Eat better for less, save money and valuable time with the tips shared in this article.
Though everyone has to eat, it’s easier to cut grocery spending than it is to trim a light or cable bill.
As an added benefit, saving on food provides almost instant gratification. You’ll be able to count your savings almost after the first trip to the grocery store.
How Can I Spend Less Money on Food?
Eat Better for Less – Save with a Grocery Shopping List
Grocery sale flyers that come in the mailbox, with the newspaper, or by email can help shoppers get the most from their food dollars.
You can also download a deals app for most grocery store chains.
These sales flyers usually feature meat, produce, and other items available for a discount.
These items are called ‘loss leaders’ because the store usually sells them at a loss i.e. below the store’s cost to entice shoppers into the store.
Shopping loss leaders is an easy way to eat better for less and save money. The week’s sales can form the basis for a shopping list.
Sticking to a list is a good way to ward off often expensive impulse purchases.
Also, with a grocery shopping checklist, you’ll get everything you need and avoid making return trips to the store.
Planning menus based on items on sale at the grocery store can help a family eat well for less.
Eat Better for Less by Reducing Shopping Trips
Every time you enter the store; you’re likely to spend more money.
For that reason, reduce grocery shopping trips to no more than twice a month instead of every week.
This is another great way to save money and time.
The less time a person spends in the store, the more money they’ll save, and the more time they’ll have for other things.
Practice Good Shopping Habits
Shop by Yourself
The more people that tag along on a grocery run, the more likely you’ll be tempted to make impulse purchases.
Pay Attention to Item Locations
Focus on shopping the perimeters of the store – meat, produce, and dairy.
When shopping the interior of the store for packaged and canned goods, the best bargains will probably be found on high and low shelves.
Supermarkets generally place more expensive items at eye-level. Sale items can often be found in displays at the ends of aisles, but be careful.
Sometimes end displays are a strategy to get rid of overstocked, higher-priced items. Check properly before placing it in your cart.
Related Content: 11 Ways to Go Organic Without Stressing
Generic Brands Are Good
Store brand and generic products are often good buys. These products can cost much less than name brands and are often made by the same manufacturers.
Eat Better for Less – Use Coupons to Spend Less
Some shoppers save money with grocery coupons, but they should only be used for items you would normally buy and items that are cheaper with the coupon.
Stores that offer double coupon saving can make coupons an even better deal, as can combining coupons with a sale price for a ‘double-play.’
If you can’t stand the idea of coupons clipping, read 9 Efficient Ways to Save on Groceries Without Using Coupons.
Shop Different Stores to Save Money on Groceries
Shoppers can often save money by buying grocery items at stores whose main business isn’t groceries.
Produce stands and farmer’s markets often have the best prices on fresh produce.
Drugstores sometimes have aisles of special-purchase items, from snack foods and sodas to breakfast cereal and canned vegetables.
Convenience stores may have good prices on milk, bread, and sodas.
Make a Grocery Price Book and Bulk Buy
One way to know if a price on a particular item is a good deal is to make a price book.
It will take a few trips to perfect your price book. In a planning notebook like this, list all the items you would normally buy.
The planning notebook comes with a pen, sticky notes, and page marker colored index tabs flags. It’s available in black, blue, brown and red.
Use store ads and saved receipts from previous shopping trips to record the lowest price you’ve found for a particular item and the date.
Most items go on sale in a regular cycle. With a price book, you should be able to predict sales and know when an advertised price is a good deal.
A price book helps shoppers know when the item is likely to go on sale again, so they can buy enough at the sale price to last until the next sale.
You don’t have to track every little thing. Track the biggest and priciest items like meat, grains, breakfast items, vegetables, dairy, and fruits.
You can also use a spreadsheet to create your grocery price book if you’re good with excel or keynote.
Stocking up this way ensures the shopper never pays full price for the items they use most and can save a family thousands of dollars each year.
In addition to saving money, you’ll be able to eat a lot of food items you wouldn’t normally be able to buy because of budget restrictions.