Food is a basic human need; no one can survive without it.
Unless your a breatharian…..but for us regular folk we need food. Hangry is a word for a reason!
So, No matter which way you slice it EVERYONE has to spend money on feeding themselves.
As recently as 2104 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released a comprehensive study of the average U.S. household expenditures by category. The total spending on food for the family unit was $6,759 for a full year. 58% Of this spending is for food at home. The remaining 42% is for food away from home. The total represents almost 6% of the average income (before taxes) that flow into a household. Food expenditures are the second highest category of spending after housing. Many of us spend far more than these averages. Saving on groceries can have a real impact on annual spending. Let’s look at 20 practical, realistic tips that will help you save money on groceries.
Tip #1: Set a budget. Put your spending plan on paper and commit to a monthly or weekly total. Reach this agreed number with your partner so there is a mutual “buy in.”
Tip #2: Spend with cash, not credit or debit. Portion your weekly or monthly budget in cash and use these funds at the store. This will keep you within your budget with a visual reminder of what remains.
Tip #3: Create a shopping list. Grocery stores design layouts that play off the psyche of the common shopper. Avoid these well-planned temptations and buy only what’s on your list.
Tip #4: Buy store brands at every available opportunity. They are cheaper and the quality is often just as strong as name brands. A PLMA Consumer Research Report determined that 77% of shoppers agree that store brands “are as good as, if not better than, national brand products.”
Tip #5: Use technology to save. Sites like https://www.mygrocerydeals.com/ offer fast, reliable insight to the best times to buy certain goods in your area.
Tip #6: Plan your meals. You will waste less food when you plan your meals in advance of shopping. Approximately 33% of the food produced in the world is wasted each year.
Tip #7: Make larger purchases in fewer trips rather than more visits to the grocery store. This will lower the opportunities for you to fall into the trap of impulse buys.
Tip #8: Versatility is key! Choose groceries that have wide uses. Select foods that can be used in any meal of the day. This will keep goods from becoming stale and unused in the back of the refrigerator.
Tip #9: Avoid buying too many condiments. We’re not saying eat your hot dog without the proper accoutrements – obviously KETCHUP and FRANKS is a must. But condiments often sit in the door of the refrigerator and never leave. We buy them with the intention of use for a specific meal then never use them again.
Tip#10: Choose the right store. Skip Whole Foods and high-end stores. Use cheaper chains to keep yourself within budget.
Tip #11: Avoid canned goods. Yes, they last forever, but they also remain on our shelves forever. If you’re buying a canned good make sure it’s one you’ll use that day.
Tip #12: Never shop hungry. Always go to the grocery store on a full stomach. The hunger will have a powerful influence on the volume of your purchase.
Tip #13: Leverage the power of bulk. If you have a family, consider enrolling in bulk programs like Costco, Sams’s, and BJ’s.
Tip #14: Look at the right number. Many shoppers ignore the price per pound figure posted next to the conventional retail. Make your choices based on the per pound cost and get more for your dollar.
Tip#15: Track everything. Keep a record of how much you spend and how closely you align with your budget. Also, keep track of anything you waste; it will be a painful reminder of what products you don’t use.
Tip #16: Use the “Season Effect.” Purchase produce when it’s in season. This can yield enormous savings in the long-run. Consult this handy USDA chart.
Tip #17: Buy meat in large quantities (Costco will quickly become your BFF). Bulk purchases in this department drives down costs. Additionally, meats can be frozen for extended periods; waste will not be an issue.
Tip #18: Don’t be lazy…..Go for the self checkout. Impulse buys can drop as much as 32% when using self checkout lanes according to IHL Consulting Group.
Tip #19: Start at the back. Many stores will place the produce (e.g. arugula) with the soonest expiration date at the front of the shelf and the freshest in the back. Look at the dates carefully and go for the one that lasts longest.
Tip #20: Avoid “convenience foods” that charge a premium for coming to you fully prepared. Do the cooking yourself at home to save. It’s very tempting to buy that pre-cut pineapple, but it stop being lazy and cut it yourself. Plus it tastes fresher than something that’s been sitting on the shelf!
So there you have it, Next time you’re trolling the aisles of a your local supermarket, think of these 20 grocery saving tips and you won’t put such a dent in your bank account.