I’m a wife and mother of three kids and two pups so I am constantly looking for ways to save a few bucks. Not because I want to splurge on the latest pair of Louboutin pumps or a top of the line handbag, but due to the fact that I want to live comfortable and travel! Every month I analyze our expenses and try to find ways to keep coins not just lint in my pockets.
Of all the endless household bills, I find that the easiest bill to cut is our grocery bill. Unlike my mortgage and car note, that’s the one bill that I have complete control over. It can be as low as I want or as high as I want. It all depends on my mindset and preparation before taking a trip to the grocery store. Take a couple minutes and scan through 10 common sense ways I use to save some cash at the grocery store.
Don’t Go On an Empty Stomach
When you’re hungry, don’t you crave everything you see? How many times have you walked into a restaurant starving, ordered all that your belly desired only to wind up scarfing down only ¼ of your plate? Same applies to the grocery shopping. Nibble on an apple or something before you go.
Ditch Your Spouse and/or kids
Men and children are typically impatient. Therefore, carrying them along to the grocery store won’t do your budget any justice. Between him rushing you down the aisle and the kids reaching for everything in sight, you’ll end up hightailing it out of store with an eye-bulging grocery receipt in tow.
Buy Store Brands
What’s the difference between Great Value (Walmart brand) and Barilla brand pasta? How about a difference of nearly 50 cents in price! From pasta to seasonings to milk to applesauce, you can get the same taste and satisfaction with the store brands as you can the brand name items but for much less.
Use Store Rewards Cards
Take 1 to 2 minutes to apply and get a FREE loyalty/rewards card at some of your favorite grocery retailers. Winn Dixie, Walgreens, CVS are just a few that offer programs where the customer earns points to redeem for other products or to apply towards the bill! Stores like Winn Dixie have amazing deals for cardholders only like BOGO and discounted pricing.
Visit Smaller, Local Grocery Stores
These stores are the best places to get a vast variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and even meat! The prices are always lower than Publix and the quality is typically better than Walmart. My favorite local grocery stores are Aldi, Presidente, Bravo and Neighbors.
Download a Shopping App
I don’t know any other app that pays you to grocery shop like Walmart’s Savings Catcher! Shop, scan and wait up to 3 days. During the waiting period, Walmart is scouring through competitor’s advertised specials to find a lower price. If they do find it, they deposit the difference in your Walmart account, figuratively. Once you’re ready to cash in, hit the “Get It Back” button and get a Walmart giftcard!
Scan Weekly Ads for Price Matching
You know that junk mail you get every week that you tend to throw out before you walk through your front door? Well, it’s not all junk. Hang on to the weekly ads and circle the items you usually use that are on sale. Take the paper to your favorite grocer and ask them to match it. Most stores will honor it and give you the lower price. Walmart will not since this is what the Savings Catcher App is for.
Make a Grocery List
Don’t you hate getting to the grocery store and having a full on debate WITH YOURSELF about whether or not you have eggs at home?! Me too. Take the time to go through the fridge and the pantry and jot down what you need. Lists are your friend. I write a list for just about everything especially To Do’s.
Set a Budget
Once you’ve gone through your bills and determined how much you can allot to groceries, set your budget. If you know that you can only spend $100 this week then you’ll know off top that steak and shrimp won’t be on the menu. You’ll want to scrutinize every item’s price while mentally calculating totals. This is where store brands come into play and save the day.
Don’t Go When You’re Tired or In a Rush
My favorite time to go to the grocery store is early in the morning on the weekend. I’m usually clear-minded and refreshed and ready to tackle the day. Obviously if you grocery shop when you’re tired or sleepy 9 times out of 10 you won’t take the time to compare prices or follow a list. Your main goal will be to get out the store as quickly as possible instead of saving the most amount of money as possible.
Grocery shopping is a necessary chore and bill, there’s no way around it. Unlike a utility bill, we have full control over how much money we spend on it. Of course there are others ways you can cut costs at the grocery store like clipping coupons and/or using digital coupons. You can also try a shopping app called Ibotta. I’m not too fond of these methods because I simply don’t have time to collect newspapers to clip coupons neither do I want to scan the item in store, scan the receipt and also watch short clips in order to save a few coins with the Ibotta app.
How do you lower your grocery bill? Share your tips and tricks below! Remember, sharing is caring.