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If you are struggling to save money on groceries like I used to, then this post will hopefully help you get that under control. Grocery shopping doesn’t have to be hard but we often catch ourselves spending more than we actually need.
You may think that lowering your grocery expenses isn’t that important but it actually makes a big difference in the long run, especially if you are tight on money.
Bellow, we’ll see some great tips on how you can save money on groceries.
1) Meal planning is everything
Meal planning will literally save you tons of money. Just think about it. When we don’t have anything planned there is almost always going to be something that’s missing when we want to make something out of the blue.
That means spending extra money on a daily basis to get the stuff we don’t have and that’s not good.
Instead, make a meal plan each week or once for the whole month so that you know exactly what to make each day. Every once in a while, gather around with your family and create a meal plan that is liked by everyone.
You don’t have to repeat the same plan every week though. You can easily shuffle the meals and make a new meal plan with slight variations.
2) Make a list of everything you need and stick to it
The next step is to make a grocery list with everything you need. Knowing what you have to buy is definitely going to spare you from extra expenses.
How many times were you wandering around the store thinking about what to buy and in the end, you actually bought more than you actually needed?
That’s why meal planning is so important and will minimize your expenses for good.
3) Buy generic/store brand food
Most of the time, branded food costs way more than generic. To be honest, generic food can actually be as good as branded most of the time, and it usually tastes the same.
I buy generic or store brand names for things like sugar, salt, and rice and I don’t notice the slightest difference. Big-name brands are quite often the same quality with a fancy label on them.
4) Use coupon/cashback apps
With the great variety of apps available today there is not a reason not to use them to save some extra money. You can easily find discount coupons or get a cashback by just scanning your receipt when you get home. Some apps you can use are:
- Checkout 51
- Coupon Sherpa
- Grocery iQ
5) Don’t buy bottled water
Let’s face it. Bottled water is really expensive. Not to mention the bad consequences it has on your health.
I recently stopped buying bottled water and bought this Engdenton Faucet Water Filter for the faucet. Additionally, instead of plastic bottles I now only have stainless steel bottles.
Specifically, I have the Contigo AUTOSEAL Chill Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle. If you want a smaller bottle, the Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loop Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug is the best one by far. It features one-handed drinking with the push of a button and it’s the one I use in my car.
On the other hand, if you want a larger bottle, I recommend the Hydro Flask 32 oz Water Bottle. It won’t disappoint you.
The main downside of plastic bottles is that when they are reused or exposed to sunlight, they release toxins. So, it’s never a good idea to refill an already used plastic bottle with water.
It is a much better idea to drink water from glass bottles or stainless steel bottles.
Two of the most important reasons to prefer stainless steel bottles are the following.
- Stainless steel is the most hygienic and safe material because it does not contain Bisphenol and carcinogens, as it happens with some poor quality plastic or aluminum containers.
- And secondly, their high durability. Since they do not break if they fall down, they can be used for a much longer time than ordinary flasks.
In addition, stainless steel does not attract bacteria, even if scratched. That’s why it is the first choice of material for the manufacture of hospital accessories and kitchenware.
Related Post: 19 Things I Quit Buying to Save Money
6) Shop online
Nowadays, you can find really good deals when shopping online in places like AmazonFresh, Peapod, FreshDirect and more.
I search online for good deals quite regularly and it surely saves me money. Many online stores offer great discounts when buying online so that will really benefit you in the long run.
7) Check the expiration dates
Make sure to check the expiration dates of all the things you are buying. Stores usually put the oldest items on the front and the new ones towards the back of the selves.
When I shop, I don’t mind taking an extra minute to dig a bit further and fetch the newest items. That way my supplies last longer and I save some money by making sure they won’t expire before I actually use them.
8) Buy some products in bulk
Most non-perishable food items like granola and protein bars, canned vegetables and fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and generic canned food have their own cycle (usually 6 to 8 weeks).
That means that when these are in their last week of sale, they will cost almost half the price. That’s when you can find great bargains on such stuff.
I usually stock up on items that I will use before they go bad and I make sure that these will last me for about 6 weeks.
That way I can restock in bulk when the same items are in their last week of sale again. This technique saves me a lot of money.
9) Shop less often
Sometimes we may go grocery shopping multiple times a week and this really increases our expenses. Try to limit your grocery shopping to once a week and buy all the things you need at once.
By going multiple times in a week, you increase the probability of buying something you don’t need. Plus, you spend more money on gas.
10) Eat less meat
One way that really helped me decrease my grocery expenses was buying less meat. Besides the fact that eating less meat is good for your health, it actually saves me more money too.
Some other benefits of eating less meat include reduction of cancer risk, reduction of cholesterol levels, and reduction of overall weight. It’s also eco-friendly.
11) Shop alone
Let’s face it. Shopping with kids can be a very expensive habit. If you have kids you know exactly what I am talking about here.
I find it better to shop alone as I am actually more focused on the things I really need. Kids tend to always ask for things that aren’t in your list and thus making you go over your limit.
12) Utilize your leftovers
I take leftovers to work and wherever I want to snack on something instead of buying additional things for lunch. And they actually taste pretty good after a day or two.
This is a great way to minimize your expenses and thus save some extra money.
13) Set a weekly limit
A great way to save money is to actually set a weekly budget. By setting a weekly limit you make sure that you don’t spend more than you can actually afford.
For instance, my weekly limit is 100$ and it suits me just fine! You can set your own limit and I am sure that you will see a great difference in the money you save pretty soon.