purchased lots of junk items and none of the items that I actually needed.
Having a shopping list will make sure that you only buy the items that you really need.
You’ve taken the time to write down your list so those are the only things that you need.
If it’s not on the list leave it behind.
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2. Stick to a budget
Remember that budget that you prepared at the beginning of the month?
If you don’t already have one you need to get one done asap.
Your budget will keep you in check every step of the way. It will show you what you can and cannot afford to buy.
If you have a shopping budget of $800 for the month for example then you will want to divide that up weekly.
This ensures that you don’t run out of money before the month ends.
I tend to purchase all the big items that I only need to buy once a month to get those out of the way and then divide up the rest of the money into weeks.
When my budget for each week is finished it’s finished.
Hopefully, I will either have all that I need or I need to get creative in some way.
3. Take a calculator with you
You might think you look a bit silly walking around with a calculator whilst shopping but honestly, you are the smartest person in the grocery shop.
Walk around with your calculator and each time you pick up an item add up the cost. You can also use the calculator on your phone for this.
This will allow you to know exactly what your cost is going to be before arriving at the cash tills.
It will also help you to make sure what you have purchased is within your budget.
4. Plan which foods you will be preparing so you can buy the right ingredients
This is super important because how can you buy food without having a plan first?
If you have your meals planned out in advance it will be easy to know exactly which ingredients you will need.
Meal planning can be tedious, I know!
You run out of meal ideas, its time consuming and to be fair you probably have a ton of other things that you wish you could be doing instead.
If that just struck a cord in your heart then perhaps its time to get a meal planning program.
Platejoy is great for this. Platejoy will take you through a 30-second survey in which they will find out what your needs are.
- Are you pressed for time to cook?
- Are you on a budget?
- Do you want more healthy meals
- Is there anything you are allergic too?
They will then tailor the program to your specific needs and plan out your meals for you.
The best part? It comes with its own shopping list saving you both time and money.
Take a look at Platejoy here and use my special discount code CRAZY10 to get $10 off!
5. Make sure your groceries have the maximum shelf life
Have you ever purchased items at the shops only to find that the expiration date is is tomorrow?
Such a bummer!
You either have to cook the item that very day or take it all the way back to the shop.
Neither option is ideal really.
You should always take note of the expiry dates on all of your items if you want them to last for the month/ week.
This is a great way to save money on groceries, just by being vigilant.
One thing I have noticed whilst shopping is that the supermarkets will usually put the items with the shortest shelf life at the very front.
For this very reason, I ALWAYS pull an item from the back of the shelf where possible. You should do the same.
6. Freeze what you can
I never used to be a big believer in freezing items but when money got tight I did a complete 360. I used to think if you froze food items that they would no longer be fresh.
I soon realized that this is simply not true.
You can almost freeze anything as long as it doesn’t say “do not freeze” on the packet.
It’s not only freshly purchased items that you can freeze, but you can also freeze meals too through batch cooking.
I do this quite a lot.
7. Look out for offers
Keep an eye out for offers on items that you are already planning on purchasing.
This can save you tons of money.
Just make sure it is an actual offer and not the usual price cloaked as an offer.
8. Only purchase items that are in season
This is a really clever tip because we all know that when you buy things out of season its costs more money.
Try to stay away from buying these high-cost items.
Only purchase items that are currently in season.
This is especially true for fruits and salads.
9. Never go shopping hungry
If I was to tell you the number of times I have been defeated by this one little tip!
Just don’t do it.
If you are hungry, then you need to eat before you enter that grocery shop.
If you don’t then you will be subject to impulse buying for the whole time you are in the shop.
Bang goes your budget!
10. Use the cash envelope system
The cash envelope system is perfect for making sure that you are always in budget.
The money you have on you is all the money you have access to so you are unable to overspend.
I love this method and use it myself. Its made a huge difference for my family.
11. Make use of leftovers
Leftovers are always useful, don’t just discard them.
You can either use the leftovers for lunch or turn them into another meal. Platejoy has an option to do this.
Either way, don’t throw them away.
Reusing this food means that you are saving money.
12. Don’t be tempted to overbuy items that are “on offer”
Lots of people get tripped up here.
We can’t resist a “good offer” but is it really a good offer?
Sometimes the offer is to buy one then get one free ( which is really good) other times it might be to get 4 for $x.
In this case, you need to look at the cost and see what the unit price works out to be per item.
Believe me, sometimes these offers are not really offers, they are just a way to get you to buy more.
I’m all for buying more if the offer is right but not at the expense of my budget.
There will always be offers but you still need to be able to afford it otherwise what’s the point.
Going overdrawn in the bank just to get the offer doesn’t make sense. It is no longer an offer if you are going to have to pay an overdrawn fee at the bank.
Think about it.
13. Consider online shopping
If going to the shops is too much of a temptation for you then perhaps you need to consider doing your grocery shopping online instead.
The benefit of doing this is that you don’t have to walk past that delicious bakery aisle. (That’s always my weakness)
You can also take your time putting together your grocery list making it much more likely to include items you will actually use.
14. Rotate your meat consumption
Eating meat can be really expensive so maybe its time to think about cutting back a little bit.
You can do it so that you only eat meat every other week or once a week.
Whatever works in your favor.
15. Don’t forget store brands
Lots of people turn up their noses at store brands but there really is no need for this.
Just because something is a store brand does not mean that the quality is bad.
Buying store brands can save you lots of money in the long run.
Usually, the more costly item is only so because you are paying for the brand.
16. Don’t go to the shops unless you need too
Taking multiple trips to the store each week will definitely tire out your budget.
The more times you go to the store the more times you will spend money, the more your budget will grow smaller.
Try your best to condense your shopping trips as much as possible.
17. Keep your cupboards organized
If your food cupboards are well organized then you will know exactly what is in them.
Your items won’t have time to expire before you can get to use them.
You also won’t have to worry about running out of anything and then have to take an extra trip to the store to buy more.
Rotate your cupboard items just as they do on the supermarket shelves.
There is nothing worse than finding canned items at the back of your cupboard that have long expired.
18. Make what you can from scratch
We started to do this some time ago at my house and it worked great.
No more buying expensive white sauce for lasagna.
You will find that it’s cheaper to buy the ingredients and make it yourself rather than buying something that’s already premade.
You will also get much more for your money in terms of quantity this way too.
19. Don’t forget your coupons
There are apps out there that can help you to save money too.
Ibotta is a great tool for helping you save money on your grocery shop.
To save with Ibotta all you have to do is to check the app before you go shopping.
Add all the items that you wish to buy. Head to your local grocery store.
Once you have purchased the items, simply upload a copy of your receipt and get cash back for it.
You actually earn real money with Ibotta that will be transferred to you via PayPal or gift card (your choice)
You can also use Ibotta for items outside of just groceries too.
It’s free to sign up and use so you have nothing to lose and money to gain.
20. Save certain items for when they go on sale
There are items that we perhaps only buy once or twice a month that can sometimes be costly.
If you can, try to buy these when there is a good offer going.
Washing powder is a good example of this.
I try to only buy it on offer. When I do see it on offer I try to make sure I have enough to last me for as long as possible without breaking my budget.
21. Dollar store purchases
The dollar store is always overlooked when it comes to bargains on groceries.
Next time you are going grocery shopping, pop into your local dollar store. You might just be pleasantly surprised by the money saving offers that you can find there.
22. Make sure your items are scanned at the right price
You’ll be surprised how easily mistakes can be made at the tills in the grocery store.
Sometimes an item is scanned twice instead of once or the price at the till is different from the advertised price.
Keep an eye on your receipt at all times.
Mistakes happen all the time which could cost you in the long run.
Final thoughts on how to save money on groceries
The average cost of feeding a family of 4 per month is $964 according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
If that doesn’t scare you it should.
Saving money on your groceries doesn’t have to be difficult.
Making these little tweaks above can save you hundreds of dollars each month.
If it all seems a little overwhelming perhaps start with a few of the ones from the list above that you feel will be most effective for you and build up from there.
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