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Last updated on August 7th, 2022 at 09:15 am
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According to a Gallup Poll, the average American spends $151 per week on groceries. Back in 1943, the typical family spent only $15 dollars a week to feed their family. It is easy to see that the cost of groceries has increased tremendously. With no hope of the price of food decreasing anytime soon, you are probably wondering how to save on groceries without starving. Here are some classic tips that will help you cut your monthly food bill. You can shop smarter and put the extra money aside for a rainy day.
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Tips and Tricks For Smart Grocery Shopping
Many people toss and turn wondering how to save on groceries. That’s because we are all faced with one truth – food is expensive. The cost of living is at an all-time high. An average family of four can spend $600 or more just on food. How can a single parent family, or those with meager means, make it? Unfortunately, it isn’t just food that has an increasing price. From gasoline to medications, everything seems to be going up.
1. Use Coupons To Save
The coupon is still king of the grocery store. Tough new regulations are preventing people from doing massive hauls for free, you can still save a great deal off your grocery budget. When contemplating how to save on groceries, you can combine digital coupons with paper coupons for optimal savings.
Make sure to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of your local supermarket. Some have limits on how many coupons you can use on a specific item. Think of a coupon as free cash and no one wants to pass up something for free.
2. Never Shop Hungry
Did you know that if you go to the grocery store hungry you will spend more money? Think about it. When you are hungry, you want to eat everything in sight. If your belly is full, then you won’t want to eat everything to combat your cravings.
A study was performed at the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University to prove this theory. They found that a hungry person bought more salty and sweet snacks to suffice their rumbling stomach. The goal is to plan ahead and make sure to be fully satisfied before heading to the market.
3. Make A Meal Plan
Have you ever done a massive haul at the grocery store and still didn’t have what you needed to prepare your meals? Many people don’t make a list or use a meal plan. You are costing yourself a great deal of money when you don’t plan. Take a minute to sit down and make a menu. Use things that you already have in your cabinet to blend into next week’s meals.
You will save yourself a great deal of money by simply planning for the next week. Learn to use leftovers that will turn into another meal. For instance, yesterday’s meatballs for spaghetti can be tomorrow’s meatball subs. Don’t fret about how to save on groceries. You have the power to control your budget through menu planning.
4. Use Store Loyalty Cards
If you think that store loyalty cards are a pain, you are in the majority. However, those who are tired of wondering how to save on groceries will find that loyalty cards are a great help. Grocery stores offer all sorts of cost breaks to those who shop often. From free coupons to percentage discounts, you don’t want to miss an opportunity to save. Since most major retailers have these cards, it is important that you keep yours close by. Some stores will give cents off gasoline at their stations when you buy a specific amount of grocery items.
5. Learn Your Store’s Markdown Times
Every grocery store has a specific time when they mark down items. Invest in a deep freeze so that you can keep meat, breads, and other items on hand. Find out when your store does markdowns. Usually, you will find that early in the morning is the best time to shop. The items are still good, but they are close to or at their “sell-by” date. You want to make sure to use them quickly or freeze these items. In this way, you can save yourself a ton of money.
6. Use The Sales Flyer
To help you plan your menu, grab the store’s sales flyer. Most of the time, the coupons in the Sunday paper will match the products that are on sale that week. Use your sales flyer to build your menu plan. You can save a ton of money by making a plan from the sales flyer with coupons and store loyalty cards. There are plenty of ways to help with your budget. Stop worrying over how to save on groceries. The flyer is right at hand!
7. Download Cash Back Apps
Cash back apps are becoming increasingly popular. Sites like Check Out 51 and Ibotta give you cash back for buying specific groceries. Don’t worry, most of the stuff you already use anyway. For instance, if you buy bananas, milk or even yogurt, you can get cash put into your PayPal account. There are new apps like these popping up every day, but the aforementioned are the top two with guaranteed payouts. If you have an extra five minutes to scan your groceries and receipt, you can save big.
8. Set A Budget And Stick With It
The best thing you can do for you and your family is to set a grocery budget. Learn to work within its confounds so that you don’t have to worry about overspending. However, make sure that your budget is realistic. You cannot possibly feed a family of four on one hundred dollars a week. You need to set a budget that is sufficient, but that doesn’t break the bank. Allow for a few splurge items. The most important thing is that, when you budget, you don’t have to worry about how to save on groceries.
Turning Your Major Expense Into A Manageable One
Up to 25 percent of your resources are spent on food. You owe it to yourself, and your family, to make each trip to the grocery store worthwhile. Skip the frozen dinners and boxed items. You can save more by doing some cooking for yourself using fresh foods. Learn to pre-plan for a week, and freeze portion size meals for quick preparation.
It takes some time and effort to really plan the meals and use proper budgeting techniques. However, you can shave $300-$400 a month off your grocery expenses when you do so. Quit wondering how to save on groceries, and follow these tips above. Since almost half of the population uses coupons, it seems that there is money to be saved for the savvy shopper by getting the Sunday paper.
Don’t pass up an opportunity to get a free gallon of milk or a percentage off. The less you spend on groceries, the more you can spend on a vacation to relax. Your family will appreciate your efforts. Share your experiences, thoughts or questions below. I’d love to hear from you.