Do you ever find yourself wondering where all your money goes? If so, the answer is probably food. Most of the money we don’t spend on rent or a mortgage ends up going to the grocery store, but at the same time, if you’re hoping to scale back and save some money, the grocery store is the best place to do so; you just have to know how to do it. Here are five tips to help you save money next time you go grocery shopping.
The first thing you need to do is shop on the right day. Most people are in the habit of shopping on a Friday or Saturday, but those are usually the worst days of the week to shop. Going to the grocery store early in the week, say on a Monday or a Tuesday, is going to be your best bet. For starters, the store will be less busy on those days, so you won’t feel rushed, giving you more time to compare prices of different brands and find the best deal. More importantly, the prices at grocery stores tend to be cheaper on these days, making it easy to save money if you break your habit and shop early in the week instead of the end of the week.
The next best thing you can do when grocery shopping is planning ahead. This means taking an inventory of what you have at home, planning out a menu for the days ahead, and coming up with a detailed grocery list before you head to the market. It’s imperative that you know what you have, what you’ll need, and how you’ll use it before stepping foot in the store. By being meticulous about what you have and what you plan on buying, you’ll avoid buying things you don’t need, which should save you a meaningful amount of money.
Once you’re in the store, you need to know where to shop. This means looking at the bottom shelves in each aisle. Stores will purposely stock more expensive items at eye level because that makes them easier for customers to see. Smart shoppers will shop from the bottom up, as they know that’s where they’ll be able to find cheaper prices. It’s also wise to avoid large displays, as those items will be highlighted because the store knows it will make the most money from them, and so avoiding those items will help you save money.
Next, use coupons wisely. Coupons are not hard to find and they can be quite useful when it comes to saving money. However, you have to use them the right way. Just because you have a coupon, doesn’t mean you have to use it; only use coupons to buy items that you actually need, and don’t get sucked into buying excess items just because you have a coupon, as this will void the savings you get from the coupons.
One of the ways my family saves on food is to have a husband (and son) who enjoy hunting. While they are not always successful, the meat they bring home when they are is cheaper and of higher quality than what we can get at the store. They spend a lot of time outside, but they have all the right gear and always enjoy it.
Finally, the best thing you can do when grocery shopping is to eat before you go. A hungry shopper is a busy shopper, and busy shoppers don’t save a lot of money. There are so many items at a grocery store that will tempt you, especially since most of them are designed to tempt you, and if you’re shopping on an empty stomach you’ll be more likely to get drawn in. Eating before you shop will help you avoid excess items that you don’t really need, and that you only want because you’re feeling hungry. This will help you buy only what you need, which will save you plenty of money in the long run.