Money management can be tricky, especially when you’re just starting out on your own or if you’ve had to adjust to a more tight budget recently. Even though it may feel overwhelming at first, there are still ways to get your favorites without breaking the bank every time you go shopping. If you’re looking for ways to save money on groceries, here are six good tips to get you started!
1. Buy In Bulk
One great way to save money on groceries is to buy items in bulk. Stock up on your favorite snacks, sauces, 20oz soda packs, and ingredients (for example, black beans) that have a more lenient expiration date and that you know you’ll use. Bulk grocery supplies saves you money in two main ways: you get more products for your money and it means less money spent on gas since you won’t need to go as often. Of course, apart from the things mentioned, you should always stock up on flour, cooking oil, sugar, and other staple items that have a long expiration date. As an added bonus, with a full pantry, you’ll have much more options when it comes to cooking and baking your favorite goodies, rather than having to stop at the store for those last-minute items.
2. Use A Prepaid Credit Card
Using a prepaid credit card is another good way to save money on groceries. It’s different from debit cards and other traditional forms of payment because it ensures that you don’t go over your monthly budget. The fact that it’s a great way to better control your spending is just one of the reasons you should have a prepaid credit card when budgeting. With this type of card, you are only allowed to spend up to the amount that’s loaded onto the card, ensuring that you’re only buying the items that are included in your list. Not only will this ensure that you don’t overspend, but it will also help you take a better look at your personal finances and figure out where to allocate your money each month.
3. Meal Planning
With meal planning, you can plan your grocery shopping list based on what you have at home and what needs to be replenished before running out. This way you won’t be tempted by things you don’t need and you’ll stay focused on the items that are necessary for the week’s meals. It’s also helpful to group similar items together on your list so that you can more easily find what you’re looking for while shopping. By planning ahead, you’ll avoid having to make last-minute trips to the store which means less time spent there and more importantly less money spent! Not only that but it means you won’t buy things you don’t end up using that week. When planning your weekly meals, it’s always a good idea to figure out a way to use the same base ingredients to create different dishes. For example, you can use chicken breasts in salads, pasta dishes, and even sandwiches. The same goes for different products and grains. Of course, another important thing is to consider your portion sizes. If you’re making things like soup, or other dishes that freeze well, it’s a good idea to buy more than you need for the meal. However, if you’re buying perishable items, try to stick to the quantities that you’ll realistically consume in a week.
4. Coupons, Sales, And Price Comparison
When you’re organizing your grocery list, take a look at the ads for the stores that you shop in and see what’s on sale. That way, you can plan ahead and add those items to your list if they fit into your meal plans – or even create meal plans around them if your budget is tight. If there are certain brands or products that you really like, clip coupons for them so that when you get to the store, all it takes is one quick swipe of the coupon or celsius promo code through the scanner and you get instant savings! You can search online or in publications for more coupons if there aren’t any around where you live. That said, most groceries have a pretty steady supply of coupons, so it’s definitely worth taking the time to look for them. Another way to save money on groceries is to compare prices between stores before you buy anything. This doesn’t just apply to food items, but also things like household cleaners and other essentials. If one store has a better deal on a certain item than another store, go ahead and stock up! Not only will this save you money in the short term, but it’ll also help you out in the long run because you won’t have to keep buying those items at full price.
5. Don’t Shop When Hungry
Of course, another good way to save money on groceries is to simply not go shopping on an empty stomach. If you do, you’d probably end up buying a lot of food that isn’t necessary and will likely spoil before you can eat it all. So make sure to have a meal or snack before going grocery shopping so that your hunger doesn’t get the best of you. You wouldn’t be the first person to decide they need all the extra snacks and candy they see on the shelves. The same goes for shopping when you’re tired – so be sure to go when you’re well-rested and alert.
6. No-Brand Products
Another great way to save money on groceries is buying generic brands or making your own versions of branded products. A lot of people assume that more expensive is better quality, however, this isn’t always true. For example, there are several ways you can make a generic version of Oreos: double stuffed (Oreo), Nutter Butter (Peanut Butter Cookie), and even homemade versions using graham crackers or any other type of sweet cookie. Not only will you be able to satisfy that craving without breaking the bank, but you’ll also have fun trying out different variations of one of your favorite treats. That said, if you don’t feel like setting the time out to make everything from scratch, it’s also a good idea to check the generic brands of the items you usually buy. Sometimes they’re just as good as the more expensive options but cost a fraction of the price.
When it comes to money management, one of the most important things is learning how to save where you can. And when it comes to groceries, that can mean anything from clipping coupons to price comparisons to simply not shopping when hungry. As long as you take a smart approach to what you buy, saving money on groceries is definitely possible, and even easy.