Is your monthly grocery bill nearing the amount of your rent/mortgage payments? Here are some simple tips to help reduce that bill without having to shop for expiring items on clearout!
This is easy to do and is essentially free money. You don’t need to go to the extent of extreme couponing in order to get results. Just 20-30 minutes a week can save you hundreds a year!
Buy on sale. Compare your list to your local flyers and check to see which of your items are on sale and if you have a coupon for that item – bonus! Also consider price matching if a local store offers this service. That way you can go to one store but benefit from sales at other stores.
Set a monthly budget goal on groceries. This way you have a target to work towards.
Make a List
Write down everything you intend to buy and then stick to that plan. Impulse buys will only increase your bill and most likely with items you just don’t need!
It’s a lot easier to stick to that list and that budget when you don’t have someone else sneaking things into your cart. I find if I go alone my bill is a LOT lower than if I were to go with my partner as he likes to sneak full priced unnecessary items into my cart.
Don’t go Hungry
Most of you have probably heard this from your mothers. It’s true though, you won’t be as likely to stray from your list if you go on a full stomach.
Buy Store Brand
If you have no coupon and absolutely need an item that is not on sale then definitely go store brand! This is especially true for 1 ingredient items such as Rice and Eggs. This is something I have to argue with my partner over constantly as he doesn’t get that chickens are not aware of the brand they are producing for!
Look for Per-unit-price
Compare the price per volume when shopping for non-perishables. The giant sized bag of rice may cost more than the smaller bag but what is it really costing you in the end to get the same amount? This of course leads us to…
Don’t stock up on Perishables
Just because it is on sale does not mean you need to buy as much as possible. Buy what you can use before it goes bad.
Buy Meat in Bulk
Stock up on meat when it is on sale. If you have a freezer you can save a ton of money by buying value pack meat in “family” size and freezing them in cooking portions. Eliminate the need to ever buy meat at regular price.
Make it yourself
Why purchase frozen or boxed meals such as Mac & cheese? These are generally terrible for you and end up costing you far more than the yummier homemade version.
Cut out Junk Food
Save junk food for a rare treat. Replace these with healthier and cheaper snacks such as air popped popcorn. Your budget and your belt will thank you.
Don’t buy Non-Grocery items at the Grocery store
Unless you have confirmed that an item is at an unbelievably low price… don’t buy it! Most of these items are priced regularly much higher than they are at other discount stores. This means that the 2$ off on that scented candle which seems like a great sale may actually only bring the item down to regular price at a non-grocery store!
Watch your Cashier
Watch as things are being rung up. Make sure all coupons are applied, all sales priced items are rung in at that price, that you aren’t charged twice for any items. There is no point in checking your receipt when you get home as most people aren’t willing to make the trek over a small amount.
Recycle your Bags
Many stores offer cents off your bill for using reusable bags and/or charge for plastic bags. If you must use plastic bags save them for kitchen garbage bags rather than just throwing them out.
Tips for more advanced frugal shoppers:
Only buy on sale! Start a stockpile of non-perishable or long lasting items. (Within reason!)
Plan your menu around sales rather than planning your shopping around your menu.