The grocery store is the place that we love to hate. Maybe I’m just weird, but I enjoy going to the grocery store. However, my wallet doesn’t like the grocery store as much as I do. This is due to one simple reason. The grocery store is designed to get you to spend money, and it is really good at it. How many times have you gotten to the checkout lane and realized that your total is way more than you thought it was going to be? For most people this is an every week thing, so here’s a list some great ways to save money the next time you are that the grocery store!
Write a List
Writing a list and sticking to it is pretty one of the most important rules when it comes to saving more money at the grocery store. We often go to the grocery store, walk around, and throw whatever looks good into the basket. When you do this, you are impulse buying, and that can quickly rack up your total bill. If you sit down at home before you leave, and write down a list of things you want or need, it is easier to follow through with it when you actually get to the store. I’m not saying that you can’t buy something if it is not on the list, but if you try your best to stick to it then you can save a ton of money with this trick.
Never Shop Hungry
This is up there with writing a list when it comes to the most important points. When we are hungry, we tend to impulse buy all kinds of different things, and they often are sweets and snacks. I can’t tell you how many times I went to the store in college, came home with a hundred dollars worth of food, only to find out that I didn’t have enough essentials to make a full nutritional meal. I had plenty of Oreos and ice cream though! If you avoid going to the grocery store when you are hungry, you can help prevent yourself from buying with your stomach, and start buying with your head.
Add Prices as You Shop
If you want to avoid any surprises at the checkout, keeping track of your total as you shop. Every time you place an item in your cart add it to the total. You will be surprised how fast the total can add up, I mean, the grocery store is usually one of the biggest expenses in somebody’s budget. Pull up the calculator app on your phone while you shop, and you will be more mindful of how you are spending your money, and what types of things you are spending your money on.
Buy Generic, Not Name Brand
I’m not telling you to buy only store brand. I am going to tell you however, that with most products, there is no significant difference between the name brand and the generic except the name. Olive oil, water, butter, milk, etc., are all things that I would be surprised if you would notice a difference in switching to generic. There are certain things that I won’t compromise on, things like Jiff peanut butter, or Kraft mayo, but I firmly believe you can save a good chunk of change switching at least a couple of your items to generic or store brand.
Prep Your Own Veggies/Fruits
Maybe I’m biased because I have worked in restaurants my whole life, but it is not that hard to cut your own vegetables/fruits! Stop wasting money on packaged fruit. You are paying a premium for the packaging, and it is the same exact fruit. You can slice up an apple in one minute, and it costs you nothing. So stop paying twice as much for the pre-cut fruit, and you can save a ton of money on your grocery costs each year.
Buy in Bulk
If there are items that you use a lot of, consider buying them in bulk. Sam’s Club and Costco are great places to shop at if you are going to be buying in large quantities, and the savings usually make up for the membership fee and then some. The bulk deals are so good at these stores that vending machine operators that I know, buy most of their products there.
Avoid the Center Shelf
When I was in high school, I had a part time job doing resets at stores like Dollar General. The idea of a reset, is that brands will pay for their products to be displayed in the most prominent position on a shelf. This tends to be right at your eye level, or near the center, and helps them to have a better chance of being picked. These items seem to be the larger, more expensive, brands, so take a look at the upper and lower shelves, and you might be able to find some better deals.
I couldn’t write a post about saving more money at the grocery store and not include coupons! Coupons are awesome, but make sure that you only use them to buy things you need. Coupons are a great way to save money and get great deals, however too many people buy things they don’t actually need, just because there is a coupon for them. If you want to get really extreme, you can learn how to make a whole hobby out of couponing with Facebook groups and websites like thekrazycouponlady.com
Stop Bringing Your Kids
We love our kids, but the grocery store just seems a little less fun when they are with us. This isn’t their fault. There is a lot to see at the grocery store and it can be overwhelming for them. When we bring or kids to the store with us, they will ask for things (and we will give in), and we will be so ready to get out of there that we will shop quickly, which can cause us to forget things that we need, and spend more than we should. I love my son to death, but if I can go to the grocery store without him, I will do it every time.
Ignore Checkout Line Items
Have you ever wondered why they put all of the delicious candy, beef jerky, and soda right by the checkout lane? Those are impulse buys! They are the things that you will throw in because you are already tossing things onto the conveyor belt. I know that they look delicious, but unless you went to the store for those items, leave them on the shelf.
Thanks for Reading!
Thank you so much for checking out my post, and I hope that I have taught you some new ways to save on your grocery bill. If you liked any of these tricks, or you want more money saving tips, subscribe to the blog so that you can get updated when I post new content. Happy shopping!