Top 5 Ways to Save Hundreds of Dollars on Your Next Grocery Bill

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It happens to the best of us – we do our best to budget a certain amount of money for groceries each month but we always seem to go over budget – every single time.

If you struggle to stay within your grocery budget and still make sure your family has the proper amount of food to eat – you’re definitely not alone.

The good news is, if you implement a few simple strategies to your next shopping trip, you can save hundreds of dollars off your next grocery bill and finally stop your wallet from bleeding out.

Here are a few money-saving ideas to get you started on your money saving journey.

 

Plan Out Your Meals

When you’re intentional – you are buying exactly what you need.

Instead of walking aimlessly through the grocery aisles picking up random items because they “look good” or because they are “on sale” – you’re shopping with a plan.

And by figuring out what your family is going to eat for the next few weeks, you have an exact list of items to buy.

Not only does this make your shopping trip quicker – but you’ll save money by not buying excess food that ends up wasted and tossed in the trash.

Some folks go hardcore with color-coded meal plan spreadsheets – if that’s you – rock on – but don’t let the phrase “meal planning” intimidate you.

Your meal plan can be written on a simple notepad or piece of paper outlining the meals you plan to cook for a given week.

That’s it.

And don’t forget to take inventory of your spices and baking supplies while making your list!

 

Shop The Perimeter

Navigating your grocery cart through a never-ending abyss of aisles lined with bright lights and large crowds can be overwhelming.

Marketers hope to lure you down each aisle and draw your eyes to their bright-color packages full of sugar and processed junk.

And even if you’re planning to shop healthy and pick up a few basic staples, you might feel stuck trying to make a decision on which item to choose with all the options before you.

Who knew there were so many different kinds of tomato sauce, right?!

But every savvy shopper knows the best plan of attack is to shop the perimeter and avoid the aisles as much as possible.

Along the perimeter you can find fresh fruits and veggies, various cuts of meat, cheese and dairy products, eggs, and just about everything else you need to feed your family!

Not only is it healthier to shop the perimeter of a store – but it’s easier on your pocket too.

Convenience is costly – and if you are filling your cart with frozen TV dinners and prepackaged meals – your pocket will feel it.

Sure, you might have to pick up a few spices or staple ingredients down a particular aisle, but the bulk of your shopping should be done along the perimeter of the store.

 

Calculate As You Go

Don’t wait until you get to the checkout line to discover how much your groceries are going to cost.

No, you don’t need to download a fancy app to do special estimates (although you can if you’d like).

Simply use the calculator on your phone (or bring in a calculator if your phone doesn’t have one) and add up your items as you go.

Seeing your final bill increase with each item you add to your cart might cause you to think twice about picking up an extra gourmet block of cheese or paying $7 for an overpriced pre-made cold-brew coffee mixture.

If you have your little ones with you, you can even teach them how to compare prices and find the best deal!

 

Item Quantity

We’ve all seen the marketing encouraging shoppers to buy more.

“10 yogurts for $10” seems like a great deal – but maybe your family doesn’t eat that much yogurt.

Or maybe you find yourself pitching the last 3 because they’ve expired and gone bad.

Here’s a little tip – not all stores will make you buy all 10 to get the discount.

Sometimes you can buy only 5, and still pay a $1 apiece.

This way you get the sale AND avoid wasting money on food you won’t eat.

Talk about a win/win!

 

Don’t Always Buy Bulk

Is a large bag of onions a better deal than buying an individual one? Yes – but only if you’ll actually use up the onions.

Buying 8 onions and having to throw away 6 of them because they went bad is not a good deal.

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Deciding to purchase a “family size” container of spinach – only to use a ¼ of it before it goes bad ends up costing you more money in the long run.

This is where meal planning meets strategy.

As you go about your meal planning, consider selecting a few different recipes that use onions – then you can purchase your bulk bag with confidence knowing you’ll use them in multiple recipes!

Do this with all bulk purchases you are considering buying.

And when it comes to spices – think about which ones you use every day.

If garlic powder is your go-to spice – it might make sense to purchase a larger bulk size bottle.

But if you use things like onion salt and thyme sparingly – even though the bigger bottle gives you more bang for your buck – it  might not be the wisest choice.

 

Invest The Money You’ve Saved

If you followed the above tips and slashed money off your grocery bill – congratulations!

But now that you have extra money – don’t throw it away on eating out or mindless online shopping.

The goal in saving money is to use it wisely – not spend it right away on non-essential items.

Consider investing it into an IRA, or put it in a savings account to save up for a future family vacation.

Once you begin to see how much money you’ve actually saved on groceries, you’ll be motivated to stick to the plan next time you hit the grocery store.

You’ve got this!

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