Everyone knows that grocery shopping is expensive, but unfortunately, it is something that everyone must do. If you walk into a store without a plan of action, you will most likely leave with a bunch of items you hadn’t planned or budgeted for. Everyone wants to save money, but you can’t save money on bills or rent. However, you can when it comes to doing the grocery shop. You still want to be able to eat fresh produce and cook homemade meals, but you want to do it in a way that isn’t expensive.
There are a lot of tips and tricks you can do to ensure you aren’t wasting your money when doing the grocery shop. Here are some of our favourite smart ways to save money and still eat well.
Make a Plan for the Week
One of the best ways to save money on your grocery shop is to plan ahead for the week. Sit down on a Saturday or Sunday and make a list of all the meals you want to cook, allocating a day for each one. Once you know what you want to cook, you can create a list of items you need to buy. This will help to stop you from deviating from the list when you get to the store. Some people even have a standardised list, which includes all the items you need on a regular basis for breakfast, lunch and cleaning supplies.
Check for Sales and Use Coupons
Nearly every grocery store will have weekly sales on different items that they will advertise in their local newspaper or online. It pays to look ahead and see if there is anything on offer that you can make the most of for your dinner that week. A great way to save money is to only buy food items that you know are on offer, which will essentially change your meal plan every week as the offers always change. Also, never be afraid of using coupons as they can help you to save even more money and bag some great deals on items.
Choose Produce That Is In-Season
Everyone knows that fresh fruit and vegetables are often more expensive than items that are considered junk food, and it is the reason why some people never buy it. However, when you choose fruit or vegetables that are in-season, you will find that the prices are slashed. An example of this is pears, which are in season during the months of November and December, whereas strawberries are more popular during the summer months. You’ll still be able to eat healthy food, it will just be at an affordable price.
Never Shop While Hungry
The one mistake that a lot of people make is choosing to do their grocery shopping while they are hungry. People tend to do this after they finish work and before they have eaten their dinner, but this is the worst time to go. When you are hungry, everything seems more delicious and enticing. You may well find that you end up buying a lot of food that you don’t need, just because your rumbling stomach told you that you needed it. Going after breakfast on a weekend means you won’t be hungry, and you’ll manage to avoid the rush of the afternoon crowds.
Only Buy What You Need
It can be hard to resist the temptation of your favourite snacks, especially if they are on offer, but ask yourself if you really need them. If the answer is no, then step away from the junk food aisle and carry on with your shopping. You will be surprised by how much your grocery bill can increase when you buy food that you don’t need. This can easily be evaded by shopping with a list and avoiding the temptation with willpower. If you struggle to completely stop from impulse buying, allowing yourself a small budget to buy in store on the day, in case something does catch your eye.
Don’t Always Buy the Big Brands
A lot of people have this idea that a big brand name is better than the generic, store-bought one. This is the wrong way of thinking as in most cases there is very little difference between the two brands, except that one has made a name for itself. Generic items are often much cheaper, and some can even be nicer than the brand version. Although, it is important to remember that not every store offers their own version of items, so find a grocery store that works best for you.
Grocery shopping doesn’t have to expensive if you follow these tips. Of course, there will be times where you will spend more, but every little can help, and soon you’ll realise you have more money in the bank than you thought.