5 Tips to Save Money on Groceries

When grocery shopping, it can be difficult to stop yourself from grabbing new products that catch your attention and sticking them in your cart. Many of us plan fancy family dinners each night, when a simple sandwich would do. We’ll share a few tips and tricks with you to save money on groceries so you can eliminate unnecessary expenses in your budget- you’ll be glad to have a little extra breathing room!

1. Buy generic

The name-brand product may have flashier packaging and advertising, but there’s often zero noticeable difference between that product and the generic brand- except price. Generic brands of food products are often significantly cheaper than the name brand. When you buy name-brand products, what you’re really paying for is the name, the mascot, the packaging, and the cool advertising campaign. If you buy generic, you’ll get the same product for much less.

2. Shop around

If the criteria for selecting your grocery store is proximity to your house, it’s time to rethink where you shop! Different grocery stores often have different prices and specials on different items. For example, you could go to the Farmer’s Market on Sunday to stock up on cheap produce, and then travel to Target to pick up packaged goods like peanut butter or cereal. Grocery stores like Aldi skip display items and plastic bags, opting instead for cardboard boxes and a bring-you-own bag policy in order to cut costs and bring you the lowest prices possible on quality food items. Costco might be worthwhile if you have a large family or have been charged with bringing halftime snacks to the soccer game- everyone has different needs at different times, and you can’t expect just one grocery store to meet those needs at the right price! Shopping around allows you to take advantage of the best deals available.

3. Re-define dinner

If you have a three-course family dinner each night, stop and think about how it’s affecting your budget. Yes, family togetherness is important- but your family can still gather over BLT’s or turkey sandwiches. Dinner doesn’t have to be a big production every night. You can still gather round the table and enjoy each other without having to spring for an expensive or complicated meal. Cut costs by making dinner simple, instead of a complicated production each night.

4. Make a detailed list

You should always take a list when you go shopping. Not taking a list results in a kind of free-for-all, where you just grab whatever catches your eye and often spending much more than is actually necessary. Taking the time to sit down and make a list will ensure than you get everything you need- no more getting more from the store and realizing you forgot to grab bread- and also that you don’t pick up unnecessary items, like several different kinds of ice cream or a new brand of cereal.

5. Use cash

Once you’ve made your grocery list, make a rough estimate of how much you’ll need to purchase those items and take exactly that amount with you to the grocery store. That way, even if you are tempted by products that aren’t on your list, you won’t be able to purchase them.

Utilizing these tips will help you cut costs on a recurring expense, which will save you a good deal of money over time. Happy shopping!