It’s easy to walk into the grocery store and add $20 or $50 worth of items that aren’t on your grocery list. Food is the second highest item in the average American’s budget, right behind housing.
Today, I’m sharing 6 easy ways to save money on groceries.
Ignore Eye Level Items
Did you know that most people shop at eye level? It’s what we naturally do as humans and most comfortable for us. But be careful! Grocery stores have learned this habit and put the priciest items at eye level.
Instead, look up and down for the best deals.
Most grocery stores now but the cost per ounce or cost per unit right on the price tag on the shelf. Take a minute and compare items. Just because something is a less expensive jar doesn’t mean it’s less costly, and on the contrary, just because it’s a “bulk” item doesn’t mean it’s actually cheaper. Always check the cost per ounce!
Track prices between stores. In this printable, you can list the items that you buy on a regular basis and the price at up to 4 stores so that you can see at a glance which store has the best deal for that item.
Want to Cut $100 a month from your grocery bill?
Food is the third-highest item in the average person’s budget, right below housing and transportation. Saving money on groceries is a challenging task for many, but I’ve mastered the art of cutting out a little bit here and there to make a BIG difference in your budget. Check out my course on How To Save Money on Groceries here.
• Are you spending too much money and wanting to save?
• Do you feel discouraged by your food habits?
• Have you found yourself throwing away vegetable after vegetable, month after month?
• Are you tired of never having a plan and watching your food budget balloon out of control?
I know those frustrations well. I have felt the pure, unadulterated annoyance that food can bring. It’s never fun feeling like you’re floundering and wondering what the heck to do to ‘fix it’.
That’s why I created the course How To Save Money on Groceries!
Round-up as you go
As you add items to your grocery cart, add up how much each item costs, but as you go, round up to the nearest dollar. If the item is $6.79, round up to $7 and stop when you get to your budgeted amount for that trip.
When you reach your budget amount for the week, stop shopping, you are maxed out!
Let’s say it was $100 when you added everything up; since you rounded up for each item, you will be saving on average 10-15%!
Check your pantry and freezer BEFORE going to the store
We often create a meal plan and write down all the ingredients needed but don’t check to see what we already have on hand. Before making a meal plan, the first thing to do is to see what you already have and create the meal plan around what you have. This will significantly cut back on the ingredients needed.
As you run out of an item, add it to the grocery list. Keep an ongoing list throughout the week, so you never forget anything resulting in another trip to the store.
I use the notes app on my phone, so it is always with me, and I don’t have to worry about remembering to add an item when I get home or potentially forget my list on the kitchen counter.
I bet if you really tried, you could skip going to the grocery store this week and find enough food to feed your family in your pantry, fridge, and freezer. When you are trying to cut back your grocery budget for the month, challenge yourself to eat strictly from home.
In the pantry challenge, every week that you succeed, color in a jar! After four jars are colored in, reward yourself! The reward could be a pizza night, a manicure, or simply a movie night at home!
When quarantine hit, I didn’t want to go to the store, so I challenged myself to eat the food I had at home until I absolutely HAD to go. I was able to go THREE weeks without going to the grocery store.
The more you can cut down on your grocery trips, the more you cut down on impulse purchases. If you forget an item on your list, you either have to improvise or wait until next week! You can do this!!
Utilize grocery apps
Also, download your store’s grocery app. Most grocery stores have their own app that shows you what is on sale that week and in-store coupons.
Learn your store’s sales cycles, so you know when items are going on sale. In the course How To Save Money On Groceries, it comes with a printable I have a printable to track the sales at each store, so I know what the best price is and when to buy,
Don’t buy more then you need
As you walk down the grocery store aisle, it is easy to make an impulse purchase. Maybe because something looks really good, or it is a great deal; either way, don’t fall into temptation if you are trying to cut back your grocery budget.
We often use the excuse, “It’s such a great deal, I’m just going to stock up. It will save me money in the long run” … maybe. But how long is that item going to sit in your pantry? Is it going to expire before you use it?
When you want to save money on groceries, stick to your list and what is needed from your meal plan. If you want to learn more about meal planning, check out this article.
Ways to save money:
Here at Freedom In A Budget, I am all about saving money! Here are some of the EASY ways that I save money:
• Fetch Rewards is a free grocery savings app that rewards you just for snapping pictures of your receipts. That’s really it. Free gift cards on groceries on thousands of products every day, no matter where you get your groceries. Just scan your receipts and get gift cards from places like Starbucks, Target, Ulta, Applebees. Use code QHKBH to earn 2,000 points ($2)!
• Rakuten/Ebates: Rakuten is my to go way to earn Cash Back from over 2,500 stores like Macy’s, Amazon, Sephora, Walmart and much more. Join Rakuten today for free, and you’ll get a $10 Cash Bonus to get you started! Every three months, you’ll get a Big Fat Check in the mail or a PayPal payment just for shopping.
• CIT Bank offers high-yield savings accounts that provide a safe, secure way to grow your savings.
• M1 Finance is an easy to use brokerage platform that allows you to invest in Fractional Shares and auto reinvest!
• Honey: Stop wasting money- Honey finds you the Internet’s best discount codes.
• Budget Templates: Excel budget templates with pre-populated categories and formulas to keep you on track with hitting your financial goals.