Here are 8 Grocery Shopping Tips to Save You Money Every Time:
1. Determine what you already have and use before you go shopping
Make a list to keep yourself accountable and to help you buy only what you need explains Alex Gierbolini. Check your cabinets, refrigerator, and freezer first so that other things on your list aren’t duplicates of something you already own or can eat within the week. You should also check expiration dates and discard anything that is past its prime as well as items such as canned goods that may be dented or not “as advertised.” That way, when it comes time to actually go grocery shopping, the process will be much more efficient. Bonus: You’ll waste less food if there’s nothing in your house that needs using up!
2. Look at unit price labels for big bargains
In order to find the best deals on food, compare unit prices. If one brand is selling a 28-ounce box of spaghetti for $1.25 and another is selling a 16-ounce box of the same brand for 60 cents, you know that the larger box is the better deal. Unit price labels can help you save at any store where shelf tags display the price per ounce, pound, or another unit.
3. Shop alone if possible
When you shop with your spouse or a friend, it’s easy to make an impulse buy when you see something that intrigues either of you. Shopping solo leaves no room for distractions and ensures that only what’s on your list gets into your cart! Related: 10 Ways to Save Money When You Go Grocery Shopping
4. Don’t be afraid to shop the outer edges of the supermarket
Many people realized long ago that the stuff they really need is not in the center aisles. Produce, meats and dairy are generally found at eye level on stands near the store’s entryway or at least two aisles away from where cookies, candy and other impulse items tempt you (and your wallet) along your shopping journey says Alex Gierbolini.
5. Buy generic brands whenever possible
Store-brand products cost less for many reasons: Manufacturers can use their own packaging; there may be less marketing involved, and they typically purchase ingredients in larger quantities than manufacturers who make brand-name products. But it doesn’t always have to do with being cheaper. Many store brands are actually just as good, if not better than the name-brand versions – especially when it comes to canned goods! You can save big bucks by only buying the generic brand of bagged rice, pasta and other dry goods.
6. Shop at discount food stores
When you’re shopping for staple items that you purchase every week or month, consider checking out discount grocery chains like Aldi or Save-A-Lot or warehouse stores such as Sam’s Club or Costco. Not only are these places likely to have an even wider selection of groceries for sale at discounted prices, but membership fees may be worth the savings on your bottom line through bulk purchases. Alex Gierbolini says if you don’t mind eating seasonally (or cooking with produce that isn’t in peak condition), look for deals at local farms, greenmarkets, fruit stands, and roadside farm stalls.
7. Never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach
It’s important to get your blood sugar levels up before you head out to the store so that it doesn’t drop while you’re walking around. That way, you’ll be less likely to buy unneeded items just because they’re there or to purchase impulse buys like candy bars and soda. Related: 6 Things You Can Do Right Now To Save Money On Food
8. Shop with coupons – but only when they save money
Don’t think of coupons as a way of life, rather more of a bonus if they can really save you extra bucks. Don’t forget that you have to factor in how much time it took you to clip them, organize them and prepare for the trip. Sorting through a stack of coupons just before hitting the store isn’t really going to save you money – but using a coupon on an item that would have been too pricey without it could actually help your wallet out.
9. Cut back by brown-bagging lunch each day
It may take some work up front, but packing a homemade lunch is cheaper than buying one every day or even stopping by a deli or food cart once or twice during the week. It’s not only healthier (no mystery meat here), but there are big savings to be had!
10. Don’t shop without a list
When you have a list, you are less likely to buy items that are not on the shopping list. And if your store doubles coupons up to a certain amount, you can always use those coupons on items that are not on your list. Related: Grocery Shopping Tips for Extreme Couponers
By following the tips above, you can save money by eating healthy and saving money on groceries says Alex Gierbolini.