Times are tough, right? And even when they aren’t so tough, it never hurts to save some money here or there, especially when it comes to grocery shopping. You may not even realize how much you’re overspending at the grocery store until you really sit down and look at your receipt, and when you do give it a thorough look you’ll probably be floored at just how much those grocery trips are costing you. Luckily it’s easy to cut back on your bill with a few simple tweaks to your normal routine.
1. Set a budget ahead of time
One leading cause to high grocery bills is impulse purchases. You enter the store thinking that you need the essentials: milk, eggs, bread, etc. But by the time you’ve left the store you’ve also managed to snag a slew of other items that you “want to try out” or “just had to have”. Determining how much money you can spend on groceries ahead of time will help keep you in check when you reach for the extra bag of chips or that unnecessary carton of ice cream so you’re more likely to stick to the essentials.
2. Browse the local ads
Most people get ads to all the local grocery stores in the mail throughout the week, and if not you can usually find them online. Set aside 15 minutes one night to peruse the ads so that you can see who is running what specials for the week. Comparison shopping is well worth the extra time, and taking an extra 30 minutes to drive to more than one store to buy items on special will end up saving you a bundle of money in the end.
3. Look for manager’s specials
A lot of stores will have a whole section of items that have been reduced for quick sale because they’re nearing their expiration date – and this can work out to your advantage. For example, meat that is close to expiring can be saved simply by freezing it as soon as you get home and soup or vegetable cans that have been dinted sell for a fraction of their original price. You can find all sorts of things on the quick sale rack that will save you money and are still good for a few days to a week – just eat it soon after purchasing or freeze it!
4. Don’t always buy the name brands
The next time you’re tempted to buy the name brand type of cereal flip over the box and read the list of ingredients and then compare it to the off-brand cereal – it’s likely that they contain all the same ingredients and you’re simply paying for the larger company’s name. The same is true for household cleaners, personal hygiene products, and a ton of other items. If you can part with the brand name you’ll end up with the same product and more money in your pocket.
5. Buy in bulk
Take a walk over to the bulk bins at the grocery store the next time you’re there – not only will you save money but you’ll also have to shop less often, making it a win-win situation for you!
Cutting back on your grocery bill isn’t all about cutting coupons – it’s about cutting corners where you can and shopping smart to save money. And who doesn’t want extra money in their pocket?
Heather Smith is an ex-nanny. Passionate about thought leadership and writing, Heather regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting blogs/websites. She also provides value to become a nanny by giving advice on site design as well as the features and functionality to provide more and more value to nannies and families across the U.S. and Canada. She can be available at H.smith7295 [at] gmail.com.