Tired of overspending on your weekly groceries? You’re not alone.It can be difficult to save money on groceries.
Most of us feel frustrated at the cost of our food, and yet it’s so difficult to not spend more than we need to. Prices fluctuate, and sale offers are there one week and gone the next. And yet we always seem to end up spending more than we intend to, with less and less in our baskets each week.
Overspending at the supermarket is something we’re all guilty of. However, all these little budget overages can add up to a huge amount over the year. Money that could have been better spent on a vacation or paying off your debts.
We’re sharing tips on how you can save money on groceries with these shopping tips.
Always shop with a budget in mind
If you use a budget calculator, you’re more likely to understand how much money you really have to spend at the supermarket. Going in without a budget will lead you to overspend and potentially leave you struggling to make ends meet for the rest of the month. Creating a detailed food budget will help you keep control of your money and manage it much better.
Plan your meals
Creating a weekly menu is easier, and more exciting, than you might think. Get the family together to decide what meals you want to enjoy this week. Consult cookbooks, online recipes, old favorites, or experiment with some new and tantalizing flavors. Then simply write down the ingredients you’re going to need and any other pantry staples that will get you through the week.
Cooking your meals from scratch is much more cost-effective than buying pre-made meals. You’ll need more ingredients, but that bag of rice, pasta or lentils will cover more than one meal, and you’ll start building up your spice cabinet.
Store your leftovers
When you’re planning your meals, keep in mind the quality of the leftovers you might get to enjoy later in the week. It’s easy to make more than your family will eat at one meal and plan for leftovers. Most foods that are left over at the end of a meal can be frozen for another day. By having this for lunch or dinner later in the week dramatically reduces the cost of your weekly groceries. Consider checking out some freezable recipes like this easy 30 minute baked pasta.
Move to a cheaper supermarket
Just a few years ago, there was a negative stigma around cheaper supermarkets, and moving away from big brands was considered cheap and poor quality. These days, it’s all about savings to be had! Cheaper supermarkets, like Aldi and Trader Joe’s, specialize in creating high-quality house brand products that barely differ from the big brand counterparts. If you haven’t already switched to a cheaper supermarket – do it now!
Use rewards cards and coupons
Many stores have rewards or loyalty cards, and they’re a great way to save money on groceries. Several grocery chains do a 5 for $5 or 10 for $10 promotion for cardholders. It’s easy to mix and match these sale items to stock up for less.
Of course, cheaper supermarkets have low prices and a great choice. But don’t neglect your local butchers and farmer’s markets. You’ll find locally sourced produce, high-quality items, and potentially cheaper prices. It’s better for the local economy and better for the environment too.
And finally, buy in bulk
Pantry items with long shelf lives are ideal to buy in bulk. So, if there are offers on large bags of pasta and rice, canned foods and other pantry essentials, stock up when you can. It’s easy to add an extra bag of beans, box of pasta, or can of tomatoes to your cart and still stay under your grocery budget.