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How to Save Big on Your Weekly Food Shopping

Visiting the grocery store is something we all have to do. While food is definitely a necessity, sloppy spending at the store can leave your monthly budget shattered. Instead of constantly bringing food back to the shelves because you can’t afford the items, or seeing perfectly good produce go to waste in the fridge each week, use some budgeting tips to make the next shopping experience less stressful and a little more effective.

Know Current Prices

Grocery Shopping ID-10039143When you go to the store, you may assume that products are the same price as the last time that you visited. However, grocery stores are notorious for sales and the price of goods can quickly fluctuate based on what is in season or what products are currently undergoing a shortage. Knowing the current prices are can help you to set a reasonable shopping list. Your local store probably sends a paper each week with the deals going on so you can be informed on which products might be better to buy.

Use a Scanner

Some grocery stores allow you to scan items as you go, and to keep a tally of the costs. If an item is more than you can afford, immediately put it back. You don’t have to deal with the awkward situation of sorting your groceries at checkout with a line of people behind you.

Pay with Cash

If your local store doesn’t offer scanners, try using a calculator to keep a running total of your purchases or you may be in for a surprise when you arrive at the checkout line. Although credit or debit cards are convenient they also make overspending your budget too easy. Forcing yourself to pay in cash instead means you cannot spend more than you budgeted. On the way to the grocery store, make a stop at your bank, ATM or Credit Union to take out only the amount of money you want to limit yourself to. Places like a Taylorsville credit union can help when you are on the go with online banking and text alerts that can keep you on track even when you can’t get cash.

Clip Coupons

Those circulars arrive in your mailbox on a weekly basis and when they come, you probably tend to just throw them away or only spare them a quick glance. Next time, browse through to see what items you actually buy. Don’t fall victim to the circular’s marketing plan though. If you do not usually purchase the products, buying ten of them just because they are on sale is unnecessary. Clip coupons for items that you would have purchased away. Some stores now have an App that will allow you to clip digital coupons and automatically credit them to your purchase through your store ID number.

Plan Meals in Advance

Many people spend too much money at the grocery store because they don’t know what they want to eat for the next week or so. Even though planning takes more time, the process will also save you more money. Maybe you don’t want to plan out each meal that you eat, but you can at least count them. If you know that you are going to a birthday party at dinner time next Friday and are buying groceries for the entire week, then you know that you need to purchase only six dinners. Also by planning you can make efficient use of left-overs. For instance, you could cook a whole Ham on Monday, Macaroni and Cheese with ham bits on Tuesday and homemade soup from the Ham bone on Thursday. Thus getting 3 meals from a single meat.

Invest in a Freezer

If you have enough freezer space you can buy meat when it is on sale and save it for later. For instance, Turkeys are particularly cheap around Thanksgiving so you could buy an extra one or two and put them in the freezer for later. Having a good size freezer also allows you to buy larger quantities, which are usually cheaper per pound than the smaller quantities. Then you can simply break them down into meal sized portions and put them in the freezer.

Consider Other Brands

Most people are brand loyal to some extent, but that doesn’t mean you need to buy all of the most expensive brands. The next time you are at the store, compare the ingredients of your favorite brand with a more generic brand. You may find they are almost the same or exactly the same, and the generic brand can save you money.

Shopping for food does not have to cost you a tremendous amount of money, and these budgeting tips can help you out. Shop smart and use some saving techniques here to keep you on track.