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Grocery shopping is an inevitable part of our household budget. In fact, UK residents spend about 16% of their total budget on food, making the weekly cost higher than the year before.
But luckily, grocery shopping isn’t a fixed expense. We can control how much, or how little, we want to spend on food each week. All it takes is a little planning and creativity.
Let’s look at 9 ways you can save on your next grocery shopping trip.
Nothing ruins a grocery shopping trip, or budget, quite like sticker shock at the cash register.
To avoid this, keep a running tab of what you’re spending as you go. Use the calculator on your phone or bring one with you. Get the kids involved and have them play cashier as you shop.
Or use the scanning devices many stores now offer. Scanning your items will give you a running total before you get to the cashier.
If you find you’ve spent too much, keep your budget in line and put some items back.
We all know there’s the more expensive grocery stores and budget-friendly stores. But besides this, there are stores that sell items you buy the most at discounted prices. And it’s your mission to find out who they are.
Take a day to compare prices. You can do this online or make an outing of it. Keep a running list of prices on your go-to items.
Or let price comparison websites and apps do all the work for you. They can notify you when something you need goes on sale and where you can get it.
It’s no secret that when you know what you need to buy, it’s easier to stay on budget. That’s why meal planning in advance will help you save money.
Once you have your meal plan for the week set, shop your kitchen first. Find out what you already have then make a list of the items you need.
While you’re shopping for groceries, shop only from your list. Buying anything outside of that list means you’re picking up something you don’t need, thus spending more than necessary.
Many grocery stores now offer the option to shop online and have you pick up your order from the store. All you have to do is drive up and someone will bring everything out to your car for you.
Not only is this convenient and saves you time, but it also saves you money. Because you’re not wandering the store and adding unneeded items to your trolley.
You have eliminated the temptation of impulse purchasing. Plus, you know exactly how much you’re spending and can adjust your online order before you buy, all from the comfort of home.
Sure, it’s easier to buy the pre-sliced watermelon or individual servings of crisps. You spend less time doing it yourself at home. But did you know you’re paying more for that convenience as well?
Next time you’re at the grocery store, compare how much it would cost to buy those pre-packaged items versus the bigger items you need to slice or dice yourself. It could be a bigger difference than you think.
Taking the time to prepare food at home is cost-efficient. Plus, you’re able to adjust the serving sizes to better accommodate your family.
Coupons have always been popular for saving on grocery shopping. But the sad truth is many people don’t bother taking the time to collect them, which is costing them big time.
You can do the traditional way of cutting coupons, from newspapers and store fliers. But now you can also collect digital coupons.
Sign up for online coupon offers. Combine the digital coupons with paper ones. And watch for double, or even triple, coupon offers at your favourite stores.
Generic brands have had a long-time bad rap on being less quality than name brands. But in reality, that’s not true at all.
Many generic brands come from the same companies who make the brand names. The only difference is the packaging.
And sometimes the generic brands are even better quality than many name brands. They’re only cheaper cost because they’re a lesser known company.
It’s beneficial to experiment with generic brands. See which ones you like and can’t tell a difference from your favourite brand names. The savings will really add up.
Sometimes all you need for budget-friendly grocery shopping is to do it in the right environment. What that means is, control the elements you can to avoid temptation.
One way to do this is to not shop while you’re hungry. If you’re hungry, everything looks good and your trolley fills up with items you wouldn’t normally buy.
It also helps to shop without the kids. Items tend to sneak their way to the register, or you let them add items that aren’t on your list.
And make sure you’re not stressed or exhausted when you shop. You’ll make better decisions when you’re feeling your best.
Ever notice how all the popular brands and products are in the middle sections of grocery store shelves? They seem to be at eye level, making it easy to grab what you need and go.
That’s not a happy accident. Stores purposely display these items there because they are the more expensive brands. Costing you more money and putting more of it in their pockets.
Instead, look high and low. That’s where the less expensive items are. By taking the time to do a little more searching, it could save you more money.
You don’t have to let grocery shopping control your budget. With these tips, you can take back control of your spending and watch your savings grow.
Interested in how WeDoSavings can save on your next grocery shopping trip? Contact us today! We'd be happy to answer your questions and give advice on how to save you money.