Dining out gets pricey, and stocking your pantry at home can save you money in the long run. Trips to the grocery store are necessary if you want your food budget low. Still, grocery shopping has a price of its own. Learn how to cut back on your weekly trips and save big!
Come Prepared with a List
This may seem like a simple task that you can easily skip, but it is crucial to budgeting. Grocery stores are trying to sell you products at every corner, and, they want you to make impulse purchases. Even if it’s just a little something extra every week, $5 per trip adds up to over $100 every year! If you follow the rule of only buying what you came to the store for, you can save a lot over time.
Don’t Give in to Gimmicks
Grocery stores are just that: stores. Just like any retailer trying to sell you goods or services, they display their products in a way that is meant to be appealing to customers. They might not be using mannequins, but grocery stores do employ sales strategies. The most costly products are usually around eye level, so make sure you look high and low before committing to the same item at a higher price. They will also put certain products on the end caps of the aisle or around the edges — the lighting tends to be brightest in these spots making the items more noticeable.
Buy in Bulk (But Not the Way You Think)
Many grocery stores will offer items in bulk at what seems like discount pricing, but it’s not always the case. Do the math to find out if it’s worth the price. One area where bulk isn’t best: produce. Many fruits and veggies are cheaper by the piece rather than by the bag. Some place where buying in bulk can help? The butcher. One supermarket butcher notes, “We’ve had people buy one big roast and have us remove the bone for soup, run half of it through the grinder for hamburger, and cut the rest into a pot roast. That can save you about 30% compared with buying everything cut.”1
Start Your Own Garden
Avoid the grocery store altogether by planting your own fruit and vegetable garden. Certain plants can be grown inside year round. Others are more seasonal, but every little bit helps!
1 Prasertong, A. (January 27, 2014). 15 money-saving ways to outsmart your supermarket. Retrieved March 02, 2016, from http://www.thekitchn.com/15-moneysaving-ways-to-outsmart-your-supermarket-199531