Saving money on food is easy and fun to do, but it’s not always obvious how you can do it. We all know how expensive even fast food can be, especially with Uber Eats bursting the credit card limit. Grocery shopping is much more cost-effective, yet it can be overwhelming if you don’t know what to buy. Rather than pick a recipe that requires a bunch of ingredients you don’t have, try and make your grocery trip as budget savvy as possible. Here’s how to save money on groceries no matter how big your family is:
Create a Grocery Budget
It sounds super basic, but most people who are “budgeting” still don’t actually shop on a budget. Using deals and promotions to find a better value on food is great; however, it’s more important to determine how much you should spend on your groceries and stick to it. For some of us, that may seem counterintuitive. We want to see the most we can save not spend up to a limit, but it’s too easy to justify overspending when you are convinced you got some “good deals” First figure out how much you can afford to spend on groceries each week and stay under that limit, no matter what. That may require some creativity like bargain hunting, meal planning, and of course utilizing the rest of the ideas on how to save money on groceries down below
When considering how to save money on groceries, it’s super helpful to be aware of prices for items on your shopping list. There are typically a variety of options to choose from and you never know what the best value will be until you compare. Keeping your budget in mind, compare per-unit costs across all the brands for the product you need. It could be that a brand that isn’t a sale item actually has the best price. The only caveat here is that while bulk often yields the best price per unit, it isn’t always necessarily the best value, so think about whether you will likely end up throwing out that tub of mayonnaise.
One sure-fire way to save money on groceries is to buy fewer groceries. create a meal plan that cross utilizes a lot of the same ingredients. That way you can benefit from bulk prices and let nothing go to waste. It also means quicker grocery visits and less wandering around the store, which indirectly keeps your spending down because there is less opportunity for impulse buys. Another benefit of a simpler grocery list is a cleaner and more organized-looking refrigerator!
Take a Hint from the Shopping Cart
Okay, so this was a tough one for us to learn, but it finally clicked. We need big carts. Not just because we have a big family, but when we all go shopping together it’s like a parade. Ever wonder who uses those ginormous carts at Walmart with the two extra seats? That’s us, plus another cart. When we go to Safeway, it’s always frustrating because even their “big” carts are kind of small. Finally, it dawned on me that the cart size at the store is indicative of how much you should be buying. Smaller carts mean higher prices, almost across the board. If you shop at a store with smaller carts, be more selective about what you buy there. There are still deals to be had but most items won’t be worth it if you have another local store.
Budgeting doesn’t always have to do with money, but it can indirectly impact your spending. Keeping to a set amount of calories each day will have an unavoidable impact on your weekly spending. Not everybody is looking to diet, so this may not apply to you, but if you’re on the fence about it the financial benefit may push you over.
If you want to know how to save money on groceries but still use a third-party online service start there immediately. Buying groceries through delivery apps is a budget killer. It’s okay for emergencies, but in my experience, it’s not worth it if you can avoid it. It costs too much to do and too often they make mistakes that you can’t do anything about. I once had somebody substitute turkey chili for pork without batting an eye. If somebody specifies turkey in their order, it’s best not to assume another type of meat is okay. Least of which is pork. Unfortunately, I’ve seen that type of thing happen a lot. When you do your own shopping, you have control over what you get and how much you spend without having to pay a service fee.
How to Save Money on Groceries the Budget Savvy Way
Rather than pick a recipe that requires a bunch of ingredients you don’t have, try and make your grocery trip as budget savvy as possible.
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