Buying groceries is a necessity, but if you’re like a lot of people, you might spend a lot more on them than you have to. It can be easy to get carried away when you’re tossing items in your cart (especially if you go shopping when you’re hungry), but if you aren’t careful, your grocery store costs can take a huge chunk out of your monthly budget. Luckily, there are a few changes that you can make that can help you save big. These are a few common grocery shopping mistakes that can cost you a lot of money…and a few tips to help you fix them.
Even though some people gleefully pick up generic-brand items and toss them in the cart, others are picky about the brands that they buy and only buy the brand names. You might have grown up in a household that always bought certain brands, so you might find yourself reaching for them without really thinking about it, or you might just assume that the name brand stuff is better. Even though you might have a few favorites, however, you should give generics a try. You might find that you prefer the name brand products in some cases, but in many cases, you really cannot tell the difference. Just by buying store brand products alone, you can shave a decent amount off of your grocery bill each week. After all, even though the name brand items might only be a quarter or 50 cents more per item, this can really add up when you’re filling up your cart.
Some people assume that coupons are a big waste of time. After all, many of them only offer a few cents or dollar off of each item. However, if you use them on items that you were going to buy anyway, the savings can really add up. There are so many places that you can look for coupons, from the Sunday newspaper and your grocery store sales ads to manufacturer’s websites. There are also smartphone apps that you can download that can help you score deals. Take the time to read the coupon policy for your favorite grocery stores so that you can learn how to use them within the store’s rules, and consider pairing them with sale prices when they are available. This can help you buy some of your favorite products when they are at a fraction of what you would normally pay for them.
It might not seem like a big deal to head to the grocery store each day after work so that you can pick up something to cook for dinner and a few items to keep around the house. However, by making multiple grocery trips per week, you increase the chances of picking up items that you don’t really need. Plus, when you buy your groceries in this manner, it can be easy to buy smaller packages of everything, which can be more expensive than buying in larger quantities. Consider sitting down and coming up with a weekly meal plan, then shopping for everything at once. Not only can you save money in this way, but you can also cut down on the time that you spend at the grocery store in the middle of a busy work week, too.
It’s certainly understandable to have a favorite grocery store; you might have found that one tends to have lower prices, or you might just like the look and feel of the store or the level of customer service. However, if you only shop at one grocery store, chances are good that you spend too much on at least some of your items each week. Watching the sales ads for all of the stores in your area and learning which stores have which items at the best prices can help you save money. Then, you can snag the best deals from the stores in your area, helping you avoid paying more for items than you have to. Luckily, this is easier than ever before since many grocery stores have online sales ads, making it a breeze for you to compare pricing between various stores when you’re planning your shopping trip.
It might not seem like a big deal to just run into the grocery store and buy what you need. However, failing to make a list can lead to you throwing items in your cart just because they look good, without any rhyme or reason. Plus, it can cause you to forget the stuff that you really need while also potentially causing you to buy items that you already have at home. Try to make a list each time that you grocery shop, and avoid picking up anything that is not on the list unless you truly need it. Not only can this help you save money, but it can also help prevent you from buying unhealthy snack foods that can be a bit too easy to overindulge in.
It can be easy to spend too much money at the grocery store. If you are looking for a way to trim down your budget while still making sure that your family has plenty of groceries in the house, determining if you make these common mistakes and making a few changes can make a really big difference. In no time, you might be surprised by how much you can save.