Do you tend to get everything you want from the aisles when you go grocery shopping? If your answer is yes, don’t worry because you are not alone. Most of us have this habit of grabbing everything that looks appetizing without considering their prices.
However, it’s not a good habit, especially if you’re trying to save money. You should change it slowly and tighten your spending habits so that you can save more.
The first thing to do is to categorize your needs and wants. You have to know the difference between them so that you won’t overspend on your groceries.
This might be a challenging task for most people, and maybe for you. But, if you want to save money for your retirement, you should stick with a budget.
Here are some ways on how you can save money on groceries:
1. Find for sale items and use coupons.
Sales can help you save a lot of money. You can get buy-one-take-one promos and discounted items when your local grocery store is on sale.
Be updated. Look at the store’s website for sale updates. If they don’t have an online store, then you can check your local newspaper for updates as they usually post ads in it, too.
You can also go to the grocery store yourself and check what is on sale. Once you listed all the sale items, you can now create a list of what you should buy the following day.
You don’t have to buy the sale items right away. It’s better to create a plan and a list first if you want to save up. By doing this, you will be able to stock essential items up while their prices are low.
Using coupons while doing grocery shopping is also a great way to reduce the cost of your groceries. Savings on each coupon might be small, but once they pile up, you will save a lot.
That is why you should collect coupons. You can get them in magazines, newspapers, and even online. You have to search and manage.
2. Create a shopping list
Make a list of everything that you need to buy and stick to it. Take a look at your pantry and see what’s missing. You should also check if you still have enough toiletries, cleaning items, and other necessities at your home.
Creating a menu for what you’re going to eat for the whole week is also a good option when grocery shopping. If you’re a spontaneous type, this strategy might not be suitable for you. However, you should still try it if you want to save up.
List all the ingredients you need for each meal. It’ll make sticking with the plan easier.
3. Shop monthly
A lot of people only go to the grocery store when they need something which causes impulsiveness.
For instance, they are missing an ingredient. They run to the grocery store and buy it. However, it doesn’t usually end there. When they see something that looks tasty, they grab and add it to the cart.
That is why you should only go shopping once a week or even once a month to prevent this impulsiveness. You will be able to spend less if you keep yourself out of the grocery store.
You should also avoid shopping at different stores. It’s better to go on a one-stop-shop when buying groceries. This won’t just save you time and money; it can also save your gas.
4. Only buy what you need.
One of the best ways to save money on groceries is only to buy what you need. However, this is a challenging thing to do.
Self-control is required to do this. You should resist all the temptations and never buy the things that aren’t on your shopping list.
You shouldn’t be impulsive as it dramatically increases your bill. Don’t go to the aisles that don’t have the item on your list because it will just tempt you to do impulse buying.
However, if you think that it’s hard for you to avoid impulsiveness immediately, you can take it slow. For instance, avoid an impulse buy for one item for this grocery shopping schedule. Then, avoid another on the next until you altogether remove this habit.
5. Take a look at the unit prices.
How to know if you’re getting the best available price of each item you buy? It’s quite easy. All you have to do is take a look at its tag and check the unit price.
Usually, if it is a large item, its price per unit costs less than those in smaller packages. However, it’s not always the case, so you should still compare and check each product.
Bringing a calculator or using your phone’s calculator is very handy when buying groceries, too. You will be able to do a quick computation of each product, especially the items that are on sale.
6. Check items and receipt before leaving.
While the items are being scanned on the counter, observe it, and make sure that they only go through the scanner once.
There are cases where some items get mislabeled, and in other instances, a scanned product becomes doubled on the system, increasing your bill more.
You should also make sure that the cashier is putting in the right codes of the coupon into the system. They tend to input the wrong codes, especially if you give a lot of coupons.
If you notice a problem, notify the attendant immediately to double-check your items and coupons. It is also essential to check your receipt before leaving the store to make sure that all the items you bought are priced correctly.
Saving money on groceries can be a little difficult to do, especially if it’s your first time to change your impulsive habits. But, as long as you follow the tips we’ve listed above, you will be able to save up with ease.
Keep track of your budget and always stick to your grocery list. Resist temptations and avoid impulse buys. Trust me; you will be able to save a lot in the long run.