How to save on groceries without clipping coupons

grocery shopping

Grocery shopping can either be a relaxing task that you look forward to or a daunting chore that you try to cram in at the last minute on a Sunday night. Regardless of how you view grocery shopping, it’s a necessary weekly expense, and it isn’t always the cheapest. With some early pre-store prep and mindfulness, you can confidently navigate the grocery store without dreading to see the total at the end.

Set a budget and stick to it

Shopping for groceries without a budget is like letting a kid loose in a candy shop… or an adult in a grocery store. Maybe it’s the appeal of a full cart or the promise of many delicious meals, but adding items to your cart without being conscious of the cost will leave you with a hefty receipt. Create a reasonable budget that you and your family can stick to for your weekly groceries.

Use a list

Using a list is one of the easiest ways help improve the price at the bottom of your grocery receipt. Before you leave for the store, establish a meal plan, create a list of ingredients you need for upcoming recipes, household staples you should stock up on and any other items you need to pick up. Follow your list as you’re shopping, and if it’s not on the list, it doesn’t go in the cart. This way, you can shop efficiently without backtracking down past aisles to grab a forgotten item, and you won’t load up your cart with things you don’t need.

Don’t buy it if you don’t need it

It is very easy to get pulled in by what seems like a good sale. If a new cereal you’re trying is 2 for $4, just stick to buying one box in case you don’t end up liking that cereal. Out-of-season sales can also be incredibly tempting, but buying heavily discounted items just because they’re at a great price isn’t a good strategy, especially if they’re items you don’t need. The same goes for buying in bulk, especially on items you’ve never used before. Just because you can get a bulk box of one item you need for a recipe doesn’t mean you should buy it if you or your family won’t use it before it expires.

Buy in bulk

On the other hand, buying in bulk can help you keep your costs down on items you regularly use. Items such as toilet paper, certain cleaning supplies and non-perishable foods are all staples you can easily stock up on while saving a few bucks. By purchasing these items in bulk, you’re saving money per unit as well as saving on gas by making fewer trips to the store.

Eliminate impulse buying

How many times have you faithfully stuck to your list and then at the last minute grabbed a treat for yourself because it was within reach? It’s okay to treat yourself once in a while, but if you’re buying items on a whim every time you go to the store, it can really add up over time. Many grocery stores now offer customers the option to order their groceries online and have their items brought out to their car. Not only is this convenient, but it also eliminates the need to ever step in a store, which reduces the opportunity for an impulse buy.

Buy generic

When you’re buying a name brand item over its generic version, you’re possibly paying more for the name of an item rather than its contents. If you love cooking with a certain name brand sauce, try pairing it with generic brand noodles. The meal should taste the same and it’ll be cheaper too! You can buy generic for household items, like band-aids, paper towels and many others where there is no difference in the quality or purpose of its name brand counterpart. By choosing to buy generic, you’ll be able to shave a few extra dollars off your grocery bill.

When you’re working to create a little wiggle room in your budget, your grocery bill is a great place to start. By setting a budget, using a list and purchasing products that you know you’ll use, you can save more on your weekly grocery expenses and not only feed your family, but your wallet, too!

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