Sticker shock. We’ve all experienced it at the grocery store. Certainly, astronomical prices put a damper on buying food. Don’t you think there should be a way to purchase top-notch food without breaking the bank? Well, with a bit of planning and bit of strategy you can save money at the grocery store. In fact, with our clever suggestions, you can load up your cart with healthy choices and stay on budget. Money saving tips were ever so great.
10 Awesome Money Saving Tips at the Grocery Store
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Make a list
Never head to the grocery store without a list in hand. Even if you’re sure you’ll remember what you’re looking for, it helps to have a written reminder. Not only will your list ensure that you buy everything you need, it will encourage you to “stay on script” and steer clear of impulse purchases. Shopping with a list is bound to speed up your trip to the store, too. So, prepare yourself and go get the job done!
Before you start shopping, I recommend deciding on a couple of dishes that you want to serve in the next few days. Next, take the time to consult the recipe and list the individual ingredients that you need. It’s a good idea to include some “backup” choices in case the shelves aren’t fully stocked and you need to improvise.
You’ll be surprised by what appeals to you when you shop for groceries on an empty stomach. If you’re running on empty, chances are items you’ve never even noticed before will suddenly look tantalizing, regardless of the price tag. But you can avoid this by keeping your blood sugar at a normal level and snack before you step foot in the grocery store.
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Coupons are your friends! While they don’t usually save you tons of money, they absolutely do make a difference in your final bill. Check out the grocery store’s circular for weekly deals and search online for additional bargains. You can even look to the coupons to decide what meals to make. Put the coupons with your written grocery list so that when it’s shopping day, you’re armed and ready to save!
Unless you’re stocking up for a long winter or cooking for a huge gathering, try cruising the aisles with a small-sized cart. A spacious cart begs to be filled to the brim, while one with less space demands that you stay focused and stick to the essentials.
Food Items Only
It would be great if all grocery stores were set up to meet more than our dietary needs. But the truth is, they aren’t meant for one-stop shopping. In other words, don’t refill your shampoo supply, grab a new snow shovel, or stock up on Band-Aids unless there are on sale. Instead, pick up these items at the pharmacy where you’re guaranteed to pay less.
Rain Checks are Real
Here’s something you may not know: some grocery stores offer rain checks on sale items that sell out before you get a chance to buy them. All you need to do is ask if they will honor the reduced price when it’s restocked on the shelves, even if the sale is no longer officially running. Know in advance that every store will have a different policy (but there’s no harm in asking).
No doubt there are some brand-names that have earned your loyalty. However, when it comes to products that make you feel only lukewarm, why not try the generic version? The truth is, many off-brands have a similar (if not exact) list of ingredients, but they cost significantly less than the more popular variety (probably because they’ve spent less money on packaging and advertising). So, before you automatically grab the recognizable package off the shelf, compare the labels and see if you’ll do yourself a favor by choosing the less fancy brand.
Shop on the Edge
Do you ever wonder about the layout of your grocery store? Would you be surprised to learn that each item is strategically placed to encourage shoppers to overbuy? In most cases, necessary items (or the most popular ones) are located on the opposite ends of the store and around the perimeter. In this way, shoppers are bound to weave through the center aisles and pick up things they probably don’t need.
Make Your Own
Pre-made meals look tempting when they’re all lined up at the deli counter. However, if you are serious about pinching pennies, walk right on by! Unless there is an already-prepared item that you would never be able to make on your own at home, you’re better off to buy the individual ingredients and DIY.
It Pays to Bargain Shop
Everyone loves a bargain, but some bargains are harder to come by unless you have tips up your sleeve. So, go ahead and use the clever suggestions above and see just how much you can save the next time you buy groceries.
Guest Post By:
Samara Kamenecka is a VA specializing in SEO and content creation. She blogs about lucrative side hustles for moms over at www.ExtraDoughPro.com. Catch her writing about everything from VIPKid reviews to teaching English online.