11 Ways to Save Money on Groceries
Does your current grocery bill leave you financially drained? Read on to learn tips that can help you cut your grocery cost by up to half!
Tips on How to Save Money on Groceries
There are various ways to save money. You can completely cut off cab fees, coffee, and a myriad of other unnecessary expenses, but the one thing you cannot eliminate from your budget is food; and food is pricey. According to PocketGuard, the average American family spends approximately $7,500 to $15,000 on groceries annually. As a result, grocery shopping can consume up to 34% of your household income, which is quite a significant figure. So, if you are wondering if there are hacks on how to save money on your grocery bill, a simple answer is Yes!
Many people are oblivious to the fact that grocery shopping is one of the areas where we are in the most control, financially. Also, cutting your grocery expense doesn’t mean compromising your health. It involves making smart shopping decisions to make the most of your grocery budget.
Whether a student on a small budget or a parent trying to keep your grocery budget in check, here are some tips that will help you reduce grocery bills and save more money.
Know Where to Shop
Easy ways to save money on groceries exist. Firstly, you need to know where to get the best deals. This alone can save you up to 50% on your grocery bill right off the bat. Shop in dollar stores, warehouse clubs, big-box stores, and hard discounters to cut grocery bills. Here are some stores to try:
Grocery staples: Walmart, Aldi, Lidl
Bulk Items: Shop at warehouse clubs such as BJ’s, Costco, Sam’s Club,
Organic: Shop at Trader Joe’s rather than Whole Foods
Discount deals: Try dollar stores with weekly specials such as Dollar General and Dollar Tree.
To save money on groceries, planning ahead is of the utmost importance. Go through store ads to check what’s on sale before planning your weekly menus. Use this information then base your weekly meals on this. If there’s a recipe you’ve wanted to sample, but the ingredients aren’t on sale, you can wait. When planning your menu, remember to incorporate leftovers into another meal. Do not toss out leftovers. For example, add your leftover veggies to the soup. Also, leftover grilled chicken can be a tasty salad topper. This will help save money on groceries.
Impulse buying is one of the reasons why you may have a high grocery bill. All those additional splurge items that you add to the cart on your way to the cashier can be equated to small leaks capable of sinking your financial ship. So, create a shopping list and stick to it. Make sure to stay on track and avoid the end aisles’ displays. Of course, you can always go the old-fashioned way of using a pen and paper. But if you prefer the digital away, you can try free apps such as Pantry Check and Out of Milk.
Bulk Shop Certain Items
You can save a lot of money at warehouse clubs such as Sam’s Club or Costco. Buying items in bulk is much cheaper since the goods have lower unit prices. Make sure you visit your preferred wholesaler the next time you go grocery shopping. For instance, you can compare a single steak price to the unit cost of a family pack of steaks. Chances are, you’ll save more money on the family pack. The good thing is, most stores today calculate the price per unit for you, displaying it on the sticker. However, note that while this will hold true most times, it’s not always the case. Some items that you can buy in bulk to spend less on your grocery bill include:
- Soft drinks
- Paper towels
Take Tap Water
People are still taking bottled water, even with the popular green movement that strongly opposes the use of plastic bottles. Despite its perceived safety and convenience, bottled water has among the highest markups. What most people don’t know is that bottled water is simply filtered municipal water. If you take it for convenience, get a nice bottle to carry the water with you. If you hate tap water’s taste, then invest in a water filter, which can alter the taste for just a fraction of the cost. Either way, you’ll reduce your grocery bill.
Many over-the-counter drugs, including decongestants, ibuprofen, and allergy medicine, have both generic and brand-name packaging. There isn’t much of a difference between the two since they have almost identical ingredients and manufacturing standards. To lower your grocery bill, buy the generic brand, which saves you up to 40%. This is because generic brands don’t have to spend more on advertising, appealing packaging, and marketing like brand-name companies.
Generic items are equally as good. You can buy store-brand or generic milk, breakfast cereals, beverages, or paper towels and end up saving up to 45% over the brand-name items.
Coupon-based reality TV shows will leave you shocked, thanks to the crazy stuff couponers are capable of. But, you don’t have to go that far. All you need to do is be on the lookout for coupons. Then, make use of stackable coupons and frequent stores with double coupon deals to shop and lower your monthly grocery budget.
Credit Card Rewards
When we think of saving cash on a product, we often ponder how we can get unbeatable offers. However, we forget that credit card rewards can also save us money. They increase your savings potential since you can earn cashback when you purchase groceries.
According to Business Insider, the Costco Anywhere Visa Card, for instance, earns customers 1% cashback on grocery shopping and 2% cashback on Costco shopping. Besides, you can use the card at Costco, Food 4 Less, and a local international market. So, you’ll earn cash back rewards and save on groceries regardless of where you prefer to spend your grocery bill or not.
Double-Check Your Organic Produce
If you consume organic produce, you are more likely to spend more money because organic foods often demand more labor during harvest.
Before throwing any groceries into your shopping cart, check the tag before you spend a lot of money. Doing so allows you to be conscious of the money you are spending, helping you make better purchasing decisions, and save on groceries. Also, some produce, including peppers, onions, asparagus, kiwi, pineapples, and bananas, are grown with minimal pesticides, so they can be a safer alternative to save money while still consuming healthy food items.
Prepare Your Own Produce
Having an instant salad isn’t such a bad idea. However, you’ll spend 150% more on those pre-cut veggies. So, invest in a quality cutting board and gourmet peeler. Peeling and chopping your veggies is a great way to be cost-efficient. Also, if it makes you feel better, you’ll be consuming more vitamin C from freshly cut veggies since pre-cut ones start to lose their vitamin C as soon as they’re peeled. So, not only is it a wise financial decision but a healthy one too.
Make Your Own Sandwich
As stated earlier, you will find ready-to-eat salads, hoagies, and sandwiches at the deli. However, the grocery store makes them for you at a markup of up to 300%. So, to save on groceries, buy the ingredients and prepare them yourself. After all, you can find all the necessary food items at the grocery store.
Avoid Buying Non-Grocery Items at Grocery Stores
You will pay more for the convenience of buying non-grocery items such as stationery, greeting cards, motor oil, and light bulbs at the grocery store. To avoid this, plan your day and make a different run to get the rest of the non-grocery items on your list at stores with the lowest prices.
So, there you have it — 12 tips to help lower your grocery budget. Make use of these tips and you can save up to half of the money you spend on groceries, money that you can save up and invest elsewhere, in whatever other expenses you may have.