This post was sponsored. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.
Grocery shopping is one of your household’s major expenses after major debts like housing, utility bills, and transportation costs. There are ways to reduce the money that you spend on grocery shopping. This way, you won’t need to take out cheap personal loans to cover the cost of your monthly expenses. Personal loans now might be convenient and fast but you need to learn to budget.
Before You Shop
Before you head to the store, you should set a budget and make an inventory of what you already have in your pantry and fridge/freezer. With an idea of what you really need, you won’t buy perishables which you may have to throw away if you don’t eat them quick enough. It will also enable you to make a plan for your meals for the upcoming week. This pre-planning will prevent you from making impulse buys which you will later regret.
Research is also a key component when it comes to saving money on groceries. From ads in the local press and leaflets delivered to the door, you will have advance warning of any in-store special deals and you can collect a variety of coupons. Downloading Google store financial apps or the store’s mobile app will also help.
Use the knowledge of what will be on sale to draw up your weekly menu and to arrange which stores to go to. However, be careful of promotional offers. Never buy products because they are cheap. They should be ones that you would have purchased anyway as part of your weekly/monthly shop.
Coupons should also be used with caution. Although they are ideal for stocking up on non-perishables and hygiene products, they shouldn’t be used to buy ready-made meals and snacks. These types of foods will always be cheaper if they are made from scratch using fresh ingredients.
While at the Store
It’s a good idea to leave your credit cards at home and pay in cash. You will have allocated a certain amount of money for your groceries and you won’t be tempted to overspend on non-essentials. Also, to prevent yourself from going overboard, take a small basket – rather than the large-sized trolley cart. Because of the lack of room, you’ll think twice before buying something.
When comparing the prices of different brands, you’ll often find that a generic brand is of similar quality but significantly cheaper. If products are of different sizes, get into the habit of comparing the unit price (per pound/pint) so you can be sure it is a genuine saving.
While in the store, look out for the clearance aisle which is often tucked away out of sight and will be full of bargains. Although you have prepared a menu plan, be prepared to be flexible so that you can take utilize these special offers. Alternatively, the produce could be frozen and saved for the following week/month. After major holidays, the aisle that featured those items will be full of treats at a fraction of their retail price as stores often overstock during the holiday period.
During the week
Make sure that your pantry, fridge, and freezer are well organized so you use products up before they spoil.
At least once a week, you could create a meal to use any leftovers you have in the fridge so the food isn’t wasted. Another possibility is to eat them for lunch. If your portions are particularly generous, individual portions could be frozen for the days when you don’t have time to cook.
Using some or all of these guidelines will help you to stay within your budget when you are grocery shopping.