What’s the one thing in your budget that you can’t completely eliminate? Food? Yup. Even if we wanted to, we couldn’t stop buying food or else we’d die.
This means that we’re going to spend hundreds on groceries every year and so much of that is going to go to waste because of poor planning. I wish I would’ve learned some of these tips to save money on groceries earlier, but better late than never!
I’ve made the mistake so many times to go grocery shopping without a plan, starving, and tired and bought about 100 things that I didn’t need, some of which I would never use.
I’ve been trying to learn different ways to save money on groceries for the past couple of months and I decided to compile a list to share with all of you! I hope that you enjoy this list because it has seriously made a difference in my budget and I know it’ll help you too. Ps. If you’re super busy and want to save this to read again, you should save it to Pinterest.
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10 Ways to Save Money on Groceries
#1 – Meal Plan
I know meal planning isn’t sexy, most of what I’m going to talk about in this post isn’t really sexy. However, meal planning is one of the absolute best things you can do when it comes to your grocery budget.
Having a weekly meal plan is the easiest way to stop yourself from impulse buying and making a lot of those I’ll cook this even though I don’t know what we’ll make it with kinds of decisions. If you spend some time each week trying to come up with a menu and a grocery list to go along with it, you’ll find that your cart will have so much less in it and you’ll eat so much healthier.
If you’re anything like me and you can never come up with new recipes, you should try out $5 Meal Plan! This website sends you a meal plan AND a grocery list every single week for only $5 a month. That’s a great price for something that will take you over an hour to do each week. Get your first two weeks of $5 meal plan free!
#2 – Grocery Budget
Have you ever wandered into a grocery store with absolutely no idea how much money you have to spend? A grocery budget is one of the most important ways to save money on groceries because it helps you put a limit on how much you can spend!
It’s important to have a budget for every part of your life, if you need one I highly suggest you try out the Zero-Based Budget because it’s easy to use and can help you in so many ways.
Another way to stop yourself from going over your budget is to head to an ATM and take out the exact amount of money you’re allowed to spend this week. No more, no less! You can use the calculator on your phone to track how much money you’re spending while in the store!
#3 – Shop More Often
How often you go to the grocery store is entirely a personal decision, but it can really affect how much money you spend. The less often you go, the more inclined you’ll be to overbuy because you think you won’t make it through to the next shop.
Also, you’re able to eat a lot healthier when you shop more often because you only buy the vegetables you need which means they don’t go bad as often. It really depends on how you shop, and on what you eat. Personally, I prefer to shop at least twice a week.
As long as you have your detailed $5 Meal Plan in your hands, you’re able to buy everything you really need and not throw food away.
#4 – Stay Organized
If you’ve ever experienced that moment when you’re looking for an ingredient you know you bought but you just can’t find it, chances are the pantry monster has taken it to the back where it may never be seen again. This can seriously kill your wallet and it’s a very simple fix.
There’s only one way you can combat this one, and that’s to organize/clean out your fridge and pantry at least once a month to make sure you know exactly what you have.
It’s always a great idea to know what’s going on because you’ll never buy something that you have 4 boxes of in the back of your pantry. Plus, you can come up with some creative meals with just the things in your cupboards.
#5 – Shop Around
With most things, the gas you spend going to multiple stores is going to completely cancel out any savings you could get from a second trip. The only time I suggest going to different stores is if it’s a more expensive item like meat and poultry.
If you check the local flyers (or use flipp, the awesome flyer app), you can find out where you favourite meat will be on sale and shop there for that specific item. It might not sound like much, but sometimes you can find a $5-10 difference in just one item if you shop around.
#6 – Leave The Kids at Home
If you have kids, you obviously love them and don’t want to miss out on quality time. But have you ever had that moment where a kid asks you for the same food item 100 times in 5 minutes and you just give in so they’ll stop talking?
This is a real budget killer because you never have those items on your grocery list and you end up messing up your whole meal plan by having to cut your grocery budget in certain ways.
#7 – Check Expiry Dates
Sale items are obviously awesome, but sometimes the item can expire before we even have a chance to finish them. I’ve had so many experiences where something is 50% off, but it’s completely rotten by the next day when I actually plan to eat it.
You must take some time to check quality and expiration dates on all purchases, especially sale/clearance items and be sure to figure out if your family will completely finish it before it goes bad. Throwing away food is the worst way to waste money.
#8 – Get Familiar With Prices
If you’re going to be doing your family’s grocery shopping every week, you should be sure to get used to what kinds of prices happen at your local store. Understanding what the norm prices are will help you know when things are really on sale and when the stores are just taking two cents off to make it seem like they’re on sale.
You should also get familiar with what stores have the best deals on certain items. You’ll find that some stores have better produce prices, and some stores have better meat prices and this is something good to know!
#9 – Look at the Price/Unit
Sometimes grocery stores will put one size of an item on sale, but not the other. Most of the time, the sale item isn’t actually less expensive than the other one when you look at the cost/unit.
You can find this information on the price tag on the shelf, there will usually be $/kg or $/lb and you want to make sure you’re purchasing the least expensive item even if it’s smaller!
#10 – Get CashBack!
If you’re a long time reader of not quite an adult you’ll know how much I LOVE Cashback! I’ve talked many times about my favourite grocery cash back app called Checkout 51 and it’s seriously awesome.
The app helps you to get cash back on all of your grocery runs and all you have to do is take a photo of your receipt, pretty sweet stuff! Even if it’s just a couple of dollars every week, it’s still free money! You should try out Checkout 51 for free!
Grocery shopping can be hard and very expensive if you don’t plan it properly. You can change how you shop if you just start a budget and start meal planning effectively. Be sure to never go into a grocery store hungry and plan before you leave the house!
Do you have any clever ways to save money at the grocery store? Let me know in the comments so you can share them with other readers!