21 Tips To Save Money While Grocery Shopping That Actually Work!
Sometimes heading to the grocery store with the intentions of a simple shopping trip can turn into an extravaganza of last minute purchases that aren’t on the list and out of the budget. Below we have come up with some useful tips and clever tactics to stay on a budget and save more money on your next trip to the grocery store. Our mission at Bargain Boxed is to provide incredible value, money saving tips & tricks, Online Deals and more to our customers and readers alike!
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Set A Budget And Stick To It
When budgeting and shopping go hand in hand it can be challenging to stick with a budget when confronted with impulse buying. The best way to save money while shopping for groceries is to set a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly budget. This in turn will help navigate your spending and staying on track will shopping. Create a budget game plan and then stick to it!
Don’t Hungry Shop
Have you ever gone to the grocery store while hungry and noticed that almost EVERYTHING looks delicious? Make sure to have a snack before your shopping trip if you find yourself hungry, otherwise hunger shopping is a leading cause in impulse purchases that can make your set budget run thin rather quickly.
Number Crunch While You Shop
Before adding to the cart try to keep a mental note of product prices of items in your buggy, this will furthermore help stay on track of a budget. It’s okay to use rough numbers and it’s even better to round up to the next dollar, this will ensure that you can come out at or under budget.
Try New Meals
Be creative! Sometimes changing up the meal & snack plans can lead to less spending. Less can be more at times when trying new meals, simple can be better and it’s great to try out new recipe and ways to make meals and snacks with bulk buy ingredients. This can lead to more dollars kept and a healthier diet of homemade foods!
Estimate Your Expenses
Before heading to the store or farmers market try to estimate what items should cost to better understand your budget and shopping needs. Check ads and online prices to get an idea of what to expect so you can better prepare your trip to stay on track.
Utilize What You Already Have
Don’t let the food you already have, go to waste. At times it’s easy to overlook what you already have in the pantry and fridge which can lead to huge waste in food and money. We recommend taking a day every week to shuffle through the pantry and fridge to take note of what you already have and what you can utilize before buying more. It even helps to make a list of these items and look up ways to make meals with what you have already!
Think Before Buying Bulk
Sometimes buying in bulk is not the best. It can lead to excess food that may go unused which in turn leads to a waste, bulk purchases can also take up big chunks of the budget. When buying bulk it’s important to always compare prices by units and weight, as sometimes you’ll find out that the bulk purchase is actually MORE expensive than if you were to buy multiple of smaller sized items. Cross reference this tactic with current sales and promotions to find the best bargains ahead.
Coupons are an incredible way to take advantage of savings on your next shopping trip. Check online via your favorite brands websites to see if you can sign up for promotions and discounts. P&G brands is a parent company of man well known products from oatmeal to dish soap and they offer a saver magazine sign up with free coupons! BONUS TIP: Use FREE cashback apps such as Ibotta & Honey, they will help you get free cashback and points every time you shop. When compounding coupons, sales, and these apps you can get incredible savings that can cut your food expenses in HALF or MORE!
As stated above there are free mobile and desktop applications that can automatically find available discounts for you and even give you cashback when you shop. These apps are a no brainer to saving money, they are relatively easy to use, take little time, provide incredible value, and are entirely FREE to use! If you like throwing away your money than don’t use them, if you actually want more money in your budget than you must check out Ibotta!
Freeze And Store Your Meals & Left Overs
Ever find yourself throwing out leftovers from dinner a few nights ago? DON’T. Many people don’t realize that you can bag your left overs up, freeze them, and then use them whenever you’re in a pinch for money or time. When freezing your left overs they can last months (without being freezer burnt) while leading to less waste, more money kept, and quick meals/snacks!
Shop In Season Items
Depending on your location some items can be seasonal such as fruits & veggies. When budgeting it can be important to consider that prices for seasonal items can fluctuate greatly based on where they are sourced from. If you still want to purchase seasonal items be sure to use promotions and check out farmers markets for special deals. Also be sure to check out the freezer section as frozen seasonal items can be cheaper and more consistent in pricing.
Shop Clearance Deals
Clearance deals can be great! Keep an eye peeled for hidden clearance deals and recently reduced items. Many stores including Wal-Mart & Amazon have clearance items that are seasonal, have packaging defects, limited production, or are past expiration/best by dates. These items can be a great steal for the everyday bargain hunter! It’s important to know that shelf goods with a best by date can actually retain freshness much longer than the date on the packaging. Best By Dates are only an assumption of the manufacturer for peak freshness and also a sales tactic to enforce routine purchasing habits.
Skip Name Brands
It’s true, name brand can taste better at times. BUT. You never know if you’ll like something unless you give it a try. Off brands or generic brands can be so similar at times you won’t notice a difference in taste but a big difference in price. Explore different brands that are cheaper, you might even find a generic brand that you like better than the overpriced popular brand in comparison.
Different stores, different deals. When going out on your shopping adventure it’s a good tactic to shop where the deals are at. Before heading out check market ads and online prices and try to plan your trip accordingly. Know when a deal is worth the time and effort to get too, for example if you are going to save a few dollars jumping to a different store you may actually be spending more than your saving in time and money to get there. Work this out before making your way and try to consolidate locations that are near each other or on the way to one another.
Stick To A Meal Plan
Find a meal plan routine that works for you and your budget. When establishing a meal plan it creates an expected cost metric to work your budget from. This step may work in our out of your favor but it’s worth a shot to try depending on your eating habits and dietary concerns.
Grow Your Way To Savings
Get a green thumb from growing your own produce and from flipping through all the dollar bills you’ll have saved in the process! Growing fruits and vegetables is an excellent way to save money and eat healthier too! It will take some work and time for your newly grown plants to produce fruits and vegetables but when they do you will have an abundance of fresh home grown foods that are essentially free! Growing produce is not expensive to start and can lead to HUGE savings in your grocery budget.
When In Doubt You Can Shop From Your Couch
Nowadays food is accessible from many sources online, E-Retailers of grocery products can often times save you time, energy, and money. This option is a great way to get shopping in while having little time to make it out to the market. We’ve found that in most cases you can get better deals at farmers markets and physical retail locations, sometimes you can find great prices online too.
Eat Leftovers For Lunch
Don’t let those left overs end up in the trash, embrace the LFL policy as Leftovers. For. Lunch. And start eating the food you already have. Not eating leftovers is an incredibly wasteful outcome for food. Try and find ways to incorporate leftovers into your eating routine as another meal or a plentiful snack
Stock Up When The Price Is Right
When coming across a good sale it’s noteworthy to buy in bulk while at a low price and stock up yur savings. You can utilize preservation methods such as canning and freezing to even further the benefits of stocking up. This works great in conjunction with seasonal items and sales of fruits and vegetables. Meats, Poultry, & Fish are also great to have kept away in the freezer for future use.
Buy Meat, Fish, Cheese & Poultry When It’s On Sale
Meats & cheeses can be expensive. Very Expensive. Check your favorite stores for reduced items and during sale promotions. Ask your local butcher if they have any meat that’s priced to move and check with your stores deli counter to see if they have any meat or cheese ends & miss-cuts. These are the remaining sections of a cheese loaf or deli loaf after cutting that are usually discounted and sold by the pound.
Hit The Farmers Market or Flea Market Near Closing Time
Farmers markets and Flea markets can be a great place to shop but they can be an even greater place to score deals near the end of market hours. Many vendors who sell time sensitive goods will be in a rush to sell off what they have left at the end of the day to reduce any wasted product that would be counted as a loss. Swoop in on these deals and try to haggle your way to making out with awesome savings by making quick offers to capitalize on!