In 2020, the average American household spent around $400 per month on groceries. This equates to around $5,000 a year splashed in the grocery store alone. Of course, spending on groceries is necessary, but here are some tips to help you make savings while at the store:
Plan Simple Dishes
If you’re choosing to make recipes that use every ingredient under the sun, your grocery haul will be costly. Rather, choose recipes that require a few tasty ingredients. The average cost of a home-cooked meal is $4.12, but if you’re opting for fancy and extensive ingredients, this could climb to double figures, easily. If you want to cook complex food but on a budget, stick to recipes which have complex ingredients in common. This reduces the quantity of expensive purchases. See also our guide on how to save money at home.
Buy in Bulk
When you do this, ingredients are cheaper per gram. Buying items you use habitually in bulk will save you lots over time. Pasta, for example, is much cheaper per gram at wholesale stores like Costco, and won’t go off in the pantry.
30% of US food produce goes to waste, meaning that not only are we disregarding global food shortages, but we are needlessly wasting our money at the same time. Meal planning ensures you buy what you need and reduce waste. This is better for the planet, and better for our wallets, too.
Look At Lower Shelves
Supermarkets typically place expensive goods at eye level to try and entice you to buy them. Knowing this, be sure to look around and try to find the cheaper alternatives on the lower and higher shelves.
Use Comparison Websites
These help you compare prices and loyalty schemes of nearby stores. Price comparison websites are more than just ways to find the best place to borrow money, they also inform you about ‘price match’ schemes. With these, if a store offers a lower price than another store for a certain item, the more expensive store will reduce their price for the same item if you bring it to their attention.
Loyalty schemes sometimes offer better deals and prices for members. They sometimes have points-based systems whereby you can redeem rewards based on previous purchases. They sometimes offer you money off at partnered businesses, such as gyms and cinemas. Whatever their scheme, they are usually money-saving, and great for those shopping on a budget. Many mainstream stores, including Walmart, Target and Kroger’s offer such reward schemes. Many loyalty schemes have seasonal offers, too. You should keep up to date with your supermarket’s loyalty offers, as they could save you a lot of money.
Some credit card companies offer cashback at supermarkets. Cards that offer this include the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express, which offers up to 6% cashback on up to $6,000 per year, and then 1% cashback after that.
Pay in Cash
If you plan your grocery list ahead of time, you should know around how much the bill will be. You should bring this in cash (plus a bit extra for wiggle room), as they you won’t be able to make unnecessary impulse purchases.
Shop At Bigger Stores
Even if you’re not buying in bulk, shopping at slightly larger stores is often cheaper than shopping at convenience stores. This is because they, themselves, buy in bulk and therefore offer cheaper per unit prices.
Don’t Buy Brands
Many of us know and love our Heinz ketchup, Coca Cola and Philadelphia. It is important to note that superstores often make knock-off, but very accurate, dupes of these, which are often half the price. By switching out the branded goods to the own-brand ones, you could be saving yourself a lot.