These days a trip to the grocery store can cost a pretty penny. Which is why we wanted to share some important notes on cutting down on costs, as much as possible, while grocery shopping.
Groceries are a basic need, done weekly, and sometimes on a whim. However, if you follow the below mentioned tips at least 75% of the time, you may notice a difference in your wallet.
Here are a list of Dos and Do Nots while grocery shopping, in efforts to cost save.
Do Make a list
Look in your fridge and cupboards and compile a list. These are the things that you need to stock up on, will eat, and work around your meal plan. Add additional items on the list if they fit your budget, or have a miscellaneous list if you end up spending less than you think.
Do not shop while hungry
Shopping while you are hungry tends to lead you to not think about what you need and overpile on groceries. You will be thinking in the moment vs. what you actually will need. Research shows people tend to over purchase while shopping hungry. So fill up and then head to the store.
Do try to stick to the perimeter of the store
Ok. This one is more of a health tip than anything. The perimeter tends to have the least processed items (hence generally less expensive vs. packaged brands of popular marketed foods). These items are perishables that need to be replenished like your fruits, vegetables, whole grains and meat/seafood products. The nutritional value for cost is much better around the perimeter.
Do think need over want
If you are on a budget, your grocery shopping does need to take that into account. Try to avoid things you may not need. For example, if you are out all week and you really do not need a full gallon of milk, opt for a smaller size.
Do review flyers and use coupons
Most chain stores now have online flyers, so you can browse even on your mobile. Check out if items you need may be on sale, or if there are coupons available. Why not get a sale price? It is worth checking for.
Do participate in rewards programs
Rewards programs are great. If you are regularly shopping at a store that offers this, sign up. Do not hesitate. They are most often free, takes about 5 minutes and can offer a lot of savings. It doesn’t take long to accumulate points which can then be used as rebates, or discounts off groceries. Furthermore, some stores offer discounts to club card holders.
Do not always buy bulk
Generally, bulk buying is cheaper overall. However, if you are shopping for two and a baby, chances are you do not need the bulk cereal box, or the bulk size of apples. Look at your actual consumption, how much will you get through before it goes bad. That may mean buying a more expensive per item, but overall cheaper if you are not going to use all of the items in the bundle.
*Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com