Everyone is looking for ways to save money on groceries. According to data, an average family of four spends roughly $1,100 per month on groceries. Most Americans found their grocery budget spiked during the pandemic as they ate all meals at home. But even now, as restrictions lift and venues reopen, many are choosing to stay home for meals. At the same time, food prices are on the rise, and the US Department of Agriculture predicts that the cost of food will increase around 3% this year. So how do you save money on groceries?
Make a Shopping List and Stick To It
How many times have you gone to the supermarket intending to pick up only a few things, and you leave the store with a full shopping cart? Of course, making a shopping list is critical, but so is your commitment that you won’t buy anything that isn’t on the list. So before heading to the store, inventory your pantry and refrigerator. Don’t forget to check your produce drawers and dairy shelf. Plan out menus for the week or more if you prefer to go monthly. Create a detailed list and keep it in your hand as you browse the shelves.
Avoid End-of-Aisle Specials
Retailers are in the business of getting you to buy products. For this reason, they stock special items at the end of aisles and along the checkout area. Many times you’ll see “buy one get one free” specials or sales on new products. If you don’t need those items, skip them. You can quickly go over your grocery budget without even getting what you need.
Use Coupons With Caution
In-store coupons and coupon apps can help you save money on groceries but use this strategy with caution. You might purchase items that you won’t enjoy once you get home or buy more than you need just to take advantage of the coupon offer. To get the best out of coupons savings, search for them online and take advantage of apps like Snipsnap to stretch your groceries budget. When you checkout, the cashier scans your phone and collects each coupon code.
Online shopping and delivery from Whole Foods and Amazon became mainstream during the pandemic. Many consumers found that online ordering is a great way to save money on groceries. First of all, you don’t lose time in the store looking for items and waiting to checkout. As you plan your menus or inventory your refrigerator and pantry, you can add ingredients and grocery items to your online order app. By ordering online, you’ll avoid the temptation of impulse buying.
Save Money on Groceries by Buying Store Brands
Branded items are not necessarily better. Many consumers think that the quality is better, but you’ll find comparable quality with store brands and much better prices. Compare ingredients, nutritional value, and cost per unit. You might find that the store brand is just as good, tasty, and cheaper.
Check the Price Per Unit
When comparing products, be sure to look at the price per unit. You want the food item with the lowest cost per unit. For example, an extra-large jar of pickles may not be a bargain when looking at the unit price. It could be a better deal to purchase two smaller jars, especially if the store is running a sale. You’ll need to look closely because this information is in small print. Still, it’s another easy way to save money on groceries.
Menu planning, creating a shopping list and avoiding shopping when hungry are the three top ways to save money on groceries. Shop around and look for the best bargains. Use cash rather than your credit or debit card. And leave the kids at home.