Food is probably your biggest expense aside from housing. After all, you always have to eat. So is there any way you can really cut back on this category? The easy answer is to stop going out to eat and spend more time cooking at home, but what if you’ve already done that and still can’t afford to be spending what you’re spending on food? The answer lies in your grocery bill.
Just because you’re cooking your own food doesn’t necessarily mean you’re saving a lot of money. Groceries can cost a lot too, depending on where your live or which supermarket you shop at. So much so that it might be tempting to cut back on fresh foods and spend more on fast food, which definitely wouldn’t be great for your health. However, if you become a smarter shopper, you can definitely find ways to lower your grocery bill without having to buy less. Here are five ways you can do just that:
1. Plan Out Your Week
Before you step foot into a grocery store, the most important thing to do is to plan out the week ahead. How many days will you be eating at home? How many meals do you plan to eat out? Do you need to bring lunch with you to work? Understanding your schedule for the days ahead will help you decide how much food you need to buy. If you buy too much, you’ll end up with waste. If you buy too little, you’ll probably order out and not save any money at all.
2. Make a Trip to Multiple Stores
Most people limit their grocery shopping to one store, but make the effort to hit multiple stores if you can find a little extra time in your week. Different stores have different sales so you’ll definitely end up saving more if you do some research and buy items where they’re cheaper. Many specialty or ethnic food markets will have items you can normally find at your grocery store for much less. Lastly, if you have a farmer’s market in your town, it’s worth checking out as prices can be cheaper and the produce is fresher. This all definitely takes more time and effort but it’ll save you more than a few bucks.
3. Buy Dry Products Online & in Bulk
Thanks to the age of the internet, you can now get almost anything online – including food. If you live in a major city, you might be able to use services like FreshDirect or Amazon Fresh, which will deliver your groceries straight to your door. However, the prices are generally marked up. You can still shop for groceries online though when it comes to dry products, like pasta and canned goods. On sites like Amazon and Walmart, you can buy these in bulk at much lower prices, especially if they’re on sale. And as a bonus, you don’t have to go to the store to lug them back. So stock up now!
4. Go for the Generic Brand
Name brand isn’t always better. In fact, most of the time it’s exactly the same as the generic brand. Many generic and name brand products are produced right in the same factory. It’s just that the packaging and stickers on them are different. Next time you’re shopping, reach for the store brand instead and see if you can really tell the difference. Sometimes you can, but other times you’ll a new way to save.
5. Shop the Weekly Circular
Almost all supermarkets come out with a new circular every week with new sales and deals. Many even post it on their website. Before you start shopping, make sure you look through it to see what you should be buying for the week. Many circulars also include coupons, which can give you even more additional savings.
Do you have any tips & tricks to save on groceries? Let us know in the comments below!
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Originally posted at https://moneyning.com/frugality/5-tips-to-help-lower-your-grocery-bill/