Grocery shopping is one of the top bills in a family’s budget. Cutting back on the essentials is never easy, but we hope to help you take the sting out of the trip. We have put together some simple tips on how to cut back on your trip to the store.
First thing to do is make a list of what you actually already have in your pantry, refrigerator, freezer, and even your spice rack. We typically go out to the store with no idea what we already have at home; this leads to over buying and waste. Do you really need three different bottles of coriander?
If you know what you have, then you know what you do not have to buy.
Setting a budget should be the next step in the process. Going to the store without a budget is setting you up for failure. One week you could spend $80, but the next week you could spend $160. Make out the budget for what you actually need and will use during the week.
Make a list for the week, yes the week. Going to the grocery store once a week will save you time and money, you will not have to drive there every day to get what you need. Shopping once a week helps you stay in the budget that you set. You will be less inclined to buy the daily special or grab something you might have at home.
Be wary of buy one get one items or buy two get the third free. If you are unable to use the extra items, they become waste. Also if you normally do not buy those items, you won’t need two or three of them. Avoid the impulse buy because you see a sale sign. You can take advantage of sales, but try and stay with items you normally would purchase.
Another great way of saving at the store is using coupons. Coupons are either mailed to you or appear in the Sunday local newspaper and certain grocery chains will have their coupons on their website, and sites like coupons.com will have coupons available for printing so you can take them to the store with you. Matching up your coupons with items that are already on sale in an ad leads to bigger savings at the register.
Store brands are always a good alternative; they are usually placed on the bottom shelves, while the branded items are up at eye level. Most store brand items use the same ingredients and taste virtually the same as the name brand items, yet at a lower cost. You can even venture out of the grocery store and find a farmer’s market to pick up your fruits and vegetables to save money. Joining a warehouse club like Costco or Sam’s Club is good for those large bulk purchases of items you use a lot of in your house. Just remember if you buy in bulk that it not always the cheapest solution depending on the item.
Take some time and budget your shopping, look around for the best price and the savings will start to add up. Being able to shop smart and stick to your list will keep some money in your pocket and still fill your home with groceries.