Everyone has to buy groceries. And, unfortunately, groceries often don’t come cheap. The good news is that you can make grocery shopping cheaper, at least if you know a few basic tips.
One of the most basic of these tips is to have a grocery shopping budget and a budget in general. Each month or week or whatever pay period you are working with, you should sit down, look at your money, and plan out what needs to go where.
Decide how much money you have to spend on bills, on activities you have planned, and on necessities, such as groceries.
No matter how much money you have, you can then make a grocery shopping list that contains all of the items you absolutely have to have with that paycheck. By carefully following your basic grocery list and planning to buy only the items you can afford, you can easily learn how to save money on groceries
However, just the idea of budgeting your grocery money and buying wisely isn’t enough to help you save the big bucks. If you want to do that, then you need to know and follow some simple but highly effective tips.
Consider Paying for Your Groceries with a Credit Card
You may have been told that it is not smart to pay for necessities with a credit card. And, while this mostly holds true, that’s not always the case when it comes to groceries.
If you have a credit card that offers big rewards for using it on groceries and other necessities, you will find it smart to use this card when you do your shopping. If you do, it’s practically like getting free money back just for buying things you would have bought anyway.
The key is simply to make sure you pay off your bills quickly so as not to end up paying a lot of interest on simple things like groceries. Of course, you have to also make sure your credit card offers this particular reward option since not all of them do.
If you find out that the card you currently have does not offer this option, then it’s worth it to look into an option that does. You can save that much money.
Compare Prices from One Store to the Next
There are a lot of grocery stores out there, so many that it’s hard to know who has the best deals on what items.
Obviously, you can’t drive to every store around, checking out who has the lowest prices. Well, you could, but that would cost time and gas money, therefore defeating the purpose.
Your best bet, then, is to try out different price comparison apps, such as Flipp or Ibotta, to name just a couple. Apps like these can compare prices on different items across stores in your area, ensuring that you always get the best possible deal.
Sure, this might mean buying one item from one store and another from the next, but it’s so much cheaper that it’s worth the effort.
Take Advantage of Different Rewards Programs
Most of the big name grocery stores have their own rewards programs, which are typically free to join.
Food Lion, for example, has the “MVP” program, while Kroger and Harris Teeter also have their own rewards programs. If you’re like most people, then you shop in more than one place.
As such, it’s wise to take advantage of all of the reward programs at all of the places that you shop. Sure, it might be a bit of a hassle to fill out all of those forms, but being a rewards member can gain you access to savings every time you shop, which can really add up over time
Plus, rewards members often enjoy coupons, free items, and more as a result of their membership, so go ahead and commit to filling out those apps. You will see the rewards in the end.
Never Shop When You’re Hungry
The final tip we share may sound silly, but we swear it’s true. That tip is to never shop when you’re feeling hungry.
Hungry shoppers, research has proven, are a lot more likely to pile items they don’t really need or aren’t even likely to eat into their carts, just because those items look good to their hungry stomachs.
If you shop after a meal, you’re a lot more likely to get only the items you truly need, thereby enabling you to better stick to your budget and to save money. After all, there’s nothing worse than wasted groceries which equal wasted money.
If you can follow these simple tips, you’ll be shocked at just how much money you’ll save on groceries and at how much better you can eat and live.