Groceries are one of the largest costs you incur whether you shop regularly or occasionally for your home or apartment. Whether you’re feeding a family or you’re a college student living with a friend, grocery costs can be controlled if you follow a few simple steps.
Establish a budget: In order to keep your grocery costs under control, set a budget and work within that figure. If you shop knowing that you have a pre-set amount that you can spend, it will help you become a much more responsible and cost effective consumer. This will also help you avoid over spending on items that you don’t need.
Don’t shop while hungry: Those cakes and cookies sitting in the grocery shelf look much more inviting when you’re hungry. The fastest way to fill your shopping cart is by adding those extra goodies and desserts that might have been left behind if you did your grocery shopping right after dinner.
Make a list and stick to it: Going prepared with a shopping list and sticking to that list is a sure way to avoid over spending and buying things you don’t need. Check your fridge and pantry before leaving your house so that you can make sure you only buy the things that you really need. This will also help cut down on spending more on food you might eventually throw out when it goes bad.
Shop Generic Brands: Brand names will almost always cost more than store or generic products, often referred to as private labels. And in almost all cases, the generic brands are the same quality and contain the same ingredients as the brand names.
Use Your Coupons: Traditional coupons from your local flyer are still a great way to save money. However, online coupons have grown significantly over the past few years and a quick Google search for discounts can often reveal more great ways to save on your shopping bill. Many coupons today are offered digitally so don’t forget to download those to your phone before shopping.
Bulk Purchases: Most people think of places like Costco when it comes to buying items in bulk but many of the everyday grocers offer bulk purchase discounts. Makes sure that whatever you buy in bulk is something that you will use. Otherwise, you’ll end up wasting money and throwing away a lot of unused or spoiled products.
Leftovers in the fridge: Whenever you cook for yourself or the family, try not to cook more than necessary or make sure that your extra food can be used again over the next few days. Some food stays good for several days or a week whereas other foods go bad after a day or two. Try not to throw away the leftovers as that’s a fast way to throw money down the drain, literally.
Veggies or Meat: Veggies are much less expensive than meat and very healthy for you and your family. Tofu can be a less expensive alternative to meat although you don’t have to cut out meat entirely. An online search for meat alternatives will also provide ways to cut your costs when it comes to meal options.