Groceries are something that we all have to buy to feed ourselves and our families. However, it can seem that our trips to the grocery store get more and more expensive, even though we are buying the same items. It can therefore be wise to consider whether there are some ways that you can reduce how much you spend.
There are often coupons printed in papers and magazines and these can be a great way to save some money on your groceries. Even if you only save a few dollars it can all add up. We do need to be careful with coupons though. They look like a great deal and that they are saving us money but this only applies of you would have bought that item anyway. If they are for an item you would not normally buy, then you could be buying an extra item and this will mean you are spending more money; not less. However, if it is an item you normally buy or it will be replacing an item that you normally but which is dearer, then it is worthwhile.
The above also applies to deals in the store. Only buy things that are reduced if you would normally buy them or you are buying them in place of something dearer. Often the items that are reduced are junk food which we can do without or they are expensive brands which we would be better off avoiding. So make sure that what you are seeing really is a good deal. As you could be being lead to think that something is a good deal when it is actually costing you more money or you are buying more items than you actually need.
Comparing prices is a good way to see whether you can save money. You will find that for many items that you buy, there are different options available to you, perhaps different brands, different sizes or different packaging. These will be priced differently. You need to compare the prices carefully though. Look at the size of the containers as well as the price and see which is cheaper but be careful of how you do it. If you are buying potato chips, for example, comparing price by weight, so per 100g will allow to see which is cheapest overall. However, if each pack is a serving and one is larger you may think that it will be better to buy it as you are getting more for money. However, you will eat one serving sized pack, whatever the size of it and so it could make sense to buy the smaller, cheaper one, as you will save money even if the larger one offers better for money because the price per chip is less.
As well as comparing prices within the store, it makes sense to also compare prices between the different stores. Often you will find that a store might be cheaper for some items but not others, although some will be cheaper overall than others. It could be cheaper to shop across several stores to find the best prices, but you will have to pay to travel there which could outweigh the savings made. You will also have to spend more time grocery shopping, which you may not be keen on. Therefore when you compare prices think about which store you would most like to go to or whether you would be happy to change to a different store or go to several.
Change what you buy
Sometimes changing the types of groceries that we buy can change the cost of our shopping bill. Thinking about the types of foods we buy may help. For example certain cuts of meat are cheaper than others. Food that has been prepared, such as chopped carrots are dearer than whole ones and so swapping to whole carrots will save money. Pre-prepared meals, such as sandwiches and microwave meals can be more expensive than buying separate ingredients too. It may take time to prepare food or to learn how to cook different types of food, but it could make a big difference to your grocery bill if you do.
Take a list
It is always wise to take a list with you when going to the grocery store. This means that you remember to buy the things that you need, which saves you a second trip or having to stock up at a local store which could be dearer and it also allows you know what not to buy as you do not need it. Buying things you do not need will not only mean you spend more money. It could lead to you eating more as more food is available or it could mean that you have too much food to eat and some goes off so you have to throw it away and waste it. It will hopefully reduce the amount of impulse buys that you make.
Check use by/best before dates
It is wise to look at the date son food to make sure that it will lost as long as you need it to. If you stock up on a lot of things and then find that you have too much to eat quickly, then it may be that some of it will go off before you eat it. Although dates can sometimes only be a guideline, it is wise to shop with them in mind as then you have less chance of the food being inedible before you get a chance to eat it.
Never Shop When Hungry
If you go to the grocery store when you are hungry or thirsty then you can end up buying much more than you need. You will be picking up items that you would like to eat or drink right away and you may also buy more than you need or really want. So try to make sure that you shop after a meal, when you have just had a drink or just at a time when you are not hungry or thirsty.