Data from major cities shows that the average household can spend somewhere between $314 to $516 a month on groceries.
Everyone needs to eat, but everyone does not need to spend so much money on their groceries.
How can you continue to buy the food you need and make the meals you want without breaking the bank?
If you want to learn how to buy groceries cheap, keep reading to learn about some tips you can use to save money.
How to Buy Groceries Cheap
We all want to save money, but what are the most effective ways to make it actually happen at the grocery store?
Here are some things that you can do next time you need to make a trip to the store.
Don’t Let Brand Names Fool You
Everyone gets used to using a certain brand of something they use often, but if you look at the generic options, you will find that they are usually a lot cheaper.
Generic brands are great because they are practically the same (or exactly the same) as the other options with their own labels and a better price tag.
Look at the ingredients before you buy to make sure it is the same as the other brand you usually go for.
Keep in mind as well that generic is not the same as a store brand. Store brands may end up costing more than you think!
Look at the Top and Bottom Shelves
Grocery stores have done their research and realized that people tend to look at items first that are right at eye level. As a result, some of the most expensive items tend to be in that very spot.
If you look at higher or lower shelves, you will probably find items that are a lower price.
In fact, the different shelves in the aisle (as well as the layout of the entire store) all were well-thought-out with your shopping habits in mind.
Coupons can save you a lot of money if you know how to use them and where to find them.
For instance, you can use a Kroger coupon for all kinds of food items or household items that you might need. They are easy to find for almost any grocery store and you can use one or more each time you shop.
Why pay full price if you could get a little bit of money off without that much effort?
Don’t Shop Hungry
A lot of people go to the store when they are finished with work and plan to head home after shopping. Since this is typically before dinner, people are hungry and may end up buying more stuff than they actually planned.
Try to get your shopping trips done on the weekends instead or at odd hours to ensure you aren’t shopping on an empty stomach.
Avoid Unnecessary Items
There are a lot of unnecessary things at the grocery store that may make your life easier but are not good to buy in the interest of saving money.
Some items that will end up adding a lot of bulk to your grocery bill include:
- Pre-cleaned lettuce or greens
- Pre-cut fruit or vegetables
- Grated cheese
- Bottled water
- Certain individually packaged items
It may be more convenient to buy the lettuce that comes in plastic tubs, but it also costs double or triple the price of a head of lettuce.
If a grocery store employee is being paid to do something that you can do at home, you will pay a premium price on it.
If you’re willing to cut back on anything, let it be bottled water. Not only is it bad for the environment, but it is something that you could get at home with a filter and reusable bottle.
Spend less money AND save the world? Count us in.
Eat With the Seasons
It is important to eat the produce that is currently in season to maximize your spending at the grocery store.
This is a great idea because you will spend less overall and you will have produce that actually tastes a lot better.
Shop With a Calculator
It may seem a little silly, but if you have a specific budget in mind for groceries (and yous should!), shopping with a calculator in hand will make you hold yourself accountable.
Calculate each thing as you add it to the cart. If you have a smartphone, you have a calculator on your phone already!
This will save you money on the products you planned to get and it will prevent impulse buying – both good things when you want to lower the monthly grocery bill.
Check out What You Have
If you already have stuff in the pantry, you might as well use it. Look for recipes that have those items in them before you plan your trip to the store.
Figure out what you can make without spending extra money! After all, you already have some of the ingredients, so buying whatever else you need saves money and avoids waste.
You can also consider substituting some of the stuff you have for items in recipes you are looking at. For instance, instead of buying farro, use the bag of rice you already have.
Consider Online Shopping
If you’re someone that is an online grocery shopper, you’re not alone as this is a trend becoming more common with everyone’s busy lives.
It is easy to compare prices for different items online by using search options and checking out the price per ounce. Doing some simple math can help you save big.
Use the Bulk Bins
If you only need a cup of something or aren’t even sure if you like it, why would you buy an expensive bag of it? A much better idea is to hit the bulk bins and get small amounts of the items you are unsure about before you splurge on big bags.
This is a great way to try new beans, spices, grains, or nuts without having to waste hard-earned cash on a big bag that’ll sit in the pantry if you don’t like it.
Ready to Save Money?
Now that you’ve got some tips on how to buy groceries cheaply, you’re probably ready to plan your next shopping trip.
Remember to go into the store with a list, budget, and plan to maximize your time and money. You can lower your monthly bill by incorporating even one or two of these things into your new regular routine!
If you want to get some great information about health and wellness or recipes to try, check out our website to learn more!