Grocery shopping is a considerable expense for many families. Do you know how much of your total budget you spend on groceries? Food is delightful and nourishes us, but purchases can get out of control.
It’s easy to dance down the grocery store’s aisle and fill your cart with stuff that is not on your grocery list. Perhaps it’s the bright lights, strategically positioned items at checkout or just being hungry that mess with your budget.
You could cut your grocery bill by as much as half if you’re open to making some subtle adjustments to the way you purchase. It’s time to pull it in with our frugal grocery shopping tips.
1. Shop With a List
Sit down and prepare your weekly or monthly meals like lunches at school and work – and figure it all out. An Excel spreadsheet or something similar is great for setting out all the ingredients you need.
You risk missing a significant food component by not using a list and expecting more trips out, where their marketing tricks can lure you.
Keep a list on the fridge or elsewhere visible, and add to it as needed. Try doing it and teach your family to do the same as well. The essential rule is if it’s not on the list, you will not buy it.
2. Have a Budget and Stick to It
Determine how much you can spend on groceries, and adhere to that limit. Reading a book about budgeting for groceries or searching the internet for the best deals can be time-consuming but worth it.
Do a rough overall running when you shop so you see how much you’ve spent, and how much you’ve got to go.
If you’re particularly awful at supermarket over-spending, use cash. That means, withdrawing what you need for your trip and leaving the credit cards at home.
3. Keep a Pantry Staples List
Staples ensure that you still have the cooking basics in your cupboard – and replace them when necessary. Know what you usually store in your pantry and pick up some if they are on sale.
It’s also a smart idea to have in the pantry a few quick meals like pasta and pasta sauces for those days you’re tempted to take out.
A well-stocked pantry with common ingredients still ensures there is always a meal in your home.
4. Buy in Bulk When You Can
Having a stocked pantry means you’ve always got food to cook even if you didn’t get to the grocery store. Buy non-perishable goods in bulk and also frozen items if you have the space.
Prioritize other things like commodities that have no expiry date, such as toilet paper and toothpaste. You will always use these, so when you get them at a discount, you save in the long run.
Store these when they are on sale in your cupboards. Don’t just buy things on sale; make sure they’re what you need, and what your frequently use.
A bucket of olive tapenade on sale does not help you if you never eat olive tapenade.
5. Look for Discount Grocers Near You
If you always go shopping at the same grocery store, shopping around pays off. Discount grocery stores such as Aldi provide impressive cost savings, so shopping is ideal for saving money.
If you have one nearby, you can try Costco, sure, it will cost you more at the moment, but if you can save money by doing it over the course of a year or so, you’re saving big time.
The Bottom Line
Letting your grocery shopping trip get out of control is easy, but with these tips, you won’t be losing your total monthly food budget on a single shopping visit.
With these 5 simple tricks and tips you can stick to your budget and stay on track.