Grocery Shopping On A Budget
Grocery shopping on a budget doesn’t have to mean you only eat rice and beans each day. You can have a wonderful well rounded diet of fruits, vegetables, meats and great sides when you plan accordingly. While I always recommend you menu plan to help stay on top of your pantry and freezer supplies as well as your shopping list, these tips are really where the savings come into play.
1. Make a list before you shop.
Going into a grocery store without a list is setting yourself up for failure in the biggest way. A list is vital to making sure you are grocery shopping within your budget. Divide your list by aisles and categories. If you know approximate or sale prices on items, list those to the side so you can easily track your expenses while you shop and verify prices are as stated in sale advertisements.
2. Use Cash
It’s so incredibly easy to go over budget at the grocery store when you’re paying with a debit or credit card! When you are forced to use cash, it’s harder to justify buying items that aren’t on your grocery list. You know, that last second bag of chips or the candle that’s on sale. Having your grocery money in a cash envelope is a fantastic way to stay on budget.
3. Keep a calculator on hand while you shop.
As mentioned before, sale prices are important when grocery shopping on a budget. Make note of what is suppose to be on sale and watch not only for that price to be reflected on store shelves, but also at the checkout counter. For all other items on your list, use the calculator you have on hand to make sure you aren’t going over budget. Make notes as you add things to your cart and add up your purchases as you go so you know when you may need to choose a different size or brand because you are nearing your budget limits.
4. Utilize coupons as much as possible.
Using coupons is a pretty obvious suggestion coming from Simply Frugal. But while using coupons is a great way to save money, it can also cause you to spend more when you are buying things you don’t need or won’t use. Use coupons only on items you would normally buy, and always verify pricing on generic equivalents to make sure you are getting the ultimate best deal possible.
Related: Cash-Back apps are a great way to save too!
5. Shop sales and loss leaders when applicable.
Sales are a great way to save money on big purchases like meats and of course, produce. There are things called loss leaders often in these sales. These items are usually far below regular price and are designed to entice you to come into the store and make a purchase. They believe if they entice you with a low price on one item you are more likely to purchase additional items. These can often be great prices to stock up your pantry for things like pasta, sauces, soups and other pantry staples. Also consider stocking up on seasonal sale prices of meat and produce to freeze or can for off seasons.
6. Sign up for reward clubs and programs.
Many grocery stores offer reward programs. These can give you high value coupons specifically for their store, points that you can redeem for free products, great VIP day discounts and insight on upcoming sales. They are a great way to be in the know and get rewarded for shopping at a favorite store.
7. Buy in bulk when possible.
Bulk purchases are often a great way to manage grocery shopping on a budget. Just make sure to check the unit prices to make sure they really are cheaper to buy in large quantities versus individual packages. Read here to learn how to buy in bulk to actually save money.
These tips for grocery shopping on a budget are great reminders for how to make the most of your money in the grocery store.
I’d love to hear your biggest tip for saving money at the grocery store. Let us know in the comments below!