How to Save Money at the Grocery Store
There are many reasons why you may want to reduce your spending at the grocery store. Whether because of lowered income, the desire to bulk up your savings, or to cut back on recent overindulgent ice cream purchases, taking stock of ways to pinch your pennies at the grocery can really help your monthly budget.
When going out to get groceries for the family, how do you set yourself up for success without overspending? These helpful tips will help you get home with exactly what you needed and nothing more.
How to Save Money at the Grocery Store
Check your fridge and pantry for ingredients you already have.
Take inventory of pantry staples and fridge items that you already have, and think about how you can get additional items to create meals around them. Have ground beef in the freezer? Get pasta sauce and zucchini to make a healthy zucchini “noodle” meal with meatballs. Have a lot of brown rice you had previously purchased in bulk? Add vegetables and fish to the list for a stir-fry to accompany it. Think about what you can use first, then simply plan to purchase add-ons.
Plan to make recipes that can use similar ingredients.
Zucchini can be used both as “noodles” as well as cut into slices for a stir-fry. A large bag of shrimp can be used in the stir-fry as well as in a different meal - like on top of pasta with grass-fed butter, True Lemon, and a fresh green salad. The green lettuce for the salad can be used as a bed beneath a breakfast of hard-boiled eggs with a side of fresh fruit. See where we’re going with this?
Make a list and stick to it.
Once you have a good idea of the meals you want to build, make a thorough grocery list. Start with produce on the top and work your way down in sections as you would walk through the store so that you don’t miss anything. Whatever you do, do not stray from purchasing any items on your checklist. If it’s not on the list it doesn’t go in the cart!
Have a full meal or snack before heading to the store.
Not only will having some food in your stomach help you to avoid over-purchasing at the store, but it could help you from splurging on purchasing unhealthy foods as well. One study found that people were more likely to purchase unhealthy / processed foods when they were grocery shopping hungry as opposed to their satiated counterparts. Having a snack could help you to spend less and eat healthier.
Don’t be afraid to ask for things to be put back.
When unloading your cart for check-out take a quick assessment to make sure that everything you’re buying is on your list. If you threw a few impulse purchases in, let the clerk know you changed your mind and ask that they put it back on the shelf. Just because you put the item in the cart doesn’t mean you need to leave the store with it.
If unsure about fresh foods going bad, opt for frozen.
Many of us end up wasting money on fresh produce because it often turns bad before we can consume our purchases. Fresh produce that ends up in the garbage bin rather than on our plates equates to throwing money away. If you’re unsure about whether or not you’ll actually be able to finish certain fruits or vegetables, opt for frozen versions instead. Frozen fruits & veggies are packaged at their peak of freshness, locking in their nutrients. Keep them fresh in your freezer until you’re ready to eat them.
When buying fresh, buy in-season.
When you choose to buy produce that is in-season you’re going to get more bang for your buck. Not only is in-season produce more fresh and nutritious, but it is often less expensive since there is more of a surplus of those items in your area. In short, put down that pineapple if it is the middle of winter!
Give yourself a set time to shop.
Before you go into the grocery store, set an allotted amount of time that you want to spend there. For example, 30-minutes should give you plenty of time to get what you need and get out without rushing. This way you won’t be tempted to meander around the maze of aisles and get tempted by promotional sales. Keep your eyes on your list and keep on moving.
Ditch the bottled beverages.
Canned sodas, bottled juices, and packaged kids drinks are expensive and create a lot of waste. They’re essentially just water and sugar and you really end up paying for the packaging. Instead, choose True Citrus drink packets to add to water at home. True Citrus is free of preservatives, chemicals, and artificial flavors and sweeteners, and comes in small, convenient packaging. Save your money (and your calories) for bigger and better things.
When grocery shopping for the family there are a number of simple ways you can cut costs. These tips will help you make smart, low-cost, healthy choices for your entire family.