No matter whether you love or hate going to the grocery store, there’s no denying it has to be done. You have a family to feed. BUT, this task doesn’t always have to be feared to empty your bank account. Saving money on groceries can be easy with a few tried and true strategies. You’ve probably heard most of them before, but let’s face it… how often do you actually use them? Even saving $25.00 per week can add up to $1,300.00 per year. Hmm… I can think of a few things I would like to use that money for instead of groceries!
1. PLAN, PLAN, PLAN
It’s not always possible, but try to plan your meals, and then shop ONCE for the week. A lot of wasted money comes from multiple trips to the grocery store, or from randomly filling your cart just to get home, and look in the fridge to discover you have “nothing to eat”. This will also help to avoid costly last minute “take-out” nights, or throwing out food that’s gone bad. When planning for the week, try to take advantage of ingredients that can be stretched over more than one meal, or use leftovers for lunches.
Check your weekly flyers to plan meals and shop around sales. The best deals are usually on the front page, so this can be a really quick task. Coupons, found on packaging or in-store can be a great way to save a bit too – it all adds up. Keep them in a special place in your wallet or purse, so you know exactly where to look when you’re at the check-out.
And don’t forget to bring your own bags and boxes! Not only will you save $0.05 per bag, but you can feel good for being a “greener” shopper!
2. KNOW YOUR STUFF
When you’re shopping, pay attention to “deals”. Just because a store has a great big display of a featured product, doesn’t necessary mean it’s “on sale”. Or just because you’re buying larger quantities doesn’t guarantee cheaper prices, nor does buying lesser-known brands. Many stores will list the per unit cost on the shelf sticker. Use this information to know if you can actually save money by comparing brands or quantities.
3. STOCK STAPLES
We all have key things that we use all of the time. Buy these pantry or freezer items in bulk when you see them on sale, so they are always on hand. Keep an eye on the flyers for your chicken breasts, ground beef, and frozen vegetables (just as nutritious and fresh). Also look for essentials like olive oil, vinegar, rice, pasta, beans and spices. Are you a computer person? I love using the site; http://www.flyerland.ca. You can have access to all of the flyers at your finger-tips to plan the best shopping strategy for the week. This site is book-marked on my computer – I love it!
4. EAT BEFORE YOU SHOP
Lastly, my number ONE strategy for you to save money while grocery shopping is definitely the simplest. DO NOT shop while you are hungry! Trust me, if you do, you will over-shop and over-spend.