How To Save Money On Groceries: Check Out These 33 Best Tips!

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If you want to know how to save money on groceries, you’ll love this article.

In today’s world money is tight and prices are high. Most people spend the majority of their lives in debt. The cost of groceries alone can cause most people to feel overwhelmed. This article is designed to help minimize the cost of something that is necessary for life.

Food is one of the most important things that we buy because without it there is no life. In today’s world, it is nearly impossible to stop spending any money on groceries. However, there are many ways to cut your spending down to a reasonable amount. The keys are to understand your needs, your family, and your grocery stores. This text will help you to have a deeper understanding of those things and touch on another aspect planning.

How To Save Money On Groceries:

1. Budget For Groceries

It seems like common sense, right. However, many people do not think of groceries when they are making their budget. This makes it easier to spend more on groceries than you can actually afford. If you know what you can spend on your groceries than it is easier to keep the bill from exceeding your limit.

2. Plant Some Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetables can be expensive but they are very good for you. A garden is a great way to save money on the ever growing cost of fresh fruits and vegetables. If you plan your garden well, you can have enough of your favorite fruits and vegetables to freeze for later use. Also, you can share or barter with friends and family.

3. Cook Your Meals In Bulk

As discussed earlier, buying in bulk makes the most sense. Also, some meals just work better when cooked in larger portions. Set aside a day of the week or month to cook larger meals, such as, hams, roasts, and soups. Separate those meals into meal portions that will work for your family. Then, freeze them in air tight containers or bags. A vacuum sealer could come in handy for this task.

4. Cook Smaller Meals

Let’s face it. Some meals just don’t freeze well. They are also not as good as leftovers. It is a good idea to recognize this and scale down those recipes for just the right amount for your family. I have gotten very good at this. Especially, when using the meals cooked in bulk. I will boil a chicken once a month. That chicken gets separated into smaller portions with broth. When I cook my dumplings and soups, I just have enough to prepare what my family is eating. This eliminates waste.

5. Avoid Those Junk Food Aisles

If you have the will power to keep walking, I applaud you. However, the temptation is very strong to grab a bag of chips or some candy as you are walking by. It is just one, right. Then, you get to the counter and realize you “just grabbed” one of lots of things that is not on your list and has no nutritional value at all. This adds up quickly to push you over your grocery budget.

6. Befriend Your Grocery List

Keeping up with a grocery list can be a pain. However, your grocery list is your best friend when it comes to keeping within budget. When you are at the store is not the time to figure out if you have milk. If you buy it, you can be assured that you do have milk at home. Also, the opposite can be true. If you don’t buy it, then you will have to run out for it later.

7. Pull Out That Calculator

I have mentioned having a budget for your groceries. The best way to stay within that budget is to actually add up the items as you shop and unless you have a computer for a brain, you will need the additional assistance. I like to round my numbers up to the next dollar. This helps me to keep taxes in mind, as well.

8. Utilize Store Loyalty Programs

Many stores have loyalty programs that give you rewards for giving them your business. They could be either for additional savings in the future. Don’t let those rewards go to waste. Sign up for every loyalty program that is available to you and use them.

9. Search The Circulars

Don’t throw away that “junk” mail. Grab them ads in the Sunday paper or when you go into a store. Pour through them and find the bargains. However, don’t be fooled by some “bargains.” The ads usually have the brand named products and the store brand could be cheaper. Also, in some 10 for $10 sales, they actually have to bring the price up to fit their sales.

10. Track Prices

This one is a hard one to do. I mean are you seriously going to remember what a can of green beans was in another store. It is necessary to at least attempt to have some idea. There are various apps that could be utilized for this purpose.

SEE ALSO: How To Start Saving Money: 38 Tips To Stop Spending & Start Saving

11. Take Advantage Of Price Match

You could save that drive time by utilizing the price match that many stores offer, Wal-Mart is one. If you have those circulars, bring them with you to the checkout and make sure the lady gives you the price in the circular. This helps you to get your shopping done faster and without spending extra on gas.

12. Stop For Those Clearance Bins

Items that are near their due dates or dented cans often times end up in clearance bins for a significant price reduction. You may want to avoid anything that could get you ill. However, just being near their due date does not make them bad. If you plan on cooking it or freezing it quickly, it should be still good. Also, remember dented cans have the same food in them that their less damaged counterparts.

13. Search For Free Samples

Many companies offer free samples in order to boost their sales. These samples are available in many ways. There are several sites online that offer you the chance to receive free samples of products. Also, some companies give out samples in stores or through the mail. Take the time to search for these and get as many as you can. They can save you money on items and let you know if the item is worth purchasing in the future.

14. Take A Day To Cook Larger Meals

As discussed earlier, buying in bulk makes the most sense. Also, some meals just work better when cooked in larger portions. Set aside a day of the week or month to cook larger meals, such as, hams, roasts, and soups. Separate those meals into meal portions that will work for your family. Then, freeze them in air tight containers or bags. A vacuum sealer could come in handy for this task. This helps in saving money overall and also in saving time on daily cooking.

15. Cook Smaller Meals

Let’s face it. Some meals just don’t freeze well. They are also not as good as leftovers. It is a good idea to recognize this and scale down those recipes for just the right amount for your family. I have gotten very good at this. When I cook a meal such as fried chicken, I prepare just what my family will eating. This eliminates waste and helps to keep our portions.

16. Stock Up When Items Go On Sale

Often, there are sales that offer excellent prices for the products that you use on a regular basis. Pay attention to those sales and stock up on those items. Nothing is worse than buying a product one week later for a dollar more than you would have spent if you bought it last week.

17. Avoid Smaller Prepackaged Foods

Fruits and vegetables that come in packages tend to cost more overall than foods that are loose. Also, it is more difficult for you to see what you are buying. The ones at the bottom of the package may not be as fresh as the ones at the top. Buying those packages can cost you a lot more in the end. Avoid them. This is not true for bulk items; such as; potatoes, apples, and oranges. They are actually better deals in the bags.

18. Plant Some Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetables can be expensive but they are very good for you. A garden is a great way to save money on the ever growing cost of fresh fruits and vegetables. If you plan your garden well, you can have enough of your favorite fruits and vegetables to freeze for later use. Also, you can share or barter with friends and family.

19. Visit Farmer’s Markets or Produce Stands

If growing your own fruits and vegetables is not something that you can do, buy your produce at farmer’s markets or produce stands. They tend to have better prices and fresher produce. The freshest you can get your produce the longer it lasts and the less you have to waste.

20. Be Your Own Sou Chef

Why pay others to do what you can do for in a small amount of time. When you buy your produce already cut up, you are paying them cut it up for you. Take the time to cut up your own food. Also, make your own gravies. Remember, the time you spend can save you big.

21. Discover Serving Sizes

Here is a little secret for you. Most people eat more than they need to. The idea of a serving size can be laughable to many. However, serving sizes not only help keep your health better but also save you money. To eat more than you need is just throwing away that extra money. Discover your correct serving sizes and cook and serve those sizes.

SEE ALSO: How To Improve Your Financial Situation: 6 Steps To Financial Freedom

22. Buy In Season

Produce has seasons. That is the best time to buy them and get the lowest prices. Buy your produce then. Do not buy peaches in the winter. You will be paying a lot more than if you waited until June and they won’t be anywhere as good. Most produce can be frozen for use later. However, sometimes you have to wait for the season.

23. Stock Up After Holidays

The best time to buy a ham is the week after Christmas. Many items, from candy to meats, go on sale right after the holidays. That is the time to buy them up and stock up your pantry. Easter candy can be frozen for those that love that chocolate bunny. Also, it is important to remember that right before the holidays is when certain items cost more. Never buy green beans the day before Thanksgiving.

24. Avoid Precooked Foods

Sure, they are very convenient. Buying an item that is already cooked is a fast and easy way to get a meal on the table. However, you are paying extra to have them cook it for you. With careful planning and a good crock pot, you can prepare those meals for a fraction of the cost for just a little bit of extra prep time.

25. Avoid Buying The Small Packages Of Meat

Meat values vary greatly. You can pay up to a dollar more per pound when buying the smaller packages over the larger ones. A whole chicken has a much better value than a small pack of chicken breast. However, you don’t save any money if you don’t take the time separate them at home. Pull out the vacuum sealer or freezer bags and separate them either into individual portions or family portions. Usually if you ask, the butcher will trim your meat in to smaller portions for you. I always get my roasts cut down.

26. Grab Up Those Cheap Cuts Of Meat

Yes, the cheaper cuts are cheaper for a reason. They can be tougher and not as tasty. However, there are ways to fix that. Meats cooked in a crock pot tend to become tenderer over time. Also, cheaper steaks that are cut up right work great for stews and stir frying after a little bit of meat tenderizer is added.

27. Stay Away From Junk Food Aisles

If you have the will power to keep walking, I applaud you. However, the temptation is very strong to grab a bag of chips or some candy as you are walking by. It is just one, right. Then, you get to the counter and realize you “just grabbed” one of lots of things that is not on your list and has no nutritional value at all. This raises your grocery cost and can increase your waist.

28. Skip Over Brand Names

It is true; you pay more for brand named items. However, most of the time it is the same item.

Therefore, it does not make much sense to continuing paying the higher cost just to get the name.

Especially, when it comes to something that ends up being consumed very quickly.

29. Avoid Impulse Shopping

Never shop on impulse. This is when you tend to buy things that you do not have any need for and things that are not on budget. If it is not on the list, then don’t buy it. That is the reason you have the list in the first place.

30. Shop Only When You Have Time

If you are rushing through the store, you have a better chance to forget something. Also, you are not taking the time to make the better choices on your purchases. It is impossible to determine if something is the better value when you are watching the clock. Therefore, always plan your shopping time and never plan something important after it.

31. Check Those Deli Prices

Sure, buying at the deli is great for sandwich meats and cheeses. However, if you pay close attention, in this case the prepackaged items can be a better value and taste just the same. If there is something that you must buy in the deli be sure that you are getting the better deal of the deli selections available.

32. Question The Displays

Usually, when something is on display, it is not the better deal. They are pretty to look at but are not the best way to make a decision based on value. Before you buy something that is on display, check with other items to ensure that it is the better deal.

33. Understand Store Layout

Grocers spend months planning their layouts for the stores benefit. They put what brings in the most money where you can see it better. Don’t be fooled by this. There is several ways people suggest dealing with this, shopping on the outer circle, looking high and low. The best way to solve this mystery is to always check to see if an item has a good value money wise and nutritional wise before you buy it.