Nine Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half
While grocery shopping can be the key to you and your family eating healthier meals, watching the total during check-out increase with each scanned item can be stressful. There’s a reason your final bill can be higher than you thought it would be: Eye-catching signs and strategic product placement are designed to tempt you to put more expensive items in your cart. That’s where these tips come in—they will help you make smarter choices and save money along the way:
- Meal plan: This gives you a guide when you begin to make your grocery list. Meal planning puts you in the driver’s seat to cook nutritious meals for you and your family.
- Make a list: When you stick to what you write down, you’ll cut out impulse buys and improve your bottom line. While you make the list, take inventory around your kitchen and be sure you’re not adding items that you already have. Also, note what is on hand that needs to be used (this will help you meal plan, too). For example, you can create an entire meal based around a can of black beans.
- Don’t go to the store hungry: If you walk into the store with an empty stomach, you’ll be a lot more tempted to throw delicious-looking items into your cart that you don’t need.
- Download your coupons: Keep it simple and access coupons through an app on your phone. Flipp checks your local stores and puts all your coupons in one spot while Ibotta and Checkout 51 are cashback apps that offer an instant reward for shopping.
- Shop the perimeter: Most grocery stores have similar layouts, with the produce, bakery, meat and dairy items around the edges of the store and the more expensive processed or pre-packaged items in the aisles. In addition to saving you money, keeping to the perimeter of the store will help you pick healthier, fresh choices.
- Go generic: Stores typically put expensive, well-known brands near eye-level and place the generic brands at the bottom. Don’t fall for it. Not only is generic usually less expensive, but studies show people can’t tell the difference between them and name-brand equivalents.
- Buy when the price is right: There are plenty of non-perishable foods that you can stock up on when they’re on sale. Pasta, rice and beans are great items to buy cheap and keep on hand to add to any dish.
- Use cash to pay: Taking the extra step of bringing cash with you will help stick to your pre-determined budget and deter you from throwing last-minute items into your cart.
- Get inspired with low-cost recipes: You don’t need to spend a lot to make a delicious dinner at home. Try recipes like these, which don’t cost a lot of money to prepare.
Keep in mind not to overwhelm yourself with trying to make all these changes at once. Try one or two at a time and work your way up to the others. Do you have any other tips or tricks for saving money? Share in the comments below!
Photo credit: Caden Crawford