Food can be expensive! Particularly quality foods like organic, non-GMOs, wild caught or naturally grown. Of course, we want to eat right to be healthy, but it can be difficult when, say, one avocado cost the same as bus fare. Money today certainly doesn’t stretch as far as it did when I was growing up. It seems like every week my grocery bill increases though my shopping habits haven’t changed. Most of us aren’t fortunate enough to shop price-blind so we must be creative in getting the biggest bang for our buck. Here are 10 of my thrifty ways to save on groceries:
1. Create a weekly menu and shop with a grocery list.
Every week I create a menu to last me for (most of) the week. It helps me make sure I get everything I need and helps to curb those impulse buys.
2. Build your grocery list around the weekly sales paper.
I build my weekly menu around what is on sale in the weekly paper. This helps to ensure I get the best bang for my buck because I can get a larger quantity, better quality or see greater savings at the register.
3. Coupons, coupons, coupons.
I use coupons whenever I can. I pay attention to store coupons that are printed along with cash receipts. Some stores will honor expired coupons as long as they are not too old—say a week or less. At times I clip coupons, but sadly my lifestyle doesn’t allow me to be an avid couponer. If you are one of those people who can get 20 rolls of paper towels for $1.00 because of your coupons—you rock! In today’s app world, there are apps for coupons too!
4. Do not shop hungry.
Have you ever ordered a mountain of food when hungry but when it arrives you can only eat a small portion? The same applies to grocery shopping. When you go to the grocery store hungry you are more likely to impulse buy. You may buy a lot of food you do not need or wouldn’t buy otherwise. This can lead to overspending, wasting food or overeating all of which isn’t good for your wallet, the environment or your waistline.
5. Plan ahead.
Creating a weekly menu is one way to plan ahead, but there are other things to consider. For instance, if you are having guest over midweek, or you may need certain food for your diet plan, the kids may need snacks for summer camp. Though you cannot plan for everything having a plan will help you stay on track.
6. Do you really need it? Use substitutes or go without.
Everything we buy we don’t need, but we want it and it is that simple. No one needs three cases of soda every week, but some of us buy it like we do. Do I really need the aromatherapy quilted name brand toilet paper with printed purple flowers that is $0.45 more per roll? Or, can I live with the basic white no-frills store brand toilet paper? Store brand! Because what’s really important is that my butt is properly cleaned. If a recipe calls for cream cheese I use the store brand Neufchatel because it is cheaper and I get the same results.
7. Is it worth it? The quantity versus quality rule.
Since my hard-earned money is on the line I gauge the value of everything I purchase. I don’t mind spending more if I see the added benefit in what I’m purchasing. I ask myself: Is this type of product (quality) worth the cost (quantity)? For instance, I love Mac computers but Mac products are expensive when compared to other brands. Nevertheless, I am more than willing to pay the high cost for their laptops because for me it is important for my livelihood. But, I would not buy an iPhone because, for me, the high cost is not worth it to simply make phone calls and text. I know I’d never use half the features of an iPhone.
8. Shop in the morning.
The stores have just opened so the shelves should be freshly stocked. More merchandise means more options, which leads to better selections available. You won’t be left with the overripe bananas or the mushy tomatoes that are left as the day continues.
9. Pay attention to the price at the register.
No company is perfect even with all the checks and balances in place mistakes happen. Typically, these mistakes benefit the store and not the customer, which is why it is important to pay close attention to the price of your items as you are being checked out at the register. If you don’t have the store correct the price you will pay more and miss out on savings.
10. Have potluck dinners.
A great way to spend time with good people and save money! A potluck requires everyone to bring a dish to dinner. This means one less full meal that has to be prepared for the week that can translate into savings in your wallet. Although the real treat is making memories with family and friends. Now, that is invaluable!
Sometimes you need to be clever but there are many ways to save. What are some of your thrifty tips?
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HI. I'M AWET.
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