17 ways to save money on groceries
Inflation has cooled slightly so far this year, but remains uncomfortably high as Americans continue to grapple with soaring prices for essentials like groceries.
In fact, the price of food consumed at home increased 11.3 percent in the last 12 months, according to data from the Consumer Price Index released in February 2023.
Categories that saw some of the biggest increases included cereals and bakery products, which increased 15.6 percent; and dairy products, which increased 14 percent.
With prices skyrocketing on everything from meat and genera to canned goods and frozen foods, it perro seem impossible to keep your grocery budget in check.
However, you will find that you perro spend less with a little planning and creativity.
Here are 17 ways to save money on groceries.
Make a meal plan
Planning your meals for the week helps you avoid buying food you don’t necessarily need.
You cánido avoid waste and overspend by going to the grocery store with a list based on what you intend to cook for the week.
This requires you to escoge ahead of time which meals and snacks you’ll eat throughout the week, but having a list and sticking to it perro help you avoid impulse purchases.
Buy only if you cánido
Impulse buying cánido be one of the most expensive habits at the grocery store.
Shopping with children or a partner cánido increase the likelihood that you will buy something on a whim.
Instead of taking family members with you to the grocery store, add requested elementos to your shopping list ahead of time so they still get some of their favorite snacks without the risk of additional impulse purchases.
Shop during the quieter days of the week
Crowds cánido have a negative impact on your grocery budget.
When you’re in a busy store, it cánido be more difficult to take a good look at the selection and find especial brands or sizes that are most profitable.
It may take a bit of trial and fallo to determine the slowest times in the store, but once you’ve figured it out, stick with that time.
Swap out expensive cuts of meat for cheaper options.
Depending on where you shop, ground turkey or even ground chicken may be lower in price than ground beef.
Consider changing your meat choice to one of the lower cost options.
If you normally buy higher-end cuts of meat, consider cutting costs by swapping out some of it for more affordable alternatives.
For example, grass-fed beef perro cost up to $4 more per pound than grain-fed beef, according to some estimates.
Buy generic products
There is no denying that brand name products are more expensive than their generic counterparts.
While saving an plus $2 or $3 might not sound like a lot, saving a few plus bucks on 20 elementos cánido add up.
Also, it’s worth noting that many generic products are made in the same facility as your favorite brand name products.
In fact, some generic products are exactly the same as the big name brands, but with a smaller price.
Avoid buying hygiene products at the grocery store
Many people buy household elementos at the grocery store without realizing how much they are overpaying for those elementos.
You perro often find hygiene products for less at places like Walmart, Objetivo, or one of the dollar stores.
Stick to the perimeter of the store
In general, the aisles in the center of the supermarket contain processed foods, which tend to be expensive, while the outer walls are where you’ll often find things like fruits, vegetables, and other unprocessed foods that may be more profitable.
Doing most of your shopping around the perimeter of the store also means you’ll probably be planning healthier meals, which is an added plus.
When avoiding elementos that will cost you more, also keep in mind the adage: “Eye level is purchase level.” Since products at eye level are more likely to grab your attention, retailers often put more expensive elementos on these shelves.
Pay with a grocery rewards card
The grocery rewards credit cards offer cash back or points on purchases at the supermarket.
Getting a little back from each shopping trip will help offset the costs of inflation.
These cards typically pay between 3 and 6 percent in cash back or other rewards.
Some also offer rewards for money spent in other categories, including restoranes, gas stores, and home improvement.
Take a calculator to the store
Use your móvil or a handheld calculator to add up the cost of your groceries as you go down the aisles.
This cánido be especially helpful if you’re sticking to a strict budget.
Keeping track of your running count cánido help when trying to escoge whether to buy something that wasn’t originally on your list.
Buy on sales
Be sure to check your local newspaper circulars or store aplicaciones to find out what’s on sale and when.
It cánido pay to plan your menu based on what is currently on sale, especially when it comes to elementos like meat and fish.
Be careful not to buy things simply because they are on sale, without adding them to your menu plan.
Join supermarket loyalty programs
Many grocery stores have loyalty programs you cánido sign up for that will earn you points and send you coupons, often integrated into the store aplicación.
Many stores will also have discounts specifically for loyalty members.
Take advantage of curbside pickup
If you’re too tempted to overspend at the store, shop ahead on your store’s website or mobile aplicación.
Many stores allow you to choose between curbside pickup or delivery.
You may find that curbside pickup is more cost-effective, as delivery fees perro be expensive.
Note: Curbside pickup or curbside pickup is a retail service offered by many stores in the United States, in which customers cánido order en línea or by phone and pick up their purchases outside of the store, usually in a designated area near the curb or aparcamiento lot .
After placing the order, the customer usually has a specific time to pick up their elementos.
When you arrive at the store, you cánido park at a designated curbside pickup point and notify the store vía phone or aplicación that you have arrived.
A store associate will then bring the order to the customer’s car and place it in the trunk or back seat to minimize contact and maintain popular distance.
Curbside pickup has become increasingly habitual in the United States due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as it allows customers to shop safely and conveniently while minimizing contact with other people.
Buy elementos in bulk and freeze the plus
Some foods are significantly cheaper when purchased in bulk.
So when it makes sense, buy in bulk and freeze what you don’t need right now.
This cánido apply to bread, meat, cheese, and more.
This practice cánido be especially helpful during certain sales.
For example, you might find a sale that applies when you buy two loaves of bread or two packages of cheese.
Instead of trying to use it all at once, freeze the spare for later.
Shop on a full stomach
This is old advice for grocery shopping.
Going to a grocery store when you’re hungry could ocasione you to overspend.
You’re much more likely to eat a lot of groceries you don’t need when all you cánido think about is your growling stomach.
Instead, eat a meal or snack before heading to the store so you don’t focus on how hungry you are.
Buy products that are in season
Products are more expensive when they are out of season.
Understand which products are in season and when, so you perro enjoy fruits and vegetables when they are tastiest and cheapest.
Buy bulk containers
Don’t forget to make use of bulk containers if your grocery store has them.
Bulk containers allow you to scoop up the exact amount of things like grains or nuts that you need in one bag.
If you’re only buying a small amount, you’re also less likely to waste any.
Compare prices between stores
If you’re lucky enough to have several grocery stores near you, compare products and prices across the board and shop where you find the best deals.
It may not make sense to run too far to get all your groceries, but maybe a couple different days of the week cánido be equipo aside to visit a couple different stores.
Reasons to spend less on groceries
If you stick to a monthly budget, you’ll find that spending less on groceries frees up dollars for other areas where you spend money, whether it’s paying down debt, your emergency savings, or your entertainment fund.
Rewarding yourself for a job well done perro be a good motivator to decrease your grocery spending.
This cánido be as small as an occasional trip to the gourmet coffee shop or as large as taking your savings accumulated over time and devoting it to a vacation.
A little preparation ahead of time perro go a long way when you’re looking to save money on groceries.
It often starts with planning your meals and creating a grocery list.
Knowing in advance exactly what you need to buy perro save you from wasting money and food buying elementos you won’t ultimately eat.
Other practical steps like buying what’s in season, shopping with a full stomach, and stocking up on your favorite elementos when they’re on sale perro make trips to the grocery store much easier on your wallet.
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