They say that the majority of your income should go to two categories: food and shelter. And why not? Are these not the most basic tenants of survival? Do these categories not sustain our lives in a very elemental way?
It is easy to say that food expenses should be made without guilt, but it’s another thing to be standing at the cash register at the grocery store and see those numbers racking up exponentially.
So sure, make sure the food you are buying is quality, as it is feeding and nourishing your body, but also pay attention enough to make smart decisions to save where you can.
Below are some tips for saving money the next time you’re at the grocery store:
If there is one tip that will save you the most money at the grocery store, it’s to plan ahead and make a list. Food waste is a real money waster, and you could argue it’s even kind of immoral. Do not go to the grocery store without an idea of what you will be cooking for the next few days.
Spend 10 minutes before you go by making a shopping list on your phone of what you need. Be sure to eat before going to the grocery store or else everything will look good. If you don’t plan ahead, before you know it you’ll end up with a shopping cart full of things you don’t truly need. Keeping a list and eating beforehand will help stop you from making impulse purchases.
Stick To Fresh Ingredients
It can be very tempting to stay towards the center of the grocery store where all the packaged food is. Grocery stores create this design on purpose. They expect you to wander up and down the aisles, grabbing colorful and eye-catching boxes without thinking. These packaged foods are easy, but they come at a price—literally.
Sticking to the fresh ingredients around the perimeter of the store (produce, breads, milks, etc.), you will be doing great things for your health and your pocketbook.
Skip The Meat Every Now And Then
Developing a taste for vegetarian food will save you tons of money in the long run. If you simply replace two meat-focused dinners with two vegetarian dinners each week you will have saved a significant amount of money.
Vegetarian does not have to mean boring, and it certainly doesn’t have to mean salad. Get online and look at the plethora of vegetarian meal inspiration and recipes to find a tasty option your whole family will like.
Pay Attention To Price Per Weight
Most grocery store shelf tags have a second, little number in the corner. This price is the price per lb. or oz. or whatever weight the item is sold by. Pay attention to this number when making your product selections.
It may look like one brand is cheaper than the other, but when you look at the price per oz. the “more expensive” item is actually less per oz. It pays to pay attention.
Ignore Sales (most of the time)
At the grocery store, sales are usually done on products that aren’t selling well. Naturally the big sale signs entice you, but don’t fall of this trap. It is not smart to buy something just because it is on sale.
Only buy items that you would buy regardless of whether or not it is on sale. If you buy something just because it’s on sale, you have essentially purchased something extra and spent money. Stay focused on your list from tip number one, and just rejoice if one of your list items happens to be on sale.