We can all agree that grocery shopping is exhausting. From planning meals, driving to the store, and carrying heavy bags to unpacking them into the fridge and pantry…, the time and the cost it takes are dreadful. In 2022, food inflation is estimated to increase by 8.5-9.5%1 in the US, and our cost of living won't stop increasing! Yet, no matter how anxiety-inducing it is, we all need to go grocery shopping. Here are five fundamentals of saving more on grocery bills to get the most out of your precious dollars.
1. Plan your meals ahead of time!
Planning a menu for the week can sound overwhelming. But thankfully, plenty of recipes are available online. Look in the fridge and jot down what you have at home. The Internet is a life-saver in searching for what you can make out of what you have! If starting from scratch, you can search for dishes made with the same or similar components to begin your meal-prepping routine! These habits will let you buy fewer items, making it easier for you to plan, buy, and prep.
2. Make a shopping list and stick to it!
An interesting statistic reveals that people spend an average of 42-minutes2 in one grocery shop. How long do you think your usual grocery run takes? Besides the variable factors, such as family size and the frequency of shopping, it’s easy to imagine that the more time you spend in a store, the more money you spend! To prevent you from wandering around in a store buying more than you need, an essential and practical tip is to make a list and stick to it, especially when you are hungry! There is no need to rush, but the shopping list will certainly help you with a smooth in-and-out of the store.
3. Allocate some budget for extras.
You may live on a tight budget, but remember that you are allowed to reward yourself! You can set a price point, for example–$10, before going grocery shopping. If a new flavor of your favorite snack catches your eye, you can say YES to an item lower than the $10 you set. Adding the pause before your purchase lets you prevent impulsive purchases and still allows you to indulge in some treats!
4. Use store loyalty cards.
Many grocery stores offer loyalty programs to earn points per dollar and redeem them later. Most are easy to sign up for and offer great deals. Some stores are also starting to implement digital loyalty cards, which you can store on your phone! No more forgetting them at home!
5. Use grocery coupons!
You may think that couponing is only for dedicated coupon-clippers who spend hours poring over circulars, but that’s not the case. There are many ways to get coupons nowadays without spending much time clipping them. All you need to do is to browse some print-at-home coupons! You can print them at home and redeem them in-store! It is the ultimate life hack to save on your grocery bills.
We hope these simple tips will help you save on your monthly grocery spending and make your shopping experience less tiring!