When you’re trying to save money, it’s tough to decide whether to go to the drive-thru, eat out or cook your own meals. The healthiest choice, obviously, is to cook your own meals.
It may seem that grocery shopping to cooking for yourself is an economical choice. But, as you watch the bill mount up at the counter, it may feel like cooking really saves you much.
That’s the case with most people when they don’t know what they’re doing. However, armed with the right tips and techniques, you can save a huge chunk of cash by sticking to your budget.
Here’s how to grocery shop on a budget.
1. Shop Smart
Hop on the couponing bandwagon if you haven’t already. In a survey conducted in 2010, customers who purchased groceries by coupons were able to save a whopping $3.7 billion (each coupon averaged $1.46 worth of savings.)
If you subscribe to the newspaper, then the Sunday edition is a coupon galore. And if you can take out some time to plan your meals based on the coupons that you have, then you can save more money.
Don’t be disheartened if you don’t subscribe to newspapers. Check out the website of grocery stores online. Research different store websites to find the best prices.
You can save time and money once you find a store that offers the best prices.
Also, you don’t necessarily have to shop all the items from a single store. You can purchase perishable items from one store and non-perishable items from another.
So, choose different stores that offer the best price depending on the kind of things you wish to buy.
Stores often offer fabulous deals when for bulk buyers. Stock up when you see such deals to save even more money.
If your favorite juice is on a ‘buy one, get one free offer, then don’t just buy one or two boxes. Stock up for a few months if you have to.
If they have a longer shelf life, then buy as many as you can easily store. Freeze items like chicken or beef when they’re on sale.
If bulk buying is adding to your savings but you don’t have the resources to store or preserve them, then split with a friend or a neighbor.
Remember to use the store’s membership or savings card for bonus rewards and savings.
2. Shop After Lunch
One of the best pieces of advice to save money on groceries is to shop with a full stomach.
When you’re hungry and you see aisles of food items filled with your favorite foods, suddenly, you feel the need to buy everything.
You end up with a cart full of overpriced items you don’t need. You wouldn’t even buy them if you weren’t so hungry. In fact, you won’t even use them once you’re home and no longer hungry.
If you go to the store with a satisfied stomach, you won’t be tempted to buy such items which will ultimately help you save a ton of money.
3. Watch The Register
Most people are busy on their phones as the register beeps at the counter.
If not, they’re craning their necks to find more products or reading tabloids rather than paying attention to the cash register.
It’s common to see prices ring up incorrectly or offers not applying automatically.
It’s wise to keep a close eye as your items get scanned to make sure you’re paying the same price as mentioned on the shelf.
You’re certain to catch a few mispriced items every once in a while.
4. Stick to Your Budget and List
Next time you visit the grocery store, keep your list and a pen handy.
Mention your budget at the top of your list. Even though you don’t know the exact prices of the items, you should have a rough idea of how much it will cost you.
Calculate the rough price of each before leaving the house to ensure that you don’t go over the budget.
Once you’re at the store, resist the urge to buy that aren’t on your list unless they’re cheaper alternatives of things that are on your list.
In case you go over the budget, remove a few things from your cart that aren’t that urgent.
Food budgeting for yourself or your entire family can be daunting. But grocery shopping on a budget doesn’t always have to be difficult.
With a little planning and couponing, you can eat delicious, balanced meals that your whole family will love.
Remember to visit grocery stores on a full stomach and check the register and the bill to save more money.
How do you grocery shop on a budget? Which grocery stores are your favorite and why? Tell us in the comments section below!
Featured Image Credits: Unsplash