On average, Americans spend just shy of $450 per month on groceries. Sometimes, it is tough to scrape together enough cash for a shopping trip, especially with rising food costs.
It is enough to make you want to give up. But you can’t exactly quit eating.
Thankfully, there are some small changes you can make to afford groceries, and they are maintainable on a long-term basis. Here are some money-saving tips to try!
Make a Grocery List Before You Go Shopping
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is going grocery shopping without a list. Not only is it likely that you will forget something, but you will also buy things you don’t actually need.
Before each trip, sit down and write down a list of the necessities. Bring it with you, and stick to the list.
It might be tempting to pick up those tantalizing chips, so it is important that you don’t shop on an empty stomach. If you are not hungry, then you won’t be tempted to throw extra food in your cart.
Sign up for Loyalty Cards
Most grocery stores have loyalty cards, so sign up for them. Most (if not all) don’t cost anything, so you have nothing to lose.
Every time you do groceries, you can rack up points, which can be redeemed for more produce or items. The loyalty cards also give you exclusive discounts, so taking a minute to sign up will definitely be worth it.
Use Credit Cards With Rewards
This is a tricky tip; some people can’t control their spending with credit cards. This makes the rewards not worth it since they end up in a cycle of debt.
However, if you are responsible and only use your credit cards when advantageous, you can save big.
Certain credit cards give you cash back on all purchases. Sometimes, they have specific cashback terms for groceries. These can range between 1% to 6%.
Combining credit card usage with loyalty cards can help you save tons of money!
Buy From Wholesalers
The reason why groceries are pricey is that there are middlemen bringing the products from the manufacturers/growers to the store. If you cut out the middleman and buy directly from fruit wholesalers instead of the shop, then you will enjoy fresh produce at a fraction of the cost. You might even discover some affordable foods you can supplement your diet with.
Many people join wholesale clubs like Costco too. Do note that there’s a membership fee, but it is worth it if you have a large family and you need to constantly buy groceries.
Be Careful About Buying in Bulk
One money-saving tip you will hear is to buy in bulk. You will want to break down the prices to see if it really does cost less to buy 10 boxes of cereal rather than one or two.
Stores are counting on you to buy in bulk since it is easier and it is believed to cut down costs, so they may raise the prices on bulk products. In the end, it doesn’t always save you money.
Even if it is a good deal, think about whether you will use up everything. You will have to throw out perishables if they go bad before you can use them, so you will be throwing away cash.
Only Buy Sales Items
Grocery stores will rotate their sales items to get consumers to try different things. Instead of sticking to non-sales products, try to stick to discounts.
This can be fun if you are getting bored with your regular recipes. This buying method can get you out of your box and force you to get creative. Your household’s menu will be exciting and fresh every week!
In addition to buying sales items, you should also clip coupons. Nowadays, it is more difficult to stack coupons with already discounted products, but having these can still help.
Let’s say that you bought chicken while it was on sale, and you want to make chicken carbonara. You can combine it with a coupon for bacon to save on this recipe!
Buy Generic Products
Grocery stores have their own lines of generic products, which are just as good as the brand-name stuff. You might even find that some are even better!
No one really cares about what label is on the food; everything gets tossed together and cooked anyway. So long as your meals are still delicious, that’s all that matters.
The next time you are at the grocery store, take a look at the generic products and compare the prices to the brand-name items. You will find that many are half the price, so you can buy double the amount of food in the long run.
Cook Simpler Recipes
Complicated recipes may ask you to buy 10 ingredients and use a tiny bit of each. These obscure ingredients then sit in your pantry or fridge, then go bad since you will never use them again.
Take a good look at these recipes and you will see that you can whittle them down to seven ingredients or less. This is a fantastic time to get creative!
If you can’t reduce the ingredients used, then consider swapping those recipes out for simpler ones. When you only have to use a few ingredients, you will cut down on both costs and food waste.
Hit up the Farmers Market Late
Farmers’ markets have better quality produce, but they are also more expensive. However, you can round up some quality ingredients by visiting at closing time.
Many stall owners will want to get rid of their produce and earn money up until closing up shop. it is likely that you can walk away with full bags of fresh groceries at cheap prices.
Eat Well and Save Money
Groceries are a necessity that we can’t sit out on. Rising costs have you worried about your bank account though, and you’ve got to keep your belly full.
It might take some extra effort, but there are ways to keep your account balance from draining fast. If you follow our advice, then you will eat well and save money too!