1. Keep Track of Your Expenses
The first step in trimming down your grocery bill is to know how much you are spending to begin with. Total up a month’s worth of spending, and set a goal for how much you want to cut back. Having receipts on hand also makes it easy to see exactly what you are buying so that you can make informed decisions on what items you can cut back on or eliminate completely.
2. Shop Around
Visiting different stores in your area is a great way to cut down on the grocery bill. While it may seem impractical at first, you only have to do it once. In many cases, the food items that you buy frequently may be significantly cheaper at a nearby location, making it worth the extra trip. The more foods you find for less, the bigger your savings.
3. Buy In Bulk
Whenever it is feasible, buying in bulk often saves a considerable amount of money. While it isn’t always the best idea – particularly when it comes to producing that would spoil before you finished all of it or things that you rarely eat–it is usually wise to stock up on staples whenever possible. Catching bulk items on sale only adds to the value.
4. Buy Produce in Season
Not only is it much more flavorful, but produce that is in season is significantly cheaper. Out-of-season fruits and vegetables can easily cost 2 or 3 times as much, so spending a bit of time to learn what is in season at any given time can truly pay off.
5. Make a List
Studies have shown that people who shop for groceries without a list are more likely to make impulse purchases, raising the final cost of their to save money on groceries by almost 12% on average. Making a list lets you buy only what you need, and as an added bonus you won’t have to worry about driving back to the store for something you forgot.
6. Ditch Processed Foods
Not everyone has the time to cook every meal at home, but the simple fact is that the convenience of processed foods is reflected in a higher price tag. If you are able to prepare even one or two meals per week on your own, you can cut down on overpriced, unhealthy processed foods and pocket the extra savings.
7. Forget the Bottled Water
The cost of bottled water quickly adds up, especially when a whole family is drinking it. In many cases, water from your tap is just as clean and pure as water bottled by major manufacturers, so ignore the marketing hype and get your water at home. For those that are particularly concerned about their water, a home purifier will quickly pay for itself when the alternative is buying bottled water.
8. Cook in Batches
Cooking large batches saves both time and money. Meals can be prepared at the beginning of the week and frozen to eat later, which means the food that you buy gets stretched further without the risk of ingredients going bad. It also means you don’t have to shop for groceries while you are hungry, which has been proven to dramatically increase impulse shopping.
9. Use Coupons Strategically
Coupons can be an excellent money-saver, but only if you use them properly. Use coupons to save on things that you would already be buying, or on something that you can use in place of other food. Resist the temptation to buy food just because it’s on sale since this can easily result in spending even more money than before! Times are tight, and every dollar counts. By using the tips above the next time you go grocery shopping, it is entirely possible to see significant savings that can put more money in your pocket and more food on the table at the same time!