Saving money on groceries can be a great way to keep your financial health good and not spend money unnecessarily.
So to become a smart shopper, here are some smart ways you can save money on groceries each month!
- Make a list before you go shopping
- List all the snacks on the list
- Buy your ‘core’ groceries first
- Eat before you go shopping
- Make A budget
- Buy in bulk
- Don’t just buy from any brand
- Use cash back apps
- Use coupons
- Plan your meals
1. Make a list before you go shopping
This takes the first spot. You need to make a list before you go shopping and stick to it.
I always without fail make a list and also calculate prices to know exactly how much I am going to be spending in total.
This makes me aware of my spending habits.
List everything single thing you are going to buy, no matter how big or small it may be.
Also, keep the product prices in check. I save a few of my latest grocery receipts so I know what each item costs. And after making a shopping list, I make sure to buy everything from the list before I add anything else to my cart.
2. List all the snacks on the list
List all the snacks you are going to buy. This will make sure you don’t buy anything on impulse.
By doing this, I have saved A LOT of money on my groceries each month. Listing all the snacks beforehand ensures that I won’t be straying too far from my shopping list.
It makes me aware of how much money I am spending buying snacks each week. It also gives me a lot of perspective about how much I SHOULD spend buying it each week. (i can overdo it sometimes)
3. Buy your ‘core’ groceries first
Before adding anything to your cart, buy your ‘core’ groceries first. This includes your home’s staple goods like flour, rice, spaghetti, vegetables, spices, bread, eggs, butter, etc.
Your necessary goods should be your top priority.
This makes sure you don’t waste time and money buying things you don’t need immediately.
You also don’t get distracted and waste hours buying other unimportant stuff this way. At first, I used to buy all the things from the start of the list.
“I mean if I am going to buy chocolates anyway, why shouldn’t I buy them first?”
It was only later when I started tracking my time I realized how much time I waste buying things I don’t need immediately (for example, wasting time choosing which flavor of chocolates I should buy). But now, snacks treats, desserts, and bakery items go last in my cart.
Your shopping experience will be more energetic and stress-free when all your core groceries are checked off first. You will also have more time to choose your pick!
4. Eat before you go shopping
It is tempting to go shopping when you’re hungry as a kid. Nag and your mom will buy you all sorts of snacks and treats.
But when you are the one in charge of managing money, it’s hard to act the same. When you go shopping before you eat, you will impulse buy all sorts of snacks you didn’t need. It’s a HUGE waste.
Whenever I shop empty stomach, I feel like I can eat everything in the market and still feel hungry. Everything looks SO tempting. As a result, I ALWAYS go out of budget.
Better to go in full. You will feel less agitated, lethargic, and cranky. Not to mention, you won’t overspend money on things you don’t need or want.
5. Make a budget
Make a budget and stick to it. Once you break it, you will develop the habit of breaking it again.
It’s important to make a realistic budget that you can follow.
Allocate the amount of money you are willing to spend on groceries and snacks separately. Snacks are variable expenses while other items are your needs or necessary expenses.
Make a budget you feel you can stick to and follow it to the T.
Allocate a couple of bucks extra, in case you miscalculate an item and go over budget.
Your budget for your salary week will be higher than other weeks since there are many groceries you only need to buy monthly or bi-monthly. So keep that in mind.
By budgeting, you can save A TON of money on groceries and still feel satisfied with your shopping. You won’t feel you missed out on anything as budgeting forces you to prioritize what you ACTUALLY need.
6. Buy in bulk
Always buy in bulk if your salary allows you to. Everything is so much cheaper and you can save a lot of money this way.
Buying in bulk can be a bit burdening on your wallet since you have to shell out a lot of cash at once but it saves you a lot of money in the long run. So if you can afford it, it’s better to go down this route.
I can easily save more than 15% of my usual spending on groceries just by buying in bulk.
Instead of buying from corner shops or convenience stores, try to put in a bit more effort and buy from large supermarkets and grocery stores. Buy all the snacks, and products that have a long expiration date.
But also remember that some items are more expensive when you buy in bulk, so calculate unit prices if you feel unsure. For example, if 100g dates cost $20 and 450g cost $93, you are paying more per unit price for buying in bulk. (happens a lot)
7. Don’t just buy from any brand
Many brands just charge you for their popularity and name. This is where you can save a lot of money. Try to buy store brands as they are very inexpensive compared to national or international brands.
Some brands charge exorbitantly high just because of their name. Look around and try to find different brands that offer the same quality.
Most brands provide more than acceptable quality for half the price.
This way, I was able to save a good chunk of my money on groceries each month without compromising on quality.
Look around the aisle and search for other brands as the most expensive brands are kept at your eye level.
8. Use cash back apps
Cash back apps are a great way to save money on groceries. Cash back apps provide a percentage of your total amount back to you when you shop from their platform.
For example, if you bought groceries worth $100 from a cash back app, and they provide cash back of let’s say 10% of $100, that means you got $10 back even AFTER shopping for $100.
So, it’s a great way to use such apps for saving money. The more you shop the more cash back you get. Some popular cash-back apps money-savvy people use:
9. Use coupons
Using coupons is a no-brainer. Before visiting the store, check for coupons, vouchers, and discounts.
Check your mails, Sunday newspapers, and coupon sites to find new deals and coupons. There are a ton of different websites for that.
Remember to keep their expiry in check. Some coupons are valid for a limited time.
Also, look out for sales on items and clearance stock in the supermarket.
I always get a couple of good deals there. Some brands also give away stuff for very cheap for marketing purposes, so take advantage of that too.
10. Plan your meals
Planning your meals is a very great way to save money on groceries.
One that I discovered a bit later.
Before, I used to buy ALL the things I thought SHOULD be at home. But I realized I don’t use all the groceries I bought.
Many food items would expire because I just didn’t have the mood or the time to eat. Food would get spoiled because I was always either eating out or eating something different.
But now I plan my meals or at least make an estimation about it. This saves me a lot of headaches about food spoilage and storing unnecessary stuff in my pantry.
Plan your meals realistically and buy items accordingly. Also, buy easily perishable items in small quantities.
Saving money doesn’t mean cutting down your likes, restricting your desires, or settling for things you don’t like. It just means you are more aware and responsible about your finances as well as your likes and dislikes.
I have never felt I was restricting myself, but instead, I became more aware of what I like and what I don’t. I would rather invest that money in my business or travels or keep it safe for emergencies or in case I want to buy something in the future.
How do you save money on your groceries? Do tell me in the comments!