It may not seem easy at first glance, but saving money when you’re grocery shopping can be a simple task. This includes discipline and self-conscience, but these tips might do the trick.
Supermarkets were designed to make you buy more than what you need. They mostly don’t have any windows so you’ll lose track of time; they keep rearranging their shelves so you have to walk through every aisle looking for what’s on your list. Of course, you end up spending more than what you’d originally planned…
Don’t be afraid! Realizing that you’re buying over your original budget is the first step into changing this behavior. Saving money can be easier once you’ve implemented these tips:
1. Set up a budget
A weekly or monthly budget can help you see groceries differently. Something that catches your eye can be easily ruled out if it’s out of the planned amount to spend. It’s important to set a reasonable budget that you can follow when you’re shopping.
2. Shop with peace
When you’re in a hurry or when there are a lot of people in the store, the first response is usually to buy whatever’s close to the exit and get it done as fast as you can. However, this is extremely hard on your wallet. This is why you should save some time of your week or month and shop without any external pressures. That includes going when the place isn’t too crowded.
3. Buy only what’s on the list
Every store is filled with temptations of extra products to buy. Walking through the candy aisle can be irresistible for some people, but you should stick to your list! Trust that you’re buying what you need and don’t even blink when there’s an item on sale that you weren’t even close to buying in the first place. Remember that it’s still costing you money, even if it’s a BOGO!
4. Write down what you’ve spent
Once you’ve finished shopping you should grab the purchase receipt and take a closer look at what you’ve bought. This will help you keep track of what you’re spending your money on, as well as how much money you’ve got left.
Plan your meals and save money
An organized approach to grocery shopping can help you maximize your time and budget. There are many little things to keep in mind that may make a big difference when combined.
If you look at your monthly household expenses, you’ll notice that a big part of the money is spent on grocery shopping. Since these costs can’t be avoided because everyone has to eat, there are other ways to save some money.
The key is to know what you need to buy. By carefully planning every meal of the week you’d be able to make a grocery list that includes the necessary items for your household. Organizing what you’ll eat in advance will keep you from buying things you don’t need while still making sure you’ll be able to prepare all meals with what you’re buying.
Emeals is only one example of all the available platforms out there that help you plan your meals in advance. Some of these require a monthly fee, but some people find their advantages to be worth paying for.
When organizing meals is also important to know who you’ll be cooking for. Maybe you’ll have to prepare a meal for your kid to take to school, or a dinner for when your family’s in town. Knowing this will help you buy the right amount of food- nothing more, nothing less!
In order to accurately predict what needs to be bought and who’ll be eating the meals, communication is key. If two members of the household buy vegetables at the same time, you’ll end up with a ton of them, some of which may rot and go to waste. Likewise, if someone has take-out for dinner their portion would’ve been prepared for nothing.
Being organized takes time and dedication. It may not appear as natural at first, but once you notice the difference it makes on the household expenses you won’t want to go back!
Food delivery services
By ordering your groceries online and asking for a delivery service, you'll save a lot of time. On the other hand, you may find better prices by using these services.
When you're at home, and you know that's time to fill your fridge and pantry, you've got two options. You can either jump into the car, go to the supermarket or your local grocery store and spent a couple of hours doing your shopping, or sit on your comfortable sofa and click into a webpage to fill your virtual shopping cart. After finishing your online purchase, you're free to do any other activity while waiting for the delivery.
There are several delivery services and you can start taking a look at the followings:
This platform works with several local stores. By entering your zip code you'll see which stores are available in your city. You can make your grocery purchases by comparing prices from different stores, and selecting products like vegetables, meat, organics and more! You can also find exclusive coupons on hundreds of items. If you want a free delivery service, you should sign up for Instacart Express by paying $99 per year. If not, you can also choose to pay a fee for each time you make a purchase, which varies from $3.99 for orders over $35 to $7.99 on orders under $35.
Here, you'll find a huge range of products: seafood, vegetables, dairy products, meals, snacks and even prepared foods. They deliver items from local grocery shops and also from restaurants. If you're already an Amazon Prime member, you can try AmazonFresh for a month with no extra cost. Afterward, you have to pay a fee from $299 per year, in order to receive unlimited free deliveries on orders over $50 and an AmazonPrime membership.
You can try this delivery service for free by entering the code EASY7 in your first order. You'll find good prices in seasonal products, like fruits and vegetables. They don't charge annual fees, so you'll have to pay $12.95 for delivery on orders under $150, and $9.95 delivery on orders over $150. But if you include five "participating products" in your order, delivery is free!
You should enter your zip code to check if Peapod works in your area. This platform offers affordable prices compared to what you'd find at your local grocery store. However, you need to spend at least $60 on each order, and the delivery cost around $7. You can choose to pick up your order and, in that case, they'll charge you only $2.95 for packing your groceries.
A meal in a box
Blue Apron, HelloFresh, Plated and Sun Basket are some of the many options that you can choose when you want to prepare a special meal or an original dessert. These delivery services offer a box with a recipe and all the ingredients you'll need to cook it. You can subscribe to any of them to get suggestions, offers, and promotions.