Everyone needs to eat, so there is no way to avoid paying for groceries. But you should not be spending more than between 10-15% of your take-home pay for groceries and dining out.
Does finding a way to reduce your grocery bill seem impossible? These ten tips for saving on groceries will show you how to spend less on groceries:
1. Plan Your Meals Based on What is on Sale
Check out grocery store flyers and online to see what items are on sale.
2. Make a List and Stick to It
When you have planned your meals, you know exactly what you need. Don’t buy anything that isn’t on the list.
3. Don’t Shop When Hungry
If you shop when you’re hungry, you are less likely to be able to avoid temptation and you’re more apt to buy impulsively.
4. Know the Your Grocery Store Layout
Stick to the parts of the store that don’t have processed food that can be tempting, and be aware of the tricks the grocery stores have up their sleeve to make you buy more, like having candy at the checkout counters.
5. Buy in Season
There are great bargains to be had when you buy in season.
6. Embrace the Reduced Section
Reduced vegetables are good for soups and stews, and reduced fruit can be pureed for a nutritious smoothie, or diced and frozen. Some recipes actually call for day old bread for grilled sandwiches or French toast, too.
7. Compare Unit Prices
Don’t be fooled by different packaging or sizes. You can find the unit price of an item under the main price. This allows you to make comparisons and choose the better buy.
8. Keep a Running Tally of Your Spending
Bring a calculator with you, so that you have an idea of how much you are spending as you shop.
9. Pay with Cash
Nothing will help you stay on budget like paying with cash. You have your budget amount in cash, and that’s it. You will prioritize what you are buying, and impulse purchases are out!
Cash is best used on a weekly basis instead of a monthly basis, or you may find that the beginning of the month is filled with abundance, and the end of the month you’re scraping by. It is also easier to get a picture of what is needed on a weekly basis than on a monthly basis.
Be up front with the cashier and let them know you only have a certain amount of cash. Put your priority items on the counter first and scan your items until you hit the cash amount.
10. Freeze and Store Meals You Have Prepared
Find freezer meal recipes online and spend some time making them. Cook big meals, and separate them into portions and freeze them.
The time you spend making these meals will save you time in the future. When you are too busy to cook you can just heat one up. In addition to saving time, you’ll save money!