Groceries are one of the biggest household bills outside of rent and utilities. It’s also the area in the household budget where there are a lot of opportunities to make huge savings – without compromising on quality.
So, if you’re looking for ways to save more on groceries to put a little bit back in your pocket, here are some easy-to-implement tips that can make you some huge savings.
Create a Weekly Meal Plan
Creating a weekly meal plan, which is essentially a menu, is a great way to save on groceries. If you know exactly what you’re cooking each day, you can plan ahead to have those ingredients.
It also means you can batch cook some meals ahead of time and save a little extra doing so. Planning ahead doesn’t need to stifle creativity in the kitchen. You can still come up with interesting and unique recipes, just plan ahead and stick to your plan.
Look for Coupons
Finding coupons is a hobby for some (extreme couponing is a thing), and a necessity for others. Whether you find it fun or not, it doesn’t take long to do some searches online for grocery coupons.
A couple of things to keep in mind when using coupons; don’t give into a good offer for something you don’t want, and don’t buy more than you need because it’s on offer.
Only search out coupons for items on your shopping list. And, even a few cents here and there is worth taking, and it adds up over time. If you find digital coupons online you can use them via a smartphone, so it’s really no bother.
Cook in Batches and Freeze the Extras
Another benefit of planning your meals for the week is that you can cook extra and freeze some. It’s always cheaper to buy ingredients in bulk, it’s using them that’s always the challenge. This helps solve that problem.
Use a Shopping List When You’re at the Store
You may not be aware of this, but stores attempt to push us towards impulse buys. The way they lay out their aisles and where they position their foods, it’s all carefully planned to make you spend more.
The way to combat this is to go into a store with a list of exactly what you want. Then, move from one item to the next with a laser focus, picking up those items and nothing else. You’re not “saving” money on a half-price offer for something you didn’t intend to buy. You’re spending money you otherwise wouldn’t have.
Buy a Store’s Own Brand Groceries
Most stores have their own line of groceries, and they are less expensive than branded goods. The store brand isn’t always going to be as good quality or taste as nice, but you have to try them to find out for yourself before passing judgment. In fact, in some taste tests, some store-branded items topped the more popular brands.
Ever heard the saying, “It pays to shop around?” If you have a store just down the road from you that’s convenient for your weekly shop, it’s a good idea to try another store even if it’s further away.
Same applies if you have a store you feel loyal to because you’ve been going there for years. Your goal needs to be buying the same groceries for the best price, if this means walking 10 minutes longer, it’s worth it.
Go Shopping Alone
It’s a lot easier to get distracted and pulled in different directions if you’re shopping with other people. Dare I say this, but especially with kids. If you want to avoid the pressure of buying items you didn’t intend to, leave the kids at home. Head out with your shopping list, and come back with only those items.
Move Away from Pre-Cooked Foods
We’ve all become used to the convenience of buying pre-washed salads, peeled and sliced potatoes, sliced fruits, and so on. But this extra preparation has a cost attached to it.
Buy your fruit and veg loose. You can wash and chop it yourself and save a few pennies. You can also buy fruit and veg by weight in most stores, meaning you can buy the amount you want rather than the pre-packed weight.
How do you save on your trips to the grocery store? Learn other ways to save and free up cash here.