Grocery shopping is an essential part of any household’s budget, and there’s really no way around that. I mean, you have to eat and you can’t really live without shampoo and soap, can you? But your budget doesn’t have to take a crazy hit from your grocery habits if you know how to shop smartly. Follow these tips for smart grocery shopping and you’ll have more left over for savings, vacation, or, I don’t know…. shoes?
1. Meal plan:
It can feel tedious to plan your food for the week, but it really pays off. You’ll be prepared so you won’t have to splurge on takeout (that’s probably not the healthiest choice, anyway), and you’ll know what you need before you get to the store.
2. Make a list:
It’s true that shopping with a list will save you money! Write down what you need and stick to the list! And with a list you’ll be less likely to forget important items that you’ll have to run out and buy later. This will save you time, and in some cases, money- if you’ll run out later to a more convenient but more expensive store.
3. Use what you have:
Before going to the store, take inventory of your pantry, fridge, and freezer, so you won’t spend money on things you already have at home. Am I the only one who buys a can of tomato sauce every time I go shopping? That’s something that has to stop!
4. Check out local flyers:
Local papers and flyers will usually advertise weekly specials. Check them out and save on what you already need.
5. Get membership savings:
Get memberships at your local supermarkets and grocery stores so you can benefit from members-only savings and earn rewards and coupons.
6. Buy in season:
Produce is cheaper when it’s in season locally, and it usually tastes better, too.
7. Stock up on sale items:
Buy things when they’re on sale and save money on items you buy regularly. Buy extra meat when it’s on sale and keep it in the freezer.
8. Don’t stock up on sale items:
Yes, you should stock up on sale items, but only if they’re products you will use. Don’t buy things just because they’re on sale if you don’t really use them that often. And also consider if you’re willing to add an extra $20 worth of pasta to your grocery budget.
9. Try new brands:
Brand loyalty is reassuring, but it can sometimes eat into your budget. Try new brands if they’re on sale or if they’re cheaper than your usual brand. You might even find something new that you like better!
10. Buy generic:
You might even try staying away from brands altogether. Generic brands are usually of similar quality, but without the branding and marketing that drive up the price.
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