Typically I like to reserve Sundays for church, football, and grocery shopping. And since football season is over (#PhillyChamps), I attend church in the morning and go grocery shopping afterward. I know that some of you may have groaned over the words, “grocery shopping,” but I promise you it can be stress-free. Today I will share with you three simple tips to save money while grocery shopping.
Many people complain about how much they spend on groceries each month, but I wonder how many of them actually have a budget for shopping. Before I moved into my apartment, I researched how much I should spend monthly and ways to save money. This article suggests that households spend between $75-$125 per person per month on groceries. That sounds unrealistic, but it is doable.
I, myself, do not have a concrete budget but try to stay under $120 per month when grocery shopping. By spending only a set amount on groceries, you can ensure that you will have enough money to fulfill other bills and obligations. This is very important, especially when you move out for the first time or have a very tight budget each month.
Once you have a budget, it is time to plan. At this stage, weekly circulars, coupons, and shopping apps will be your friend. You don’t have to become an extreme couponer, but with a little time, you will feel more confident when shopping.
Weekly circulars can be found in your local newspaper. Here is an example of the stores that distribute weekly circulars in my town. Each week, I will look at the circular and see what is on sale. Another tip I learned while researching about grocery shopping, is to revolve your meals around what is on sale that week. For example, this week, Giant is having a sale on Chuck Roast. Last time this was on sale, I made a slow cooker chuck roast meal that lasted a couple of days (let me know if you want the recipe).
Many people may not be aware, but most grocery stores offer their patrons a membership. You don’t have to pay to be a member, but it pays to be a member (you like what I did there lol). When items go on sale, only the members that use their cards at checkout are eligible for the discounted price. Additionally, grocery stores will also have digital coupons available on their website. So not only can you get the sale price on certain items, you can also use coupons to further reduce the price. I’m not sure if other stores do this as well, but Giant has free days where you can load a free item on to your card. I have received free: tic tacs, yogurt, coffee, produce, crackers, snacks, drinks, etc. by checking out their website. If the store you shop at does not offer digital coupons, you can also visit Coupons.com and print them out.
A lady from church told me about this app called Ibotta, and it is fantastic. Ibotta offers “rebates” on items that you buy at the grocery store and other stores like Amazon. You can search rebates based on your favorite grocery store and your favorite products. Compare the items on your planned grocery list (see tip #1) with the items on Ibotta, then load them, shop for them, and get your rebates in the app. This app works like other similar apps, where you accumulate money to redeem for gift cards or to your PayPal/Venmo account. So far, I have redeemed a Walmart gift card and an Amazon gift card. Even better, when you accumulate enough money, you can use the gift cards towards your next grocery shopping trip. If you are interested in learning more about this app or want to try it, click this link to get $10 loaded onto your account.
3.Stick to the Plan
This may be the hardest tip for some people, but it is crucial to stick to the plan you created. You have worked so hard to create the best meals for your family while trying to save money, that you don’t want it to be messed up by not sticking to the plan. Make sure when you go to the grocery store with your list, that you are in the best state. Do not go when you are hungry, are in a rush, have all of your children with you, or when you are tired/exhausted. These conditions will only encourage you to buy items that are not on your list.
When you plan for 1-2 weeks of groceries, ensure that you buy everything you need in that one shopping trip. Note: fresh produce may not last that long in the fridge, so budget to buy those produce items when you need them. If you find that your grocery budget is busted every month, take note at how many times you go to the store throughout the week. All of those little trips for milk or unplanned dinners, will add up in the end of the month.
Bonus tip: don’t forget to buy healthy snacks and easy to make meals, for when you are short on time and energy. This will help to prevent unbudgeted fast-food dinners.
I hope that this post was informative and helps you take steps to saving more when grocery shopping. If you liked this post, please comment and/or like below. If you have any other tips or questions for me, please let me know. As always, thanks for reading and please like/comment/share/subscribe for more posts about living your best life on a budget.