- Personal Finance
How To Instantly Cut Your Grocery Bill In Half
Grocery Store Bill Slashing
Looking to save some money at the grocery store? Follow these steps to start counting the savings:
- Make a list beforehand and only buy what’s on the list. If you need (vs. want) to buy a few more things, set a limit. For example: “In addition to my shopping list, I will only buy extra items which do not total more than $15.00.” Have the list will save you both time and money.
- Always shop after you have already eaten. Never shop on an empty stomach. When you’re hungry, everything looks more delicious and very tempting to put extra items in your grocery cart. If you shop on a full stomach, you will be less likely to “binge” shop for extra food.
- Be careful of packaged snacks, crackers, cookies and other processed foods. Those types of items tend to be expensive and add up quickly. A pack of cookies on average costs anywhere from $1.99 to $4.99. Instead, buy a cookie mix that you can make yourself which will yield 2 to 3 times as many cookies and save 75%.
- If you do buy packaged snack, do not put them in a convenient place where it’s easy to splurge and eat them more quickly; instead; put them in a hard to reach place so they last longer.
- Buy in bulk. Stock up when possible by buying non-perishable foods in bulk when they are on sale.
- For produce, only buy what you need at one time. Since produce items like fruits, lettuce and other vegetables will only last so long in your refrigerator, only buy what your family needs. When food goes bad and you need to throw it out, you are also throwing away money.
- Look both low and high. Grocery stores stock items on high or low shelves for a reason. They typically place the most expensive items at eye level, so maybe sure you look at the both the high and low shelves for different priced items.
- Check for items for sale in grocery store circulars before you shop. Compare item prices in a few stores and you will be surprised at the difference. I found my lactose-free milk in one store for just a little over $3.00 but in 2 other stores it ranged from $3.50-$4.00.
- Beware of items at the end of the shelves or on special display cases. They are typically put there to catch your eye so you will buy them, and they’re not necessarily on sale.
- Use lots of coupons, but only use the coupons for items that you are buying. You might have a coupon for $3.00 but it may require you to buy several packages of one particular item. Check for a generic brand for same food item which might be cheaper in the long run.
Don't Forget About the Dollar Store
Have you been shopping at the same grocery store, buying name brands for all your snack items? Remember the dollar stores which may have some of the same foods for $1.00. The only drawback is that you won't always see the brand names on the packages. Commercials and ads "hypnotize" you into thinking that you must buy "Ritz" crackers, or you must buy "Chips Ahoy" cookies.
I like to eat healthy but if you have kids, they will ask for at least a few snack items. Instead of my usual crackers, cookies and snacks that I buy from the same grocery store, I bought the same types of snacks (9 items) at the dollar store for only $9.00! If I had bought them at my regular store, they would have cost at least 2 to 3 times as much.
Buy Whole Fruit Instead of Pre-Chopped Fruit
For larger fruits, like watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe and pineapple, do you buy cut up fruit or whole fruit?
I love to eat pineapple, which contains a fat-burning ingredient called bromalain. Diced pineapple is very convenient, but it's also very expensive. Instead, I started buying a whole pineapple and cutting it up myself.
When you buy cut off fruit, you are paying for the convenience of having it cut up and sliced for you. Instead, buy a whole pineapple, or other whole fruit. This pineapple pictured here cost $2.99. A container of a small amount (about 1/4 of pineapple) already cut, would have been $3.50 at my store.
Grocery Bill Poll
How much on average do you spend each week at the grocery store?
Savvy Money Saving Tips
Here are some other ways to save money in and out of the grocery store:
Use a smaller shopping cart. When shopping at any store, opt for a smaller cart vs. a large shopping cart, or no shopping cart at all! Especially when you know you are only buying a few things, if you have a larger shopping cart, you may end up placing items in the large cart, even if you don't need the items.
When you want to buy something, ask yourself, do I really need this item? Can I do without this item? Do I "want" this item vs. need this item?
Don't use credit cards. If you don't have the money in your account to buy something, then don't buy it. Apply for a debit/credit card from your financial institution where the funds come right out of your bank account. Avoid credit cards, but if you must use one, pay it off immediately, or as soon as you can.
Set a budget. Many of us go to the store or shop online, and don't think about how much we are spending. Be sure to set a budget which will help you be more disciplined about spending money.
Track how much you are spending. You don't necessarily need a fancy spreadsheet or computer program to track all your spending, although that isn't a bad idea. An easy way to track how much you are spending is to save all your receipts for one month; then at the end of the month, total how much you spent at the grocery store, shopping mall, shoe store, movies, etc. If you use a debit card for most of you purchases, then you should be able to view all your purchases in your checking account on your financial institution's website. You might be surprised at the results.
This is Hub # 28 of 30 of my 30 Hubs in 30 Days Challenge.