Do you ever wonder why you can never seem to stick to your budget, no matter how hard you try?
Well, you're not alone – many of us struggle with the same issues regarding grocery shopping. But what if I told you that there are grocery shopping secrets that supermarkets don't want you to know?
These insider tips and tricks can help you save money and stay on a budget. So, buckle up and get ready to uncover the secrets of smart grocery shopping.
1. Shop on Weekdays
Avoid heading out on weekends if you want to save big bucks on grocery shopping. Supermarkets offer the best deals on weekdays, especially between Monday and Thursday.
This is because most people shop on weekends, making Saturday and Sunday the busiest shopping days. So skip the crowded aisles and plan your grocery shopping trip on a weekday instead.
2. Shop With a List
It's easy to get sidetracked by all the deals and displays in a supermarket, so shopping with a list is essential. Making a list can help you stay focused and avoid impulse purchases.
Start by taking inventory of what you already have at home, then create a list of the items you need. Stick to your list as much as possible, but feel free to make minor adjustments if you come across a good deal or a more affordable substitute item.
3. Don't Shop When You are Hungry
Shopping for groceries when you're hungry can be a recipe for disaster. It's easy to give in to temptation and buy a lot of unhealthy snacks and treats when your stomach is growling.
When you're hungry, you're more likely to make impulsive purchases, which can add up quickly. Instead, ensure you have a good meal or snack before heading to the supermarket. That way, you can make better decisions and stick to your shopping list.
4. Buy in Bulk But Not all the Time
Buying in bulk can be a great way to save money on groceries, but it's essential to do it strategically. You don't want to end up with much food you won't use before it goes bad.
For perishable items, like fresh produce, only buy in bulk when you have a plan for how to use it all. Instead, focus on purchasing non-perishable items you know you'll use regularly, like pasta, rice, and canned goods. Consider freezing some things for later use.
5. Compare Prices Between Stores
Don't limit yourself to shopping at just one supermarket to save money. Take some time to compare prices between different stores in your area. Sometimes one store may have a specific item on sale, while another may have it at a regular price.
By taking the time to scout out different options, you can save money on your overall grocery bill. Playing the stores against each other is a savvy way to ensure you get the best deals possible.
6. Take Advantage of Store Loyalty Programs
If you find yourself shopping at the same supermarket repeatedly, consider signing up for their store loyalty program. Most supermarkets offer rewards programs that give points for every dollar you spend.
You can then use those points to get discounts, free products, or other perks.
Loyalty programs are a great way to save extra on items you would have purchased anyway. They also offer exclusive deals and coupons, making them an even more valuable tool for savvy shoppers.
7. Use Coupons and Discounts
Coupons and discounts are like having free money for grocery shopping. Don't underestimate the power of a good coupon or discount offer.
Take time to search for discounts online, in the circulars, or even in-store magazines, and clip coupons as needed.
You can save significantly, especially on expensive items like toiletries or cleaning supplies. Don't be afraid to use multiple coupons and discounts either – read the fine print and use them before they expire.
8. Buy Generic Brands
Generic brands can be just as good as their more expensive counterparts. Many generic products are made by the same manufacturers who produce brand-name versions. However, generic products are often much cheaper.
Keep an open mind when grocery shopping, and don't hesitate to try a generic brand. You may be pleasantly surprised at the quality and savings. Remember to always compare the ingredients and nutrition information before making a purchase.
9. Buy Seasonal Produce
Buying seasonal produce is a great way to save money and get the freshest fruits and veggies. Buying produce in season is more likely to be sourced locally, which can mean lower prices and better quality.
Seasonal produce is also more flavorful because it's harvested optimally. Take some time to research what's in season in your area, and plan your meals accordingly.
You'll be supporting your local economy, eating healthier, and saving money simultaneously.
10. Check the Unit Price
Checking the unit price can help you determine which product is the best value for your money. Unit price is calculated as the price per unit of weight or volume to compare the cost of different sizes and brands of the same product.
Always check the unit price, as a larger container may only sometimes be the better deal. It's essential to be mindful of the unit price when shopping for groceries, particularly when comparing two different brands, product sizes, or a sale versus a regular price.
11. Avoid Impulse Buying at the Checkout
Supermarkets very smartly put items like candy and chips at the checkout, which can be tempting to buy impulsively. Avoid making these kinds of purchases as much as possible to save money.
Impulse buying is a surefire way to add up your grocery bill quickly. Instead, make it a habit to check out only the items you need and plan to use. Stick to your list and be mindful of budget-busting impulse purchases.
12. Keep Your Kids Out of the Store
Taking your kids grocery shopping with you can be tempting, but it's often not the best idea. Kids tend to beg for things they don't need, and this can add up quickly.
Supermarkets usually put all the fun stuff at kids' eye level, so it's even harder for them to resist. If you take your kids with you, give them a small amount they can spend on snacks or special treats.
So there you have it, 12 simple tips to help you save money on groceries. Start implementing these strategies in your weekly grocery shop and watch the savings add up. Be smart, and don't hesitate to think out of the box when saving money. With some planning and discipline, you'll be well on your way to becoming a savvy grocery shopper.
I’m Steve. I’m an English Teacher, traveler, and an avid outdoorsman. If you’d like to comment, ask a question, or simply say hi, leave me a message here, on Twitter (@thefrugalexpat1). Many of my posts have been written to help those in their journey to financial independence. I am on my journey, and as I learn more I hope to share more. And as always, thanks for reading The Frugal Expat.