According to the USDA Economic Research Service, Americans spend nearly 10% of their income on food. When you really stop to think about that, it is rather staggering. Imagine what you could do with the extra money each month if you were able to reduce that expense.
Even if you like the idea of saving money, you may not be overly enthusiastic about having to devote hours to clipping coupons each month to lower your grocery bill. That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to give up on the idea of saving money. Below are 10 easy ways that you can slash your grocery expenses without using coupons.
1. Plan Your Meals
Use the weekly sales flyer to plan your meals. Each week, check the sales flyer of your favorite grocery store to see what items are on sale. Plan your meals for the week around these items to keep costs as low as possible.
2. Shop With A List – Don’t Roam!
Before you head out to the grocery store, write down a list of absolutely everything that you need. Do your best to avoid the temptation to buy anything that is not on the list.
3. Shop Weekly
Shop one time each week instead of every day. Each time you go to the grocery store, you have to walk by end caps and displays with all sorts of tempting food and special sales. The fewer times per week you shop, the less likely you are to give in to these sales gimmicks and buy products that you don’t need.
4. Stock Up
Stock up on staples when they are on sale. If there is something that you eat regularly, buy it in bulk when it goes on sale.
5. Eat First
Eat first before you shop. Going to the grocery store on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster. The hungrier you are, the more likely you are to add unnecessary items to your cart.
6. Check The Price Per Unit
If you look closely at the shelf tag underneath the item you are considering buying, you can see how much it costs per ounce, liter, or another unit of measurement. If an item is available in multiple sizes, check to see which size gives you the best per-unit price.
7. Consider Buying Specialty Items Online
Typically, online retailers have lower prices on hard-to-find ingredients than local grocery stores.
8. Check The Clearance Section
Check the clearance aisle at your grocery store. You never know what kind of deals you may find.
9. Join A Store Loyalty Program
Signing up for a loyalty card is free and can provide you with a number of benefits. Each time you shop, you accumulate points that you can use for everything from saving on groceries to reducing the cost of fuel.
10. Start A Vegetable Garden
Produce can be extremely expensive – especially if you opt for organic vegetables. You can save a lot of money by growing your own. Starting a small vegetable garden can also be a fun and rewarding hobby.
Using these 10 simple tips, you should be able to save a lot of money on groceries without having to waste time clipping coupons. Reducing your monthly food expense is a great way to free up more of your income to spend on other things.