Changes in supply chains and manufacturing slow-downs mean more and more shopping receipts are skyrocketing. Even if your shopping list hasn’t changed, your bill might be much higher than you’re used to seeing. Like anyone, a high statement that you do not expect can be frustrating and stressful. Learn seven ways to save money on your shopping list by making just a few minor changes when you head to the store next time.
Meal Plan in Bulk for Savings
Meal planning is one of the best ways to decrease your shopping list and make the most out of the ingredients that you do buy. By carefully planning all your meals for the week, including snacks, you can be sure to save money.
Make a List and Stick to It
Nothing is worse than taking the time to make a list and then remembering that you want something different. While it is essential to be flexible, if you have already calculated costs, you should not add items to the list, particularly if it is extraneous to meal planning. Ice cream, chips, a case of bottled water, and even paper towels should all be accounted for before heading to the store.
Making a list is about managing your resources and your resourcefulness. If you have to veer from the list and there is a necessary item that you must have, see if you can swap another thing for the same price. For example, if you forgot to list kids vitamins but have cookies on the list, it is likely a practical swap to choose one for the other in the shopping basket.
Never Go to the Store Hungry
An easy way to fail at sticking to your list is heading to the store hungry. Even with a list, your empty belly can sway you to make decisions you otherwise would not. Those decisions can be costly. If you know that you haven’t eaten, stop by the house and grab something to calm down the hunger pangs before you enter the store.
If that doesn’t help, stop in and buy a banana and a water bottle. While those two items might not be on your list, they will likely save you from spending plenty over your allotted amount for the low price of a few dollars.
Calculate Costs Before You Shop
Buying groceries is a sensitive topic because food is necessary. Often, people overspend because everyone needs food to live. However, if you make your list ahead of time and calculate the overall cost, you will likely determine that there are a few ways you could save.
Strategize Deals and Coupons
Meal planning is a great way to use weekly specials, running deals, and coupons to your benefit. At the same time, you have your meals planned out, so the specific brand of ingredients shouldn’t matter. So, you are free to buy whatever is on sale that week and use the applicable coupons to save even more money.
Time Your Shopping Trip
Shopping when the store is less crowded can help you make more informed decisions. When the grocery is crowded, you may not look as long for the deals and instead hurry to rush out of doors. Long lines often deter people from spending the appropriate time investigating the best savings. Early morning and evening are lower traffic times to visit the grocery.
Bring an Accountability Partner
Trying to make a new habit is challenging. As you get used to trying new ways to spend less money at the grocery, bring someone with you who can help you make smart decisions and support your effort.
Saving a little money at the grocery means spending that cash elsewhere. Paying off other bills or having a night out for dinner is well worth looking for deals or using a few coupons for your meal plan ingredients as you head to the supermarket.