Your grocery budget can be the leakiest part of your budget if you are not careful. Without the proper planning, you may find yourself a couple hundred dollars over your monthly very quickly. Here are some tips to help you stay under budget, and save some cash, at the grocery store.
1. Don’t shop for groceries when you are hungry
This is the most important thing when it comes to saving money and staying under budget at the grocery store. Going to the grocery store hungry will only force you to spend more money than you should. Have a snack before you go, and your budget will always be happy.
2. Always make a List
Making a list is always a great idea. Creating lists will help you to not forget items. This ensures that you don’t find yoruself back at the grocery store 3 days from now, because you forgot to get some eggs. By making lists you go to exact points of the grocery store for the items that you need and bybass the items that you want. Focus on the list and try not to diverge from it.
3. Take a calculator
Taking a calculator will allow you to know how much you have left in your grocery budget. Just don’t forget to account for sales tax. Rounding up the prices to the nearest $.50, $.75 or $1.00 should help account for the taxes, so you don’t have to be overly precise. In the even that you don’t want to carry around yet another electronic device, check your cell phone. Most modern cell phones have a built in calculator. If not, get yourself a $2 calculator that you won’t mind losing.
4. Make a menu for the week
Just like a list, a menu for the week is one of the best things that you can do to save money at the grocery store and stay under budget. Pick meals for a week that all incorporate similar ingredients so that you don’t have to buy a lot of different stuff.
5. Stretch your menu
Plan your meals in a way that will allow for leftovers to be used for various meals throughout the week. We often find ourselves eating leftovers for lunch and dinner. There are 21 meals in a week and by stretching your menus with leftovers you can reduce that number considerably.
6. Don’t waste food
If you buy it, you’d better eat it. Be creative, and don’t waste your food. We found that we were buying a $2.00 loaf of bread every week and eating half of it. Recognizing that we were wasting too much, we started baking our own (after someone gave us a bread machine as a wedding gift). We now get 3 weeks of bread for $4.00, and it’s homemade with zero waste.
7. Grocery shop backwards
There’s a reason that the cheapest items (produce) are the first items that you see in the grocery store. Start from the other end and work your way back. You’ll be purchasing all of your most expensive items first and will know how much you have leftover for the fruits and vegetables.
8. Eat more fruits and vegetables
The produce section of the grocery store yields the most amount of food. And it’s healthy. Incorporate more produce into your diet. You’ll be saving money and getting healthier at the same time. We often have fruit for breakfast and it typically costs us about as much as a box of cereal.
That’s it for our tips. If you have a tip to save money on groceries, drop a comment below.