We all want to eat good quality, nutritious food that doesn’t hurt our wallets, but how do you save money on those fresh fruits and vegetables? Saving on grocery shopping doesn’t only happen at wholesale franchises like Costco or BJ’s. The actual supermarkets themselves have ways to help you cut costs without leaving a bad taste in your mouth because of the quality of your food.
Every penny counts! And while it’s relatively easy to shave a few dollars, sometimes that only gets you so far. In this article, we will share how you could get even more bang for your buck when it comes to grocery shopping.
Here are ten ways you can save money on your groceries using simple strategies and clever tactics.
1. Plan Ahead
An excellent way to save money on food is to plan ahead—even as far in advance as the week before you want to buy something. Weekly circulars, sale flyers, and coupons will give you a heads up on which products are especially inexpensive at the time. So, make a mental note or write down any deals that sound particularly tempting. Then, come shopping day, if you see one of those items at its rock-bottom price tag, snap it up!
2. Buy In Bulk
While there may be a slight premium for buying large quantities where individual units cost less, but you pay for a certain minimum quantity, the bulk option can be a great way to save money on your grocery bill.
3. Keep Track Of Unit Prices
Even if something is on sale at a good discount, you might not be getting a bargain if it’s still more expensive per serving than other items that are regular-priced. Make sure you know exactly what each unit of an item costs, so you’ll know which one to buy and get the best deal.
4. Make A Shopping List Before Shopping
One of the biggest money-saving tips is to shop with a list. Write down everything you need, from produce to cleaners, and stick to that list. If you’re open to it, combine your grocery shopping trip with some other errands you might have on your itinerary. You’ll have less reason to stray if you know precisely what items you’re supposed to pick up at the store.
To make sure you don’t miss anything on your list, plan your weekly meals. This will help you determine what exactly you need to buy from the grocery store. Make sure to include all of your recipes and any snacks and treats that your family likes.
Making a weekly meal plan can feel overwhelming, but there are plenty of tools out there to help. Some meal planning websites already make your grocery list for you. I recommend letting them do it and consider the list of ingredients they come up with. They’ll almost always be lower-cost than what you would pick yourself.
5. Buy Local Produce
If you live in an area where growing seasons are short and fruits and vegetables are expensive year-round, consider going local with your product purchases. You can try shopping at farmers’ markets—some will even offer ways to get coupons that will make the produce cheaper (or even free) once you pay the entrance fee. Another option is joining a Community Supported Agriculture, which gives you more than just vegetables. The members usually get eggs and cheese as well.
6. Use Your Club Coupons
What is a better way to save money on groceries than by getting them at a discount? If you belong to a club like Costco or BJ’s, look for any relevant coupons that those stores may be passing out for your shopping trip. Depending on the store, they could offer hefty discounts on certain items—even meat! And who doesn’t love cheap meat?
7. Avoid Brand Loyalty
You might have a favorite brand of peanut butter, toothpaste, or laundry detergent, but checking other labels for comparable products can help you save money on your grocery bill. You may find a better deal on an almost-as-tasty product with a different label on it. Check the unit price to make sure you are getting as much savings. This works best if you compare different brands’ versions of the same item in equal measure.
8. Don’t Buy What You Can Grow
It’s generally cheaper to buy food than to grow it, but if you plan well and spend some time working on your garden or herb-growing plot, you can keep down the expenses. Besides, growing a few fruits or vegetables of your own in the backyard can give you an extra sense of pride and satisfaction—and knowing that you saved money because you grew your food is even more satisfying!
9. Buy In Season
Buying seasonal foods can help you get the most for your money. Since fruits and vegetables that grow in warm climates generally have to be shipped from further away, they have to be more expensive than those produced locally. So if you’re looking for deals, buy items that are grown closer to your home. As always, just make sure they meet all of your nutritional needs and preferences before making the final call.
10. Buy Frozen Or Canned Goods
It may not be the most glamorous way to go, but buying frozen or canned fruits and vegetables instead of fresh can save you a lot of money in the long run. Not only do they tend to cost less than their fresh equivalents at the grocery store, but they also don’t rot before you have time to use them all up. So, you won’t end up throwing away food while it sits around in your refrigerator uneaten.
The last thing you want to do is spend that money that could be used elsewhere. To help you, we’ve compiled ten simple tips for saving money when grocery shopping. This will help you avoid unnecessary impulse buys, leading to wasted food or unneeded items. Making some small changes could go a long way towards managing your spending habits at the store. We hope this list helps keep your budget tight while bringing more food to the table!