When you are looking for ways to trim your budget, there are several areas you can easily cut out altogether including your morning latte or elaborate shopping sprees. Then there are other areas that you cannot cut out completely, like grocery shopping. While you may not be able to remove the expense of your weekly grocery bill altogether, you can trim the cost significantly by utilizing these 6 easy tips.
- Prep Work – Before you set foot in the door of your local grocer, you need to do some prep work. Create a weekly meal plan, keeping in mind what you already have, so you purchase only what you need. Set a budget and stick to it! Bring only the cash you have set aside for groceries. If this means bringing a calculator to the store, do it! Explore your store’s deals and coupons for the week. You can find this information in their weekly ad, or on their website. Make sure you have your store card to get in on the best deals.
- Compare Apples to Apples – You can save a lot, just by comparing. Explore which store has the best deals, or the lowest priced items. Compare brands to make sure you are not paying extra for packaging.
- Stock Up and Save – When your favorites are on sale, stock up! Nonperishable foods, toiletries, pet care items, baby products, cleaning supplies and paper products are ideal for this. However, for many foods, the opposite can be true. Many foods, when you buy more than you need, can end up being wasteful. Don’t throw money in the trash! If you know you will only use a few items, buy only what you need.
- Avoid Pre-Cut, Pre-Portioned and Pre-Packaged –While these items may be more convenient, you are paying someone else to do the work for you! Use this principle when purchasing meat, fruit and vegetables, which can easily be the largest portion of your grocery bill. Instead of buying pre-cut pieces of fruit, buy the entire cantaloupe. Buy a bigger piece of steak, instead of purchasing the pre-cut pieces for stews or shish kabobs. When it comes to veggies, avoid the frozen food aisle! Buy them in bulk, and freeze until you are ready to use them.
- Implement a Clean Out Week – This is a great way to save on your monthly budget! Once every few weeks, have a pantry, fridge and freezer clean out week. It’s a good excuse to get your freezer and pantry organized, and you might even find a new favorite recipe in the process!
- Avoid Distractions, Endcaps and Eye-Level Items – It is easy to get tempted into purchasing unnecessary items like candy and chips. If you find yourself roaming the home goods section of places that also carry groceries – avoid them! Be mindful of where your eyes gravitate – Manufacturers pay for shelving placement, and this may result in you spending more for items. The same principle goes for endcaps. Avoid these featured products, if you can!
You don’t have to be a coupon-clipping guru to save some serious cash on your monthly grocery bills. Using a few simple strategies, you can soak up the benefits of serious savings on your next shopping trip.