You don’t need that tattered coupon organizer anymore. Next time you go shopping, consider these ten tips and take care of your family without exhausting your wallet.
Snack Before You Shop
Shopping on an empty belly is a risky game. Focusing your eyes on your list is hard when you’ve not eaten all day. Anything looks yummy when you’ll see the munchies, you’re vulnerable to purchasing.
Don’t assess a Product by Its Brand Name
Very often you can’t taste the difference between generic ketchup and “good stuff.” Buy generic noodles, condiments, spices. If you need high-quality items, here’s a tip: look at low-price stores like TJ Maxx or Homegoods for gourmet ingredients.
Visit Ethnic Supermarkets for Fresh to get Cheap Produce
Avocados are great. But they’re also quite expensive. If you’re in town with a Latino supermarket, you’ll be able to get avocados that are often larger and cheaper than what you’ll find in American supermarket chains. The same applies to other niche foods. Searching for bean sprouts? Head to an Asian market. Your local neighborhood supermarket store might not have what you’re searching for—and if they do, it’s pretty expensive.
Go for the “Manager’s Special”
Shops can label items close to their sell-by date. Meats tend to be salvageable as long as you either prepare or freeze them instantly. Discount products are perfect for a salad you’re going to eat that night or for a vegetable soup the next day. Often the bakery has a surplus of goods and lists products just to make room.
Cut Costs by Cutting Convenience
Prepackaged salad will save you time in the kitchen, but it costs more than purchasing a bag of uncut vegetables. A lettuce head or spinach bundle is much cheaper than the plastic-wrapped equivalent.
Skip Needless Organic Food
You can purchase non-organic fruit with thick skin, such as bananas and pineapples, without fear of contaminated fruit. A general rule that health nuts stand by? Buy non-organic if it’s one of “Clean Fifteen,” but go for organic if it’s a “Dirty Dozen.”
Buy Shopping List Staples in Bulk
If you’re frequently running out of flour or sugar, start getting in bulk instead. If the family size range of the supermarket isn’t enough, go to Costco, Sam’s Club, or your nearest bulk store. They sell pantry and grocery items at a cheap price. As these stores serve cafes and other businesses, you can get discounts on basic consumer items, including toilet paper or cleaning.
Make a List and Stick to It
Okay, it sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s among the most important tasks you can do. You’d be shocked how much extra stuff winds up in your cart at the end of a shopping run! Believe it or not, supermarkets are planned with this in mind. Vital products like eggs and milk are stored at the back of the shop, beyond aisles and aisles of stuff you know you don’t need.
Start using Coupons
Several of the offers in the weekly flier will only be open to discount cardholders. These cards are free and appear to come with other perks, such as gas station discounts. These days, couponing is so much simpler. Some retailers take coupons that you’ve loaded into your mobile.
Carry a Calculator
While shopping, add the price to the calculator once you add anything to your cart. Doing so will help in making better financial choices, and you could just put back the bag of cookies that you know you’d be better off without.
Don’t Be Afraid of Frozen Food
Fresh produce can be expensive. Not only can you save a couple of bucks purchasing canned veggies, but you also don’t have to think about an expiry date. Unlike canned vegetables and fruit, the product is flash-frozen to preserve the nutrients. Next time you want strawberries for your smoothie snack, go to the frozen food aisle.
Freeze and Store Meals
You can find a lot of freezer meal recipes on the internet. Meal preparation can be enjoyable, making the rest of the week easier. And you can save money as well.
A BLT, a big salad, or omelets for dinner. No need to get the meat, two steaming vegetables, and fresh bread every night.
Take Cash and Leave the Card at Home
Taking cash with you is a good way of saving money. This lets you realize exactly how much you can spend, and you’re going to make better decisions about which food you purchase and which you decide to give up. Once it’s gone it’s gone, so be conscious.
Check the Pantry
This is no biggie, but before you go on your shopping trip, you can check the pantry and your cabinets to see what meals you can make instead. Thus, you may only have to purchase a few items to make a few meals, rather than buying food worth a whole week.
Don’t Bulk Up Just Because You Can
A 40-pack of yogurt may seem attractive for savings; although if only two or three of you will be in your house, it may expire already when you can get there. Bulk up on stuff like daily foods, instead, like rice, sugar, and canned goods.
Ignore End-Cap Products
The things at the end of the isles are there to lure you in. Ignore these if they are not on your checklist or if it isn’t anything your family necessarily wants.
Create a List and Stick to It
The best way to save on food is to list what you need and then commit to it as long as you’re in the shop. Don’t allow for changes by grabbing extra things unless there is an essential need that you skipped writing down.
Shop in Season Items
Things like July pomegranates and winter grapes are bound to cost additional, and may not taste the way you expected. Find it necessary to pay close attention to which vegetables and fruit are in season.
Try Various Shops
We know it’s easy to only travel to your local neighborhood grocery store, however it might be financially advantageous if you break your trip up to different stores for different promotions.