Water Cooler Wellness: 6 Tips to Help Lower your Grocery Costs
I’m going to be completely honest with you guys: I’m the worst grocery store shopper ever. As I stroll down the aisles of the store, I mentally check out. My only concern is finding tasty, healthy food that I can use to create a fulfilling dinner later in the evening. The concern of price somehow becomes no concern at all.
I’m starting to realize that this reckless spending takes a huge hit on my finances, which is kind of ridiculous, because there are so many ways to cut the cost of your grocery bill…at least that’s what the Internet tells me.
What I found through my research were surprisingly simple tips. So if you share the same struggle as me, keep on reading as we discuss six easy ways to save at the grocery store.
Stick to the List
Not to sound dramatic, but try picturing the grocery store as a battlefield. You’re about to go to war, and prepping is key to victory. You wouldn’t just waltz onto the battlefield without a calculated plan, would you?
You should know what time you’re going to the grocery store, how long you plan to be there, and what it is you actually need in order to feel victorious. And that last tip is the most important. You’re going to be surrounded by so much food you may want but don’t really need. That’s why your list should only reflect what it is you need for the week. Write down what your meals will be, and stick to it. It’s key to victory.
Tis the Season
When it comes to buying produce, my ignorance is on full display. I want what I want, and I want it now. Here’s the thing though: there’s this term called “buying in season,” and it makes a world of difference on your wallet. Check out this list to see when certain fruits and veggies are in their prime season. The difference in price, compared to when they’re purchased during an off season, can be fairly drastic.
Generic is Okay
Sure, I can be somewhat of a snob when it comes to choosing a name brand over a generic brand. But if you actually take the time to compare the ingredients of your favorite name brands to their generic counterparts, you’ll often find that they’re exactly the same. So it’s important to ask yourself why that well-designed packaging of the name brand pushes you to spend an extra buck or two. Sit down and decide what products you would be okay going generic on. Maybe this article will give you some perspective.
Coupons for Days
Okay, let me warn you: if you’re going to start couponing, be careful. It takes a lot of patience and dedication, but the rewards are so sweet that it can become a little addicting. And couponing will also impact the list making that was discussed earlier. You’ll need to look for coupons in newspapers (Yes, they still have those.) and online. Once you build a collection, you can sort through it to determine how you can create a grocery list that reflects only what you have coupons for.
Like I said, it’s work. But you’ll definitely see the savings.
Sometimes you have to think of a long-term strategy when it comes to savings. You might be browsing through the grocery store only to stumble across one of your favorite products on sale. This is when you have to take action. You know you’re always going to need it, so why not stock up on it while it’s cheaper than usual? And even if it doesn’t involve a sale, search in stores that carry items in bulk to see if you can purchase a large quantity of your staple products in order to save money.
There you are, waiting in the check out line. You’ve stuck to your list, all your coupons are ready to go, and you’re feeling good about life. Then suddenly you’re bombarded by all the eye-catching snacks, magazines, and random products you’d never imagine finding in a grocery store. But you have to stay strong, my friend. Turn a blind eye to these products. I promise you don’t need them, and caving in only ruins the purpose of trying to save at the grocery store.
Do you really need to find out why Kim Kardashian was seen walking through the streets of Paris with a mysterious man who wasn’t Kanye? No. The answer to that question is definitely no.
Share with Others
So there you have it. These are only six simple tips to cutting costs at the grocery store. But there are so many more and I’m not exactly an expert. Please share your favorite savings tips in the comments below. I’m curious to hear what our readers do to keep their grocery bills in check. And who knows…maybe I’ll get enough content to write another blog on this very topic. Until next time, friends!
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One tip that I’d like to share is when trying to choose between a store brand and a national brand of a product, read the labels. If the first three ingredients & nutritional values are the same it’s safe to say that the only differences between the two is the packaging. Also compare the size of each product to see if you are truly getting a deal.