If you are like most people, you spend way too much money on groceries. You either buy items that are too expensive or things that you do not need. Let’s fix that.
Take a look at four simple things that you can do to start saving money on groceries and keep more money in your pocket. The average family of four can save an easy $400 cash each month using them, possibly more.
Buy Groceries On Sale
I like to start my grocery shopping by looking at the online circulars for the stores in my area. The reason for this is to look for the “loss leaders”. These are the items that stores put on sale to lure you into the door. Some of these items are often even priced below cost.
The reason that grocery stores like to discount a few items is that they know most people want to do all of their shopping in one place. They lure you in with a great deal on a few items, knowing that you will likely stay and buy the rest of your groceries. It is really a great plan.
Use the “loss leaders” to your advantage by planning your meals around them. If chicken is on sale, for example, you will want to lean a little heavier on chicken based meals over the course of the week.
Save Money Planning Your Meals
I just mentioned planning your meals based around sales, so let’s talk more about this. You should be planning all of your meals for the week ahead of time, including snacks. The reason for this is to cut down on food wastage.
Most people simply “wing it” when shopping for groceries. They buy a little of this and a little of that with a general idea of the foods that they often make. This leads to wastage, especially with produce. It also often leads to time wasting “last minute” trips to the store.
With meal planning, you will sit down and list every meal that you will make for the week. This includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks. Plan these meals based on the sales that you noted above.
Once you have your meal list, you can write out a grocery list. Then, take this list and check your refrigerator and pantry. Cross off anything that you already have and you have your shopping list for the week.
Take Advantage Of Curbside Pickup
Once you have your list, the last thing that you want to do is go into the store to shop. Once inside a grocery store, you are at the mercy of merchandising. Creative product placement and sharp looking end-caps that are designed to make you purchase things that you do not need.
Instead, take advantage of free curbside pickup, which is now offered by most grocery stores. Sit down and order just what you need without distractions. Then, simply pick up your groceries at the curb. You save time and avoid the possibility of going off of your list.
If you are shopping “loss leaders” shop multiple stores to save the most money. This might cost you a bit of time, but it will allow you to fully take advantage of the sales.
Save Your Leftovers
Last, but certainly not least, make sure that you put those leftovers to good use. Why simply throw good food into the trash when it can be repurposed into another meal.
One way to do this is to have leftover night. Freeze your leftovers and, one night a week, allow everyone in the family to choose their favorite meal to eat. If you are meal planning, make this one of your dinners for the following week. This not only saves you money, it also saves you some meal prep time.
Another option is to turn dinner leftovers into your lunch the following day. Transform that leftover chicken breast into a topping for your Caesar salad. Turn an extra burger patty into the meat for a soft taco. There are lots of ways to make use of leftover food, just be creative.
There you have it. four easy ways to save money on groceries. Saving on your grocery bill is actually pretty easy, all it takes is a bit of effort and planning. Why not start saving money right this second and put some or all of these tips into action. Your budget will thank you.