Going grocery shopping can be a huge hassle and a war within itself, and getting groceries on a budget seems almost impossible these days with rising costs of living: but it can be done!
The grocery store is a big component of the corporate ploy to get consumers to spend more than they should, but if you walk through those automatic sliding doors with your best foot forward, you could potentially save yourself hundreds of dollars on food shopping over time. Take note of these great tips and learn how to budget on groceries to watch your dollars go further than before.
How to Get Your Groceries on a Budget
Use as many coupons as you can. There are lots of unknown politics that go into couponing, and you should educate yourself on terms to know and etiquette to use before you get to the cash register. There are different stores that offer more savings on your coupons. If there’s a Kroger in your area, you should try and shop there as often as you can to take advantage of their coupon doubling. Stores like WalMart don’t offer coupon doubling, but they do have an ad match guarantee that can save you on specific items that are advertised for less in competing stores.
The main thing to remember when using coupons is to stay organized. Make sure you’re using your coupons before their expiration date or throw them out: you don’t want to hold up the line at the store and make people mad!
Rely on a meal plan. If you head out for grocery shopping every two weeks, you can come up with a meal plan that you can buy for two weeks at a time. You might have to wrack your brain a bit to come up with meals to make, but the extra time you spend will save you both time and money once you get to the store. Try and plan a few meals that need the same ingredients. That way, you have to do less traveling around the store (which can lead to impulse buying) and you might be able to take advantage of a few different things on sale. You might also want to make it a priority to plan meals that will last a few days as leftovers. Soups, chilis and casseroles are the kinds of meals that end up being even better the second and third day. Scour the internet for fresh ideas that you can work into your plan.
Don’t be afraid of the discount stores. ALDI can be a great place for you to shop for your groceries, especially if you don’t have anything against generic brands. In all honesty, most generic brands are the exact same products that you’ll get out of private label boxes, so there’s no reason to feel like you’re “cheating” or not getting an item of high quality. If you don’t mind eating foods that have passed their “sell by” or “best if used by” dates, then you could try out a grocery outlet store if you have one in your area. It’s not advisable to buy baby formulas, dairy, meat or produce from these kinds of stores but almost anything else should be safe to purchase and consume.
Stock up the freezer when you can. Whenever you see a great deal on chicken or beef, buy as much as your freezer or deep freezer can hold within reason. Beef and chicken both have pretty long lives in the freezer and the amount of time you store them for really depends on your own personal preference. You might want to invest in a vacuum sealer system to make sure your frozen items last longer and stay safe to eat. To keep your freezer or deep freezer organized, make sure you label each item by the kind of food it is and the date you packaged it for freezing.
Get the “member card” that your favorite grocery store offers. By signing up for the free “member card” at your favorite grocery store, you’ll be eligible to save money for literally no reason at all. These cards are very handy when a certain item is on sale that you’ve also got a coupon for!
Start a vegetable garden. Fresh vegetables are an important part of any diet and they can be some of the most expensive things you’ll find in the grocery store. If space allows, start a vegetable garden that you can subsist from all year long. You can virtually grow any fruit or vegetable you’d like as long as your region’s climate can support it. Different seasons call for different fruits and veggies, so keeping your garden healthy and well cared for is important.
It can be difficult figuring out how to save money on groceries, but assuming responsibility for your purchases will make it easier. Find out how much you spend each time you go grocery shopping, come to an average amount and focus on the different ways you can minimize that amount. Once you know how to budget on groceries, stick to your guns and watch the savings start adding up! Getting your groceries on a budget shouldn’t be a chore and you deserve to leave the grocery store with a smile on!