Friday 1 February 2013
Tips on How to Save Green at the Grocery Store
IDid you know the average American house throws out over half the food they buy annually, costing a family of over over $2,000 a year? That's a lot of food and a lot of money being wasted. If you want to stop throwing your money away on food you won't use there are lots of ways to save. If you have tried to shop smarter, by sticking to a shopping list and not shopping when hungry, but still don't seem to be saving anything on groceries you might be missing a few key tips.
Here are a few reasons why you may be missing the mark on your food costs.
- You forgot to make a grocery shopping budget. One of the most important things that anyone trying to save a decent amount of money on groceries can do is make a budget – and stick to it. When armed with a carefully planned out budget, there is no reason to debate whether or not you actually need to buy something on your list.
- You fail to make a menu plan each week. What sets most frugal shoppers apart from the rest of the world is their ability to efficiently plan out their meals for the coming week. When you create a menu plan each week you are giving yourself the ability to save money by being able to match meals to sales and coupons. As an added bonus you are lessening the time it takes to prepare meals by not having to stare blankly into the cupboard and decide what`s for dinner each night.
- You overspend on brand name items: Truthfully, we all have our weakness. There are things that we will spend more money on than we should out of habit. However, when it comes to the vast majority of grocery items, it is necessary to learn to buy what is on sale (and can be purchased with coupons) to really save money. Fight the urge to go into the supermarket and purchase a list full of items simply because you want them. Instead, bring the list of items you want to buy because they are on sale for a great price.
- You are an impulse shopper: Each of us is guilty of shopping out of boredom. However, nothing is more disastrous than going grocery shopping hungry or without a list. Impulse buys never work out in your favour. It is crucial to always plan out your shopping trips in advance – and know exactly what your budget it. Not knowing these things will spell disaster for your wallet – avoid shopping until you understand what you need and what you want to spend.
Take into consideration your current methods of grocery shopping. Do you already understand what your budget it? Do you regularly shop on the same day each week (most stores follow a Thursday to Thursday sales cycle). Do you remember your list (do you have a smartphone app to help you stay organized). Do you bring a calculator?
By answering yes to most of these questions, chances are great that you are already in money-saving mode. If not, don’t fret. Reducing your grocery store spending is not entirely out of reach.