Save Money On Groceries: 10 Easy Tips To Lower Your Grocery Bill
Our grocery bill can be the biggest financial challenge we face month to month or even week to week! Many times I have had people ask me “How can I lower my bills?” I think the best way to start and the easiest is to tackle the grocery bill.
There are many ways to save on your grocery shopping. You can coupon shop, you can buy store brands, you can watch the sales and only buy things on sale. Much of which can be overwhelming and who has time for all of that?
There are still ways to lower your bills and get cheap groceries. This post will explain how to save money on groceries to help get your finances back in check.
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Here are 10 easy tips to lower your grocery bill:
Use Smartphone apps
I LOVE smartphone apps! They are free to download to your phone and free to use – but, what’s more they make YOU money!
Basically most of them are cash back mobile apps where you choose what you’re going to purchase and when you have done so, you just scan your receipt into your phone and the mobile app checks it and gives you money back! No coupons needed!
Here is a list of 13 FREE Must Have Money Saving Apps!
Don’t Pay The Grocery Store To Do The Work For You
I remember the first time I went to the grocery store and saw already chopped onions prepared for me to purchase. I thought that was the coolest thing ever!
Then I thought about the fact that it probably costs more, and it does. So, then you have to weigh that out.
Here’s part of the issue: normally when you buy a product already prepared, ie: chopped onions, shredded carrots, shredded cheese, you are getting less and paying more. There is less than a normal sized onion in the container, yet you pay for at least a full sized onion, same with all of the others.
So, don’t pay the grocery store to do your work. It is more convenient, but think about how convenience stores started and how much more everything there costs It’s the same thing.
The best way to get the lowest prices is to buy fresh produce. This also goes for fresh meat, especially if you find the best affordable price with your weekly ad.
Check Unit Prices
Always check the tags on the shelf. A great way to get cheap prices is to look at that unit price, are 2 of the smaller ones less than, the larger one? Most of the time we, think that the larger one or large quantities holds more and is less than buying 2. Sometimes that’s the case, but often it’s not especially for the cheapest price.
By the same token, the larger one will cost more usually (I have seen that not be the case, too), and we may opt for the smaller ones but, when we look at the unit price to find out which one you want to add to your shopping cart. We may just find that the larger the one is at a great price and is less expensive for the amount we are receiving.
So, make sure you know how much money are you paying per ounce or unit before you opt for the larger OR the smaller item.
Don’t Shop At Eye Level
Do you know how many things go into the making of a grocery store? There is an actual science behind it.
Did you know that there are small bumps that you don’t even feel that slow down your cart in certain areas of the store?
Did you know that most people go into a store and turn right? That’s not coincidence they WANT you to do that! Try going the other way around once, you’ll see a whole different store.
Did you know that often the most expensive brand items are at eye level on the shelves? If you venture to look higher or lower, you’ll often find better prices and deals.
Buy In Bulk
This is where a couponer lives. They wait for a great deal, match it with a coupon, and buy as many as it takes to get through until that next great sale and they end up with a massive cost savings over most shoppers.
A couponer doesn’t have to buy at a high price, and they can wait for that next great sale and coupon to come together because they bought enough to wait out the sale and coupon during the last sale. I do this a lot with items that have a long shelf life. This is also a great way to get all your favorite foods and products at cheap prices.
So, when you find a good deal, take advantage of it. No, you don’t have to buy 68 bags of cat food. But, (if you have a cat) buy enough during that great deal to get you to the next great deal and save a little money.
Buy Store Brands
But, there are other items I don’t really care too much about which brand I buy: mustard, salt, milk, dry beans, white rice, peanut butter, toothpaste, fruit juice, dairy products etc.
For things you aren’t brand loyal to, consider buying the store brand or generic brands, which are almost always less expensive. This is a great way to save on your food items and grocery spending.
Meal Plan Or Just Make A List
It’s better if we make a plan and make a list. Stick to the plan and list. Meal planning is easy and so convenient. It’s the best thing, so you never have to worry about what you’re making for dinner tonight – it’s in the plan, and you already bought everything you needed and have it all available because you made a plan and a list! So all you have to do is make your delicious meals.
There’s nothing more frustrating, time consuming, and expensive, than having to stop what you’re preparing to run to the store and buy an ingredient that you are out of or you forgot.
Both of which can be remedied by having a plan and making a list. (Did I mention having a plan and making a list enough? It’s important! lol)
If you’re lucky (almost everyone used to do it, but now there aren’t many left) you can find a store that offers price matching of local stores in your local area. This is a great option to get the best prices, so now there is no need to run around to 7 different stores to get the best deals.
Just get the circulars from the paper, find the best deals with lower prices on what you have on your list, and use those to get the same price at your local grocery store. That’s it, and it’s so easy to get those low prices.
Shop At The Best Times
Once a week (sometimes more often) your store will move meat to a special area I call “the cheap meat section”. Find out when that happens at your store, ask the butcher, and shop that day. You don’t even need to be on a tight budget to do this.
Sometimes we can get a month’s worth very inexpensively by checking that section and stocking up. This is what you call bulk buys! Stock up on good deals you know your family will eat and then freeze them. This especially helps cut down the extra cost with your grocery budget if you have a large family.
Pay Attention To Prices
This is a couponers trick. Couponers use a price book to track prices week to week so they know that there is a cycle of prices for any particular item.
The price starts high and dips and may go back up and then way down. When you know what the “buy price” of an item is, you don’t buy it unless it hits that price or lower.
When it does hit that price or lower you might have a coupon ready and you can strike!
This is when you buy plenty to last – now you know the cycle because you’ve have been using your price book, so you know about when that price will drop again and how many you’ll need to buy to last until then.
Just pay attention to the prices of the things you buy on a regular basis and you will begin to see that cycle and you’ll know what the “buy price” is and you’ll know that’s the time to buy!
So, those are the 10 tips to lower your grocery bill and save money on groceries – do you have some you’d like to share? We’d love to hear them!
Interested in couponing or learning to coupon?
When I hear people tell me that they don’t have time to coupon, what I hear is: “I don’t want to coupon.”.
It can be an overwhelming undertaking if you don’t know how to get started. I completely understand that, which is why I have put together so many free resources to help you get started:
- FREE How To Coupon eBook
- FREE How To Coupon Videos
- How To Coupon Posts
- Couponing Question & Answers section
- How To Read A Coupon Matchup