Groceries can be a formidable expense each month, but with a little planning you’ll be amazed at how much you can save. Here are some ways to significantly cut the cost of your monthly groceries.
On a day where you find yourself with a little extra time, check out all the supermarkets in your area. Take time to walk around and check out prices on items you purchase frequently. You will be amazed at how much the price can vary from store to store. You may find one store is significantly lower on packaged items such as granola bars, chips, cereal, etc., and another may be cheaper when it comes to produce or meat. Although this may mean shopping at more than one store, it could save you serious money.
Whenever possible, buy store brand items versus the name brand. Quite often they are nearly identical, but cheaper. In fact, many store brand items are made by the same companies that make the brand name products! Most supermarkets have their own brand for grocery items, pharmacy items, and paper products.
Taking the time to go through the supermarket weekly flyers and planning your menu based on what’s on sale can save a ton of money. This again may require shopping at more than one store but can be worth the extra time. Most stores have great weekly deals on meat, so stocking up and freezing some will also help save money. Be careful not to purchase items you would not normally buy just because they might be a good deal.
Sign up for your local supermarkets’ reward programs! These programs offer a number of features, including:
- Money back on store brand items
- Points towards fuel
- Online coupons
- Coupons towards frequently purchased items
- Coupons towards new items
Many of these programs also offer a phone app, and the coupons are digital. Just take a little time and select the coupons on the app before you go shopping, and they’re automatically applied at checkout. No need to remember to hand over a pile of clippings!
While it can be time-consuming to cut coupons, the rewards can be worth it. If you get the Sunday newspaper, or have family or friends who do, ask them to save the coupon inserts for you. You can use several of the same coupons you purchase that number of items. For example, if you buy granola bars every week and you find a coupon, you can use three coupons if you buy three boxes. Also keep in mind that coupons are often valid for at least a month, so shopping the flyers and using the coupons when they are on sale will save you even more money!
Shop early or late
Most stores will discount deli and meat items after a certain time in the evening based on the expiration date. Shopping late at night will give you the best chance of being able to buy meat at a discount price, but you might have luck first thing in the morning as well.
Saving money on meat has a significant impact, as meat and seafood make up an average of 20% of Americans’ grocery costs, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. One thing to keep in mind is that you’ll need to either eat the discounted meat within a couple days of purchase or freeze it immediately.
Even if you choose to try only a couple of these money saving tips, you are sure to notice it in your grocery bill!