10 Budget Friendly Grocery Shopping Tips
- Only spend what you have. That means use cash when you go to the grocery store. This helps prevent overspending. This is my favorite idea to remember when I shop, “It is not what you don’t have that matters, it is what you do have that makes the difference.”
- Use the discount cards offered by retailers. Yes, it might be a little annoying that you are tracked, but this is to your advantage. If the store knows that you like and buy a certain item, they have an easier time keeping it on the shelf. Also, the buy one, get one deals mean that the store is offering a half off sale.
- Pay attention to the flyers that come in the mail, or look up the flyer on the store’s website, to plan your purchases. You will know ahead of time how much to budget because the prices are already stated.
- Make a list of what you already have on hand either on a piece of paper or on your phone. Take it with you to help curtail impulsive spending.
- If an item is in two or three locations, look in all locations to get the best price. For instance, corn can be sold in produce, canned goods, or frozen foods. At all times, one area will be the “sale” area. For instance, it might be that in fall, canned corn can be the lowest; but in summer, frozen corn can be the lowest. Pay attention to when something is the lowest price so that you can schedule your purchases to save money.
- Pay attention to new items. Many times the “new” item sells cheaper than it’s older counterpart because the manufacturer wants the public to try it.
- Pay attention to discontinued items. Many times items are put on clearance to get rid of discontinued items. Sometimes items are discontinued because the manufacturer changed the package. Sometimes items are discontinued because the manufacturer changed the recipe.
- Always check expiration dates. It won’t do if your cereal is on sale but past the expiration date on the package. Fresh is best.
- Compare sizes and price per ounce. Sometimes it is cheaper to get the bigger container because each ounce is less expensive. Just be sure to deduct the additional expense from your fixed amount in your cash reserves. For instance, if you only have ten dollars, remind yourself that you have now spent 5 dollars and not the 3 dollars budgeted. Now is when you decide if the savings per ounce are really worth it. How will this impact the rest of your shopping?
- Learn when the store discounts perishable items like meat, fruits, vegetables or dairy. Shop when the items are discounted.
Written by Sharon Bernard at http://www.hossystems.org November 15, 2020