Online grocery shopping on a budget.

Grocery Shopping On A Budget

With inflation on the rise and a recession on the horizon, it has never been more important to save money. Rising food costs are particularly troubling, which is why you may be looking for ways to save money when you grocery shop. Here are some tips that can help you do just that.

Shop Discount Stores Like Aldi

Aldi is is a wonderful discount food store that can save you a small fortune when you grocery shop. With more than 2000 stores in 36 states, you likely have one near you. Keep in mind though that while Aldi can save you a fortune in groceries, you do have to be willing to make a few sacrifices in how you shop.

First, you will not find all of the typical brands that you find at your favorite grocery stores. Aldi saves you money by mainly leaning on their own line of generic brands. Luckily, most of these brands are of high quality and you should be able to find something to replace your normal name product. Making the switch is very much worthwhile because their store products can easily save you 50 percent over your name brand.

Another sacrifice that you will have to make is in produce and meat selection. Everything will be prepackaged, so there is no picking out the perfect apple. This is a cost saving move by Aldi which allows them to pass savings on to you and put more money in your pocket.

Finally, you will fins that Aldi stores are considerably smaller than the grocery store that you are used to shopping at. This means that you might have to deal with a lack of selection and may not be able to find all of the goods that you are used to buying.

Even with all of the sacrifices, shopping at a discount store like Aldi is a great way to save on groceries. It may take some time to get accustomed to it, but the savings are worth it.

Go With Generics

If you do not have a discount store such as Aldi near you, savings can also be had by simply shopping the generic brands. The beauty of Aldi is that it forces you to buy generics, but if you have the willpower to ignore the advertisements, you can save nearly as much at your normal store.

The trick to making the switch to generics is both avoiding manufacturer ads and grocery store merchandising. Grocers want you to buy the big brands, because they make more money on them. To encourage you to go big, they place name brands in more visible areas. So, when you are shopping for cereal, for example, you need to look up or look down. The generics will generally be out of your normal line of sight.

Shop For Groceries Online

Online shopping is convenient, but did you know that it can also save you money and help you grocery shop on a budget?

It is true, mainly because of the lack of temptation. When you go to a grocery store, you are surrounded by marketing materials and creative product placements. This encourages you to buy items that you do not actually need and ones that are more expensive, like name brand goods.

Shop for your groceries online and order exactly what you need without having extras “fall in your cart”. As an added benefit, many grocers will give new customers a first time discount, so shop at several stores and claim your discounts.

Look For The Loss Leaders

If you are not reading the grocery store weekly circulars, you are leaving money on the table.

Grocery stores release a circular every week, usually midweek. On the front page you will find a few items that are marked down well below their normal price. Some of these items are even sold at a loss, thus the term “loss leader”. The idea is to get you into the store so that you will not only buy these items, but also do the rest of your shopping in the same place. In the end, these stores usually come out ahead with this scheme and get much more money than they lose on their discounted items.

Use loss leaders to your advantage by taking the opportunity to stock up on freezable or non-perishable items. Just be sure to not fall for the trick of doing all your shopping in one place. Buy the discounted items and then do the rest of your shopping online at your normal grocery store.

Buy In Bulk Wisely

Buying in bulk is a great way to save money when you grocery shop, but you have to be smart about things. It is all too easy to get carried away with the savings and then over buy. What happens then is you end up throwing away spoiled food and money.

If you buy in bulk, make sure that the item can last for months and that you will use all of it in that time period. Some good items to buy in bulk include rice, pasta and pretty much any canned good. Snack foods generally have a long shelf life as well.

Meal Planning For The Win

We saved the best tip for last, start meal planning.

Meal planning will help you grocery shop on a budget because it allows you to eliminate most of your food waste.

The idea is that you write down all of the meals that you plan on serving over the course of the week, including snacks. You can then use this list to create an accurate shopping list. Because you are buying only what you need for the week, you will not be guessing and buying items that would otherwise go to waste.

Considering that most Americans waste 20 to 30 percent of the food that they buy, the savings potential with meal planning is huge. In addition, you save time by not having to think about what to serve every day and you can avoid those pesky mini trips to the grocery store to pick up forgotten items.

Posted by
James Car

James Car is a finance, loan and budget expert based in the United States. After attending Brookhaven college, he went on to become a successful entrepreneur. He now enjoys writing articles that help people save and make the most of their money.