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Indulgences come at a price. For some of us, the grocery store presents an intriguing challenge: Can I leave here without the snacks I know I don’t need? Let me treat myself; I deserve it. For some of us, a trip to the grocery store is tempting almost to the point of cruelty. But our wallets won’t always stand for that. Here are ten easy ways to save money on groceries.
1. Redefine your meals
Your breakfast, lunch, and dinner don’t all need to be heaping feasts. You can save money by simplifying your meals. When your recipe calls for fewer ingredients, then less money needs to be spent at the store. Try eating seasonal fruits and vegetables instead of more expensive processed, brand-label foods.
2. Set a budget
Put aside a specific percentage of how much you make per month as your food budget. This way, you’ll know when you’re close to overspending, or if you’re having a celebration, you can plan ahead. You might have a nice bit of money saved up if you go under budget a few months in a row.
3. Shop on the first of the month
Retailers know that people get paid when they go out to buy groceries. Stores compete hardest for that piece of your paycheck the first week of the month. Take advantage of the discounts being offered between the first Monday and Wednesday of every month. Be sure to check the newspaper and online for coupons beforehand.
4. Keep your eyes peeled
If you want to save money, you’ve got to be very careful in your search for the most affordable, high-quality products. The most expensive name-brand products will be placed on shelves at eye level, subtly bringing them to the forefront. Use this knowledge to decide which items to avoid if you’re looking to save money.
5. Buy generic
Name brand products sell at a higher price. Off-brand products are, believe it or not, often made in the same facilities and have the same ingredients. Save yourself a few dollars buying generic products, which are just as good but cheaper.
6. Do the math
Keep track of deals being made available to you by adding things you have vouchers and coupons for to your list before leaving home. No one’s rushing you out of the store. Keep your phone out with your finely tuned grocery list in the notes app and your calculator app ready. Track the prices of the things you put in your cart. You may find that some of the items on your list will become extraneous by pure expense.
7. Check clearance
Hunt down those discounts and clearance items. Fruits and vegetables that are nearing the end of their shelf lives will most likely be marked down with tags or stickers. Always check for deals in cleaning supplies and pet food.
Order your groceries online and pick them up to avoid any temptations or impulse buying, saving you time and money. Do you absolutely need those vanilla yogurt-covered almonds?
If you like a brand enough, follow them on social media or subscribe to their mailing lists. They’ll most likely send promotional coupons and sales information directly to you.
10. Use a credit card
Take advantage of cash-back opportunities with a credit card. Be sure to pay your bill in full every month to reap the full benefit of your returns.
How do you save money on your monthly grocery bill? Sound off in the comments!