Trying to be healthy while sticking to a budget can be very difficult. This is also a reason why many people abandon their healthy lifestyle changes, but don’t let this be you.
Nobody goes to a store to try and spend more money than they have too, well at least nobody I have ever met. Saving money, no matter how big or small, can always help. After many hours of scouring the internet, and many experimental grocery trip runs, I have come up with the top 10 grocery saving tips below.
1. Get Organized
The first step is to start planning out your week’s meals ahead of time. Knowing the recipes and meals you will be cooking helps you create a shopping list of everything you will need for the next week’s meal.
What I have learned that helps is to create a running grocery list on the fridge or pantry. Having this list easily accessible allows for everyone in the household to write down items needed or replaced as they take that last treasured apple from the fridge.
2. Eat First & Be Rested
This is a very important step that many people forget to do or find it hard as they make their grocery trip run on the way home or in between other errands. If you shop while you are hungry you are more likely to purchase food that you do not need and/or are craving.
Also, make sure you are well rested. Believe it or not, if you go grocery shopping while you are tired you are more likely to purchase those items that are pre-packaged and an easy convenience. Studies have shown that we subconsciously lean towards meals and food that are faster to make when we are exhausted.
3. Buy In Season
Buying in season means cheaper prices and better food. This can get confusing with so many different options. A seasonal fruit chart and/or vegetable chart can help to break this down.
Even though there are a ton of shows out there with some way you can dive in a dumpster to find magical coupons and how to store your 30 boxes of cereal, most of the savings come from the store sales. Check the weekly flyers from your grocery store and use this as a way to plan out your weekly meals. Base your recipes off of those items which are on sale. If hamburger is not on sale this week, focus your recipes more on chicken or vegetables.
5. Do – It – Yourself
Those pre-cut fruit and vegetable trays and frozen meals always seem tempting with how easy they can make it, but if you are trying to save costs this is never the way. You will save a lot of money if you take that little extra time to cut your veggies and fruits on your own. If you have any leftovers you always have the amazing option of freezing.
6. Watch The Cash Register
Unbelievably, each year consumers lose anywhere from $1 billion to $2.5 billion dollars due to scanning errors. This could be due to the cashier’s error, or the store’s system not being updated with the current product sales prices. If you are following #4 of the list, and making sure you are buying those items on sale, keep in mind the sale price for your checkout. The discrepancies may be small, but cents add up to dollars very quickly.
7. Know Your Competitor
One tip to sticking to your list is to get in and get out quickly. Grocery stores are laid out with a purpose, the sole purpose for you to spend more money. Dairy, eggs and meat will be located at the back wall of the store as these are the most purchased items and the store will want you to walk past all of their other products that they offer. The bakery will always be near the front of the store, with the purpose of getting your taste buds going with the amazing smells, which leads back to #2.
8. Plan From Your Pantry & Fridge
I always forget what I have stored in those deep corners of the pantry or the back shelf of the fridge. Because of this, I make it a point to always check everything I have before I finalize my list and head to the grocery store. Nothing is more frustrating than throwing away money simply because the mushrooms were hiding behind that can of salsa.
Also, use this as a way to help with getting organized. If you have some chicken and mushrooms which will be going bad soon, make sure and create a recipe for that upcoming week with the ingredients you already have.
9. Freezer Friendly
Do not be afraid to buy frozen foods.When I say frozen foods, I am referring to vegetables and fruits. Yes, they are not as nutritious as the fresh alternative, but they are the next best thing.
Frozen produce is picked at its peak and then flash frozen in order to maintain the nutrients and the flavor. When the food is frozen it also suspends the enzyme activity which prevents the food from rotting. This allows you to purchase your food and not have to worry about it loosing its quality for months.
10. Stop At The Deli
The pre-packaged, sliced deli meats are loaded with extra sodium and preservatives at a higher cost. An easy way to save some money is to wait those few extra minutes at the deli counter and have your meat cut in bulk. Also, you can choose to have the meat sliced thin which will allow you to get a couple more sandwiches and save a few dollars.
I hope these tricks and tips will help you save money on groceries and help you stick to your healthy lifestyle. Please comment and let me know some of your secrets!