Did you know that after housing and transportation costs, food consumes more of the average American
household’s budget than anything else?
We understand, it’s easy to waltz down the grocery store aisle and fill up your basket
with things that aren’t on the list.
But these expenses can add up quickly and mess with your budget.
Due to lack of planning, ignorance in navigating the grocery store, or simply shopping with
your stomachs instead of your minds, you can easily spend more than you need to on groceries.
The wonderful thing is that there are some pretty simple tricks to help you lower your
And in today’s article, we will tell you a few such easy tricks.
From Buying Generic, read till the end to learn about all of them.
Before you plan out your menus for the week, check the store ads to see what’s
Base your meals on this.
If there’s a recipe you’ve been dying to try out but the ingredients are not on sale, just
When menu planning, remember that your leftovers can be incorporated into other meals.
Your leftover vegetables can be added to soup, or your leftover grilled chicken can be a
delicious salad topper.
Throwing away leftovers is like throwing away money, use them wisely!
Make A Shopping List And Stick To It:
If you go into the store without a shopping list,
you’re more likely to impulse shop.
Unnecessary items only add to your grocery bill, and usually not your meals.
So make sure you have a complete shopping list, including the snacks and drinks you’ll
Try to stay on track and avoid the displays at the end of aisles.
They usually have great sale items, like tortilla shells, but are displayed with full-price
items, like taco sauce, seasoning, chips, and salsa, that you might feel compelled to
buy to complete your taco dinner.
Most of the time the only difference between brand-name products and store-brand
products at the grocery store is the packaging.
Look beyond the label and compare the ingredients.
You’ll find that most of the time the ingredients are the same, but the price is different.
So don’t just grab the brand you recognize.
Do a little research to find the best deal for practically the exact same thing.
Buy Produce In Season:
While blueberries make for a delicious addition to yogurt and cereals,
and squash would be an easy side to whip up for a weeknight meal, they aren’t always in
Buying produce out of season is much more expensive because of the greater cost and
effort in production.
Determine what produce is in season and buy accordingly.
Track Your Food Expenses For One Week:
Maybe you already know what and where your biggest
food expenses are.
It’s possible, though, you’re racking up unnecessary charges out of habit.
How much is your daily coffee or pre-packaged sandwich costing you per week?
The amount might surprise you.
Once you’ve tracked where your food budget is going, you’re more likely to see areas
where you can scale back.
Plus, you’ll have a handle on your daily meal patterns and be able to incorporate changes
that work for your diet.
Make your own versions of prepared and processed foods:
Know when you’re paying for convenience
Try making your own version of certain pantry staples like spaghetti sauce, hummus, vegetable
broth, granola, and more.
You’ll cut down on the preservatives you’re consuming, and you’ll save cash.
Invest in a few cooking staples for the kitchen, like a nonstick pan, a cutting board, knives,
and a blender.
Even if you’re cooking only a few times a week, you’ll get your money’s worth.
Shop Less Often:
The less time you spend in the grocery store, the less you’ll spend.
Think about the last time you just went into the store for a few items.
Did you buy only those few items you were in need of, or did you spend a bit more?
Did you impulse buy because of the lovely end cap display of goodies or because that
deal was just too good to resist?
Shopping less often takes away the temptation to do this.
But you don’t have to instantaneously change your shopping habits.
If you are a three times a week shopper, try to go only once this week.
Eventually, you can work your way up to once a month.
Use A Calculator:
Set a target budget for each trip to the store, and then to help stick
to it, bring a calculator along.
You can use your smartphone as well.
Keep tallying up your expenses as you shop.
When you go through with a calculator, it is amazing the change that takes place.
You are more aware of how much each item is adding up.
You suddenly weigh the options a bit more with name brand versus generic.
You think twice about adding all that candy into the cart just because it looks good.
It makes you more conscious of what you are tossing in.
You may have heard of this strategy with extreme couponers and had doubts if this
was for you.
While you don’t have to have an entire room or closet dedicated to storing your stockpile,
keeping an extra supply of your staple items on hand can really cut costs in the long run.
Stockpiling helps you save money in a few different ways.
First, you’re saving on the minimizing additional purchases, since you’ll stock up when the
item is priced at its lowest.
Second, it saves you from making extra shopping trips for your menu ingredients.
Third, you have enough stock to get you through to the next sale, at which point you can restock
So, you’re never stuck paying the high price when you need the item most.
Buy Staples In Bulk:
Buying meat, poultry, and staple items in bulk often translates
into substantial savings.
You’ll find that bulk items often accompany lower unit prices.
Test it out for yourself next time you’re shopping:
Calculate the unit price of a family
pack of steaks versus a single steak.
Chances are you’ll find that the family pack is the better deal.
While this holds true most of the time, it’s not always the case, so make sure you’re calculating
the unit price.
Don’t Shop the Same Store Every Week:
Shopping multiple stores is key to paying less for
groceries, but it’s a strategy that many people balk at because it sounds time consuming.
Here’s the workaround.
You don’t have to shop at three stores every week, wasting gas and time running from store
Instead, be strategic.
When your circulars arrive, find the best deals in the stores nearest you, then choose
which store will help you save the most this week.
Don’t shop when you’re hungry:
Going shopping when you’re hungry can easily lead to overspending
on food you may not typically buy.
You can often end up spending more money on junk food.
Shop when you’re less vulnerable to opt for high-calorie foods that may be of low
Avoid pre-cut fruits and vegetables:
Buying a container of sliced watermelon, cut up bell
peppers or peeled garlic may seem super convenient at first.
But if you’re looking to save money, you’re better off prepping and cutting everything
yourself at home.
Taking just a few extra seconds can take quite the load off your wallet.
Buy frozen produce:
A shopping basket full of fresh vegetables and fruit can be satisfying,
but it can also be ridiculously expensive.
Sometimes it is actually better to grab a bag from the frozen aisle.
If that big carton of strawberries you had your heart set on seems a bit too expensive,
check out the price of frozen berries, and you may be pleasantly surprised.
Buying frozen produce can also cut down on food waste.
If you know you’ll never finish that giant head of cauliflower before it goes bad, then
it’s handy to have a bag stashed in the freezer.
Grow Your Own:
There’s no cheaper way to eat than to grow your own food.
Growing vegetables and herbs is fun, rewarding and provides fresh and nutritious food for
you and your family.
If you don’t have an area to garden, you can grow many herbs and even some vegetables,
like tomatoes, right in your kitchen if there’s a sunny spot.
Or invest in a few containers for your porch.
You can either start your garden from seed or pay a little extra for small, established
This is also a great way for your family to spend time together and a good opportunity
to teach your children about nutrition.
Keep the garden small and manageable and you can count on your kids giving you some help.
Love your Leftovers:
If the idea of eating leftovers conjures negative connotations in
your mind, you’re not alone.
To keep leftover food interesting, try freezing some of your leftovers so you can heat it
up on those nights when you’d rather not cook.
Another way to avoid falling out of love with your leftovers is to re-purpose them to create
a whole new meal.
For example, a leftover veggie stir-fry can be mixed with eggs to create a frittata or
What is your monthly spending on grocery shopping?
Have you ever tried reducing your grocery bills?
Let us know in the comments section below!