We often go to grocery stores with a particular item on our mind but usually find ourselves leaving with more things we don’t really need. Grocery shopping can be expensive, especially if you have a lot of people to feed. More than that, the overall cost also depends on where you shop, what you buy, and how you budget your money.
Paying attention to your expenses and reducing unnecessary habits during grocery shopping can save you thousands each year. Perfecting it involves both control and discipline.
Regardless of where you prefer to shop or the number of people in your household, there are a lot of small actions that can help you save money which can be helpful, especially as prices frequently increase.
Here are 5 ways you can save on your groceries:
- Create a budget plan
You don’t want to overspend on things you don’t actually need and underspend on the things that are important. Start by determining whether you’d like to shop weekly, every two weeks, or monthly. Of course, you need to choose which one will complement your income, money flow, and time.
Next, identify the total budget you want to spend. Set a reasonable budget. How would you know if it’s reasonable? Track your monthly income; in setting a budget, make sure it does not eat up almost all your income. Additionally, consider your family size, identify whether it’s enough for your family, not over or under budgeting.
Lastly, itemize your total budget and allocate it according to your needs. How much will be allocated for food? For personal needs? For toiletries?
- Make a list
Imagine going on a war without a plan; that can be very chaotic and will lead to loss. The same goes with groceries; going in without a list can be very expensive and regretting.
Making a list will help you take only what is important and needed and prevent impulsive buying. This might also save you time because you already know what to look for. Make sure to prioritize in the list the most essential things such as food, ingredients, and other items in your pantry that have probably run out.
Shop with the list and make sure to stick to it.
- Count your price
While you are shopping, it’s better to know the price of your basket ahead of time so you can make adjustments. It’s best to count while you shop, calculating the current total of all your items to ensure that you stay on your budget.
Tips: Make sure to choose smaller shopping baskets. One of the strategies of grocery stores is giving you the big shopping cart because it makes you feel that you’re still getting a few items since you can see the cart is not yet full enough. It makes you want to fill up the cart to get your “money’s worth”.
- Choose the cheaper alternatives
There’s no problem in choosing what brand of item you prefer. If you plan on saving money, you can often select cheaper alternatives for some of the items you’ll buy. It’s not really a loss because sometimes, you are just paying for the brand name.
Buy generic items, choose the ones on sale, and ditch the prepacked food because it costs more since you are also paying for the convenience.
This works best for big families. Less doesn’t mean cheap and more doesn’t mean expensive. If there are a lot of people in your household, you’re gonna be needing a lot of food.
Sure, choosing the cheaper and generic items in a grocery store will save you a lot but don’t you know there are also wholesale grocery stores? Wholesale price is nearly always cheaper than the retail price, found at your local grocery store. To get a wholesale price, you need to reach a quota of items. Think of it as a discount for purchasing a lot. This way, you can actually save money by buying in bulk rather than buying it individually at a typical grocery store.