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If you’re anything like me, then every time you go to the grocery store you always end up getting more (and spending more) than you thought you would.
I’ve compiled a few tips that I’ve learned over the years to make sure I don’t spend more money than I need to.
Let me know if these tips work for you as well. Or, if you have other tips that you use to save money when you buy groceries.
#1 Make a list.
Making a list of what you need stops you from getting all those unnecessary items. Also, it keeps you from browsing, which, from my experience always leads to buying more.
Saving a few cents here and there can add up – especially when you get more than 1 of an item. Coupons are also sometimes available on the back of previous receipts, so be sure to check those out.
Whether it’s a Kroger Plus Card or a Harris Teeter VIP card, these types of programs allow for sometimes substantial savings. In my opinion, there really isn’t a downside to these programs. You give them a little personal information to track your spending habits, but you’ll receive savings on many different items.
Local newspapers will include inserts for most grocery stores that include weekly specials. This can help you spend a lot less. The Kroger insert I receive each week lets me know which items I can get 10 for $10 or Buy 1 Get 1 Free. These types of savings help me spend a lot less. They also include some tasty recipes!
#5 Bulk shop.
If you have a large family or have a lot of grocery shopping to do, buying in bulk is a good option. Places like Costco or Sam’s Club sell items in bulk at a relatively cheaper price. So for items such as pasta or other non-perishable goods, buying in bulk will save you money. FYI – there is a annual cost to these shopping warehouses, but if you shop there a lot, it’s well worth it.
#6 Comparison shop.
Many times I debate on whether to buy generic or name brand items. I catch myself thinking that I need to have name brand items, however, there really is no difference between the two. Whether food or medicine, generics are a smart way to save money because typically generics have all the same ingredients. Some generics to begin using are bread, dairy products, and cereal.
Buy non-grocery items such as office supplies or pet food at other chain stores because they will typically be less expensive.
Lots of studies show that if you go grocery shopping when hungry, you’ll tend to buy more. Everything will look good. So a good time to stock up on groceries is after dinner.
If you’re only shopping for a few items, grab a basket instead of a cart. Or don’t grab either one. By limiting how many items you can hold, you’ll definitely save by buying fewer items.
If you only have a certain amount of money you can spend each month on groceries, it may be beneficial to pay in cash so that you cannot spend more. By taking cash with you and leaving the credit card at home, you’ll be forced to spend less.
BONUS: #11 Shop at salvage grocery stores.
Salvaged groceries are items whose packaging may be damaged — such as canned foods with dents in them, or a box of cereal where the box is caved in on the side — but the seal protecting the food inside hasn’t been broken. Salvage grocery stores buy these damaged goods and then sell them to you for 30% to 50% less than you would pay for the same items in a grocery store.
This is by no means a complete list – so if you have any recommendations to save money at the grocery store post a comment so we can all benefit! Good luck saving money!
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I’m a Financial Consultant and Personal Financial Representative with experience in financial analysis, strategic planning, presenting, & financial advisory services.