Groceries consume a large portion of anyones budget. Luckily for us, there are many ways to curb spending at the store. The following tricks have saved me a ton of money, especially since food is my second highest bill, before rent/Mortgage.
- Don't shop hungry - If you go to the grocery store on an empty stomach, you will impulse buy anything, and everything that looks good.
- Use the small carts - Many stores are offering smaller shopping carts now. Shoppers tend to buy just enough to fill their cart, and unless you are shopping for a extremely large family, most of us can get by with the small cart. This forces us to save more, by prioritizing, and buying less.
- Weekly meal plan - This may be a stretch for some, but my wife and I like to plan out the meals for the week. We use This chart [Unclutter.com Feb 20 2008] to write down our meals, and only buy accordingly at the store. This works better than spending $100.00, eating one good meal, and then trying to piece together the rest of the groceries to make meals for the week.
- No brand name loyalty - Buy store brand items, or whatever is cheapest you'll never know the difference. Safeway's Ditto is almost half the price of 7up.
- Shop the outside loop - Supermarkets put all the healthy items and main staples around the outside isles of the store. The center isles are filled with impulse buys like chips, cookies, and candy. Avoid these areas and you will not only eat healthier, but also spend less.
- Dressings and condiments - There are millions of different kinds of dressings, sauces, marinades, glazes, dips, rubs and other accessories to put on your food. Each one can cost as much as the food your buying. Stick to the basics to create great tasting foods with simple seasonings. Everything doesn't need to be drenched with premade glazes and marinades.