A Few Simple Changes You Can Make to Save on Groceries Every Week
When it comes to your monthly budget, some of your expenses aren’t likely to budge. Unless you’re willing to make some major life changes, recurring monthly costs like your rent, cable bill, and transportation are pretty fixed. So, what do you do if you need to save a little money? Look first at your grocery bills, as you could be making some nice savings with these techniques.
Re-evaluate Your Wants and Needs
Have a quick look through your kitchen cupboard. Do you really need that bag of chips? You probably don’t, and there are likely a few other things that you continue to buy that just aren’t cost-effective. Remember that processed foods are not only unhealthy for you, but there’s usually more expensive than their fresh, self-prepared alternatives. Rather than buy an already prepared salad, get a head of lettuce and some vegetables and do it yourself.
Have a Plan and Stick To It
Once you’ve figured out how you can pare down your weekly grocery purchases, you should create a shopping list. Even if you have a perfect memory, a shopping list will help keep you on track and keep you accountable. You’ll be less likely to veer into unnecessary purchases if they’re not on the list. Treat the list well, and it’ll treat you well in return.
If you have your shopping list at the ready, you should be able to get in, get out, and get home as soon as you can. The more time you spend in the store, the more chances you’ll have to get distracted, which could lead you to purchase something that’s not in the budget. Keep your eye on the prize, stick to your shopping list, and you’ll be less likely to spend.
It’s quite surprising how much extra we spend out of sheer laziness, convenience, and gullibility. Never forget that it’s the supermarket’s job to get you to buy as much as possible. Make note of your groceries’ price per volume, which may be labeled on the price tag; otherwise, you’ll have to do the math yourself. You’ll find that some items get you a better bang for your buck than others, and with little drop in quality. Don’t be afraid to have a look at other supermarkets, too – what’s expensive in one store might be a bit cheaper in another.
Go Coupon Crazy
When you have a solid idea of the stuff you’re buying every week, you should make note of any coupons or sales that you can take advantage of. Have a look both in the newspaper and online for money off your regular purchases. Sometimes, supermarkets have mailing lists that email you with the latest deals. You might not save a ton of money with coupons, but a little savings over time can add up to a nice chunk of change. Don’t forget couponing rule number one: don’t be tempted to buy something you wouldn’t otherwise just because it’s on sale.
All of these tips have one thing in common: they require you to be a little more conscious in your shopping. If you start taking better note of the things you buy and the prices you pay for them, you’ll be well on your way to saving at the checkout counter.