By Jeremy Raglin
Grocery shopping is something that everyone has to do because we all have to eat right?
Sadly, many people spend more money on groceries than they should every year because they go grocery shopping without being fully prepared.
In this article, I will share with you some simple tips that my family uses to save money on groceries every month while continuing to eat healthily and live well.
Tip #1 – Create A Menu for The Month Before Going Grocery Shopping
When we first got married my wife and I would just go to the grocery store like everyone else and buy typical things like milk, bread, juice, and eggs without really thinking about what we wanted to eat on a nightly basis.
As our family grew we quickly found that this method of grocery shopping didn’t work any longer because when it came time to make meals that we wanted we found that the ingredients that we needed were not available in our house.
What do you do when something is not available? You go to the store to buy that ingredient of course and that results in more money that you spend on groceries.
Thankfully, we changed our shopping habits and started creating a menu before we go shopping.
Doing this has freed us from impulse shopping and made it easier for us to stick with a set grocery budget for the month without overspending.
Tip #2 – Investigate All Grocery Stores in Your Local Area
Another BIG problem when it comes to grocery shopping is that some people like to buy all of their groceries at one store versus going to multiple stores for their groceries.
For example, Walmart is literally the go-to store for everything these days, especially for groceries, but what most people don’t pay attention to is the fact that they raise their prices often and many times it’s not hard to find the food items that you need at another store priced for far less.
Here in Central Texas, my family likes to shop at Aldi Grocery Store for our bread because a loaf of bread there is priced for $0.80 per load while the same loaf will be priced at $1.80 or higher at Walmart.
We also enjoy shopping at our local HEB for their selection of canned goods and teas that are often more affordable than Walmart but we usually finish up our shopping trip at Walmart buying things like meats before heading home.
If you’re not familiar with all of the grocery stores in your area you should Google your city name followed by “grocery store” and you might be surprised with how many grocery stores are nearby your home especially smaller stores which often have excellent deals.
Tip #3 – Never Go Grocery Shopping When You’re Hungry
This may be a common-sense tip for many people but it’s very easy to go shopping on an empty stomach.
It always pays off to eat something before we go grocery shopping because hunger motivates our buying decisions and it’s not hard to buy quick fix meals that you can heat up versus things that you have to cook.
Major stores like Walmart know that many people will go shopping when they are hungry and this is why Walmart and many other major chain grocery stores in the United States will have a McDonald’s, Subway or another fast food shop in their stores.
Tip #4 – Buy the Food Items That You Use Regularly in Bulk
Let’s face it, buying in bulk does save money.
For example, my family used to buy a dozen eggs sometimes one or two times a month because my wife loves to bake and when you eat healthily those recipes sometimes use a lot of eggs.
Instead of continuing to buy eggs by the dozen at a time we switched to buying eggs in bulk and have found that besides being convenient, we’re not spending more money on eggs each month than we should and we’re now able to use those savings in other areas of our household budget.
Although you might not need more than a dozen eggs per month you can apply the principle of buying in bulk to other areas of your grocery list since it’s easy to buy almost anything in bulk these days like cereal, cheese, peanut butter, jelly and other grocery items that you might normally use a lot of on a monthly basis.
Really the only thing you can’t buy in bulk is milk because milk will, of course, spoil if it’s not consumed within a few days of purchasing it but just about every other food item can be purchased in bulk at any time.
Tip #5 – Use Coupons!
Another helpful and handy way to save money on a monthly basis is to start using coupons regularly.
Coupons can literally save you hundreds of dollars per month and the best way to find them is online via websites like www.coupons.com or from your local Sunday newspaper.
When using coupons keep in mind that organization is the key to success because it’s easy to become overwhelmed with a stack of coupons when you’re in the store.
To avoid overwhelm you should purchase a small folder or something to organize your coupons so that when it comes time to go grocery shopping all of your coupons will be neatly lined up and ready for your use.
#6 – Don’t Buy Non-Food Items at The Grocery Store
Although you may be fond of buying everything in one store, the reality is that when it comes to buying nonfood items like detergent, toilet paper, and paper towels, you should purchase those items at a store other than your favorite grocery store.
Why? The answer is simple, non-food items always get marked up when they are being sold at a grocery store so unless you’re in an emergency and willing to pay more for something like toilet paper you should buy those nonfood items elsewhere.
#7 – Use the Calculator on Your Phone
Last, of all, don’t hesitate to use the calculator on your phone especially when it comes to calculating ounces or weights for the products that you buy.
Most people will never use their phones calculator and they are wasting a valuable resource that could save them hundreds of dollars per year.
If the average shopper used their calculator to check ounces or weights they would realize that you do sometimes do get more money when you buy two smaller sizes of a product versus one large size.
That’s it for this article! If you’ve found the tips on this article to be helpful please consider sharing it online!