No matter what store you do your grocery shopping at, being a “smart shopper” can always pay off. A good shopper is attentive throughout the process, which can definitely result in saving money. In Part 5 of the series “Meal Planning Secrets Revealed” I told you all about where I shop and what I buy at each store. On top of that though, I wanted to share 10 easy ways you can save money on groceries no matter where you shop.
So without further ado, here they are:
1. Look at Everything.
Look over everything you buy, but REALLY look at your packages of produce and eggs. When it comes to produce, there is nothing more frustrating than getting home and finding that your container of berries is already moldy or your apples are bruised. If this happens to you, don’t be afraid to take it back to the store. Also make sure you open your containers of eggs (if possible) to ensure none are broken.
2. Look at Expiration Dates.
When I buy milk or eggs, I always try to find the latest expiration date (sometimes I have to dig 3-4 containers back!) It’s also very frustrating to get home and find that something you bought is already expired.
3. Look and Read the “Sale” Tags.
Depending on the store you shop at, they might have sale items. Be sure to read the tag. For example, in the picture below, I was so excited to think I could basically get a box of wipes for FREE and had already started to load several boxes of baby wipes into my cart. Then I noticed the fine print at the top “Sam’s Business Member’s Only.”
4. Make fair comparisons.
Many stores will list the price per weight on the price tag below the item. However, sometimes the store inconsistently labels these tags. For example, they might list one item’s price per ounce and another’s per gram or serving. Be sure that if you compare these prices that the numbers are calculated the same way.
5. Store temperature sensitive groceries in reusable insulated shopping bags.
If you plan to be shopping for several hours, it is best to take an insulated shopping bag with you (especially in the summer) to make sure your items don’t get too warm.
6. Price match.
Most stores will price match if you ask.
7. Buy the store brand.
If there are several brands to choose from, I have gotten in the habit of choosing the store brand. Especially when it comes to things like pasta, cheese, or yogurt, in my opinion, I can’t tell a difference between the store brand and name brand products. Try to save yourself some money. If you find that you don’t like the store brand, you can always switch back.
8. Take a household inventory before you go.
One important thing I do before I go shopping is take a household inventory. You can find out all about that in the highlighted link and the post includes a printable household inventory list. I would guess that this list saves me at least $50 each shopping trip. It saves me from buying things I don’t need and saves me from having to make additional trips to the store because I forgot papertowels or window cleaner. SO IMPORTANT!
9. Stick to the list.
Don’t go shopping hungry and focus on what is on the list. Items not on the list aren’t necessary and can REALLY add up.
10. Pay attention during the checkout process and double check your receipt.
On several occasions I’ve had a cashier ring up my produce wrong. Most notably, one time the cashier rang up one of my generic limes as a “key lime.” A key lime cost five times the amount of a regular lime (but there was no sticker on the lime, so I assume she just randomly picked it from the variety of limes on her screen.) Additionally, double check your receipt to make sure it looks right and something didn’t get rung up twice.
By implementing these 10 easy tips, you can cut down on your food waste and save a lot of money! What other easy ways do you use to save money on groceries? Comment below!