5 Tips for Saving Money on Groceries
Regardless of whether you’re feeding just yourself or a whole family, you probably find that groceries take a big bite out of your paycheck. According to some reports, food is the third-largest household expense. For larger families, food costs could even take as much as half of the family’s income. The following tips will help you find the best prices, avoid the sneakiest store tricks, and prevent those costly impulse buys.
Create a plan
First you need to do an inventory and take stock of your pantry and freezer once a month to get a sense of what items you need and what you can skip buying. Make a list of what you need before you head out to the store and remember to stick to your list and don’t buy unnecessary stuff.
Buy in bulk
You can pay a lot less money if you buy certain items, such as rise and pasta in bulk. You’ll also save money by buying meat, fish and poultry in bulk rather than in smaller quantities. Before going to the store, make sure you have enough freezer space to store what you don’t eat within a few days of purchasing.
Skip prepared food
It can be a great time saver at home to use prepackaged and prepared foods. Many grocery stores also offer pre-cut or pre-sliced items, such as chopped green peppers or cheese trays. While these types of items are certainly convenient, they are expensive compared to non-prepared items. Whenever possible, make your food from the most basic ingredients, or even from scratch.
Don’t shop hungry
A recent study in the Journal of Consumer Research found that consumers are likely to spend more if their appetites have been stimulated beforehand. While hungry, you will have less patience and less self-control, leaving you powerless against impulse buying.
Don’t buy unnecessary products at the grocery
Grocery stores use many marketing tactics to coerce consumers into selecting the most expensive items and buying unnecessary products. For example, stores often place items like magazines at the checkout stands to increase their chance of selling more stuff to customers. When you go through the checkout line, make sure not to pick up unnecessary items and stick your list.