With inflation and food prices rising, saving money grocery shopping can seem like an uphill battle. However, there are certainly a few key tips you can use to make sure you stick within your budget with money to spare. Here are 5 of the best tips for saving money at the grocery store…
1. Stick to the Perimeters
Healthy eaters already know that the perimeters of the store are the places to be, but this applies double to people trying to save money grocery shopping! Instead of cruising the center aisles for pre-packaged and processed items, stick to the sections on the outer edges of the store where raw or unprepared ingredients are sold. These include the produce section, the meat counter, the bakery, and the dairy.
2. Don’t Shop Hungry!
I’ve worked at a grocery store, and I can’t remember how many times I’ve heard shoppers say, “I shouldn’t have come here hungry!” Make sure you have a full stomach when you go to the grocery store, so you don’t end up shopping with your appetite instead of your brain. You’ll avoid impulsively buying tasty-looking items that you don’t really need.
3. Sales, not Coupons
Clipping coupons is fine if you have the extra time, but it’s not nearly as good for saving money grocery shopping as simply looking out for sales. You can save 30, 40, and even 50 percent on your grocery bill if you stick to buying the produce items and cuts of meat that are on sale that week. If you eat a lot of meat or fish, ask your butcher about upcoming sales so you can plan your meals accordingly.
4. Buy in Season
In the age of preservatives and quick transportation, you can get almost any fruit or vegetable year-round. However, that doesn’t mean you should! If you want veggies that are both delicious and affordable, learn the basics on seasonal produce and shop accordingly. You’ll end up with more delicious fruits and veggies, as well, since stuff that’s grown closer to home has more time to mature on the vine, in the ground, or on the tree.
5. Be Flexible
Most people trying to save money on grocery shopping make a list and rigidly stick to it every time they go shopping. This discipline is all well and good, but it may not be necessary. As long as you have a basic but flexible list of the things you need and the meals you want to make, you’ll avoid making impulse buys. You should remain flexible on the details to take advantage of sales you see when you arrive at the store. Just because you have ground beef on your list doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the 3.99 per pound sirloin steak sale!