You are feeling the pinch of spending more money on food and cooking at home. Let’s not waste any time. Here’s how to save money on groceries right now.
10 Hacks to Save Money on Groceries
1. Plan Before You Go
The best way to save money on groceries is to plan what you are going to buy beforehand. Start with a budget and really work out what you need.
Knowing what you are going to purchase before you go eliminates confusion and allows you to focus on price. Instead of deciding what to buy, you can use that time to decide which items present the best value.
Don’t buy anything you didn’t plan on buying and carefully look at price comparisons and quantities for the items that are on your list so you can save the most money.
2. Slow Down
Right now, grocery shopping is stressful.
You want to stay safe, but there are also all these rules now that can make the shopping process more difficult and laced with anxiety.
As you follow the arrows and other signs prompting you to keep your social distance, don’t let the pressure get to you. take your time to do what you need to do.
Don’t linger too long, doing anything. Trust your plan and let yourself think through what you buy before rushing onto the next aisle.
3. Budget Individual Items
If you have a list of essentials it’s easy to get gauged when you pick up something you need.
For example ground beef or another meat product can cost more per pound than you bargained for.
Determine what the “worth-it” price is for each thing you want to buy and come up with some alternative options if the first one doesn’t pan out.
4. Ignore the Impulse Buy
This seems obvious, but it has become an issue with social distancing.
More time waiting at check out does lead to more impulse buys. I found that out speaking to a cashier at our local store as I watched her carry out the store’s safety protocol.
If you find yourself considering impulse items due to the long wait, resist the urge.
5. Don’t Overstock
One big-budget buster is overstocking on items at the store.
You tell yourself it’s part of next month’s budget, but it rarely actually works that way. Some deals are stock up deals and some things you don’t want to keep going back for.
However, most of the time, buying in bulk is not a good plan. If you have a monthly budget, stick to it, and don’t compromise.
If you don’t have one, then start there and you will save money on groceries.
6. Stick to Essentials
Planning what to buy is not enough to save money on groceries.
You need to plan smart. Don’t load up your cart full of junk food and high sodium snacks.
Start with a strong base like rice or pasta and build recipes off of those. Now is not the time to spend on food that won’t do you any good.
7. Track Spending As You Shop
Don’t be surprised at the register.
You save money on groceries when you keep a tally as you go. Use a calculator to add up whatever you put in your cart.
It’s even better to start with a budget and subtract prices as you go.
Don’t go below zero!
8. Use a Gift Card
Usually, it’s best to use cash when you transact at the grocery store, but these are weird times and cash is notoriously filthy.
Bank cards work best, but they don’t help your budget, do they?
A gift card, on the other hand, lets you start with your budgeted amount and you can’t go outside of that allotment.
9. Start with Inexpensive Recipes
Just because your cooking at home does not mean you’re saving money.
Lots of people are cooking for the first time and are overwhelmed by the ingredients and their cost. Don’t get bogged down in complicated recipes. Keep it simple and keep it cheap.
A great way to start is with a cookbook made specifically for saving money or using limited resources.
College cookbooks are great because they cater to this need and are usually easy to do.
10. Use What You Have at Home
Taking inventory of your pantry and refrigerator are the first steps if you really want to save money on groceries.
Use what you have on hand to generate a meal plan so you can build off of it rather than letting it go to waste.
Using up what you have is good practice, it’s healthier and it keeps your kitchen running efficiently.
With these tips and tricks, you are sure to save money on groceries the next time you go to the store.