A family’s grocery bill can be a large component of their overall monthly budget. Mindless purchasing without a plan or savings goal is foolish and unnecessary. Today, families can save hundreds each year by following a few simple savings tips— and none of them require drastic overhauls of your spending.
Never Shop Hungry
When you shop on an empty stomach, everything looks delicious, and you tend to fill your grocery cart with food items such as snacks and treats. The hungry side of your brain is going to steer your grocery cart, not your budget and meal-planning side. So shop after having some food at home. Even if your shopping trip is not near a meal, have a piece of fruit or small snack before you walk into the market.
Plan Your Meals (And Leftovers)
Before you walk into the grocery store, have a well-defined plan for the upcoming week’s meals. Doing so avoids food waste, repeated trips to the market to pick up things you forgot and can reduce the need to spend money on fast food and dining out. Have a plan in mind for your leftovers as well. Spread a meal into two exciting and different dining experiences and turn leftovers into lunches.
Shop Less, But Buy More
Those who make multiple trips to the store throughout the week spend much more than those who make one big trip. This makes sense, as shopping multiple times is a sign of poor planning. Focused grocery budgeting and scheduling mean that you know what you will need for the week, so you go once and get your shopping done.
Shop The Opposite Direction
When you shop, mix up your travel path in the market. For health reasons, it is often advisable to limit your shopping to the perimeter of the store, where the fresh and healthier items lie. Grocery store marketers generally place products in a way that is oriented to your right side. When you enter the store, go to the opposite side of the market—often the dairy aisle—and work backward against the flow of traffic. You’ll be less likely to grab something that is not on your list.
Don’t Waste Money On Prepackaged Snacks
When it comes to specific purchases, many families waste a lot of cash on prepackaged lunch box treats. From bags of chips to individual-sized sliced apples, consumers get ripped off for convenience sake. Buy a big bag of your kids’ favorite snack, a box of resealable bags—or a few reusable ones—and make your own snack packs.