5 Ways To Save On Groceries for the Budget-Conscious
Summertime is officially here! The season of delicious ice cream, weekend BBQ's and happy hour cocktails are all underway. Whether you're a top chef or a ramen noodles lover, saving on groceries can come in handy for every budget. Most of us have heard of the TLC show Extreme Couponing where you see a family’s grocery bill dwindle from triple figures to a couple of dollars. But how easy is it to save that much money on groceries? With some of the money saving tips below, you'll be able to save money to pay off some bills, splurge on that new bathing suit you've been eyeing, or just stash your extra cash for a rainy day!
Old fashion coupons are my favorite! It's as simple as Clip. Shop. Save. Most groceries stores have paper ads for you to pick up for free. Stores like ShopRite, Wegmans and Pathmark have weekly steals just for you! Not into clipping and saving? Don’t have time? Not to worry because there are apps like Ibotta and Saving Star as well as store specific apps like myMixx for ACME Markets which can help you save while you shop.
2) Meal Planning
There’s a saying that goes: "never shop on an empty stomach." We all know what happens when we enter a grocery store or market starving; we buy everything! Meal planning is a good alternative so that you don't feast your eyes on unnecessary chocolate ice cream, when you know you need to buy lunch meat for the week. Have your food priorities in order and make a list of grocery essentials before making it to the market. One of my favorite apps is the Food on the Table app. It's a great resource for you and your grocery list, and it also sends you recipes every week based on your preference and dietary restrictions.
3) Loyalty Rewards Program
Growing up I saw my parents first-hand keep their store cards on their key chains. Signing up for your Loyalty Rewards program at your supermarket can save you hundreds every year. Most of them are free to sign up with the inclusion of your name, phone number and address. Without the clipping or coupon hunting, a loyalty store card automatically deducts money from sale items you purchase. And of course there’s an app for that!
4) Farmers Markets
These markets are one of the best places to buy high quality, locally grown food and produce at low prices. Support local farmers as they bring fresh fruits and veggies daily. Check out the United States Department of Agriculture website and Local Harvest to find the nearest farmers market.
5) Shop Less
Another great way to save money on groceries is to shop less. Unless you have a big appetite, there's no reason to shop for food multiple times a week. Think of it as practice to managing your time better. According to USDA data grocery shopping can take an average of 49 minutes for women between the ages of 18-24. That’s over one hour if the checkout line is long or it’s a major holiday like 4th of July or Christmas. Shop less and save time and money today!
What are some of your favorite grocery shopping tips? Let us know in the comments below!