Buying groceries and shopping for necessities is unavoidable even if you don’t like it. What’s avoidable though is paying high price for your everyday staples.
Spending less for groceries means you will have more left for other things that might bring you more pleasure, so let’s take a look at some ways to shop, save, and enjoy life.
Know your refrigerator
The best practice to stay on course while shopping is knowing exactly what you need, so check your refrigerator and pantry before you go to the store. If you will get carried away and start buying extra bread and butter, you will end up wasting money on things that will be thrown away later. Also very important – don’t go shopping hungry!
Shop less often
The fewer trips to grocery store you will have weekly, the more money will stay in your wallet, so plan strategically. Go shopping once or twice per week and protect yourself from chances of impulse buys. Meal planning really helps here.
The small investment of subscribing to the Sunday paper will pay off for sure, and fast. The periodical is full of great local deals and coupons, which you might not be aware off otherwise. Get coupons for items that you are likely to buy and save.
Coupon deals can easily backfire if you are not careful, so be vigilant and don’t fall for bargains that have too many conditions or encourage you to buy more than you need just to get the lower price, like buy one, get one ½ off.
Online grocery stores
All online services and subscriptions might be very tempting and convenient, but they can get pretty expensive fast. Sometimes your choices might be restricted online and thus you can be forced to buy an inconvenient size or a more expensive option. Some deliveries are carried out by third parties and partners, which can increase your cost for shipping. Walmart offers tons of coupons for their grocery delivery service. Please check here for latest Walmart coupons.
Knowing your burn rate is very important when you think about groceries. This refers to how fast you use certain products. Knowing that, you will be able to buy accordingly to your usage and not get unnecessary extras. For example, if you see meat on sale and have room in the freezer, by all means, go for it and stock up. But if you find milk on great sale and buy 4 gallons of it only to throw 2 of them away after expiration, then you just waste money.
Most of us have some brands that we always go to, whether it’s chips, bread, or laundry detergent. If that’s the case, follow those brands on social media and get first access to the best new deals and sales. Signing up for emails will also bring you some valuable coupons right to your inbox.
It makes sense to be open to new things even if there is something you are usually loyal to. Some things have virtually no difference between brand and value labels. Store brands are often cheaper, so you can save money without sacrificing quality, just make sure you read the ingredient list and compare with premium products.
If you have some time to be invested into shopping, visit a few stores and pick the best deals at each. If you don’t have much time and tend to shop at your one favorite store, join their loyalty program and reap the rewards that come in the shape of points and exclusive coupons.
If you have more than two members in your family, consider joining a wholesale club, where you will be able to buy in bulk with lower per item cost. Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s Wholesale Club are great for large supplies of non-perishable goods and food for larger families. You will have to pay annual fee and pay more at the checkout due to bulk buying, but if you shop there enough and use enough, it will pay off.
Always look at prices and compare price per unit with other offers. You have to know price per ounce, pound, or gram to make sure you are getting the best deal. You can find this information next to the price of the total package.
Sometimes the price varies in the same grocery store based on all kinds of factors. For example, in season produce is always cheaper than out-of-season, so maybe lay off those artichokes in winter and wait for June.
Finally, know when and what to buy. Shop for Christmas stuff right after Christmas and get candy after Valentine’s Day. Stores always discount holiday items to make some room for new products and new seasons.
If you tend to go on a major shopping spree once a month, go in early. Many retailers have better deals at the beginning of the month than at the end. This can be easily explained – people get paid and go shopping, so retailers compete for their business right on time.