5 Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half
Do you need to cut back on spending but have no idea where to start? Maybe you’ve stopped ordering take-out and reduced the number of trips to the coffee shop in the week, but you still haven’t met your savings goals. It happens to all of us at some point, and the culprit, more often than not, is staring us in the face – the grocery bill.
So how do you reduce food expenses without buying instant noodles? You don’t need to buy less or buy cheaper quality food. You just need to shop smarter, and here’s how:
1. Shop around
Shopping smart isn’t always the same as shopping conveniently. Sometimes you’re going to need to look around for the store with the best sales. A good way to do this is to look at all the websites of the grocery stores in your area, or follow the companies’ Twitter accounts, and keep track of the food prices. One grocery store may be cheaper one week, but another may be the cheaper store a few weeks later. Another great option is to split up your grocery shopping. For example, one store may have meat on sale and the other may have cheese on sale. Bring a cooler with ice on your shopping trip to make sure your cold food doesn’t go bad, and then go to as many stores as you can to get the best deals. One new advantage to grocery stores is that a lot of them now have grocery pickup, which means you can quickly go to several grocery stores without even having to get out of your car.
2. Go with a list
The worst thing you can do is turn yourself loose in the grocery store without a list, especially if you’re shopping while hungry! Once a week, plan out all the meals you will need for the upcoming week and make a list of all the ingredients. Make sure to bring this list along so that you don’t get distracted by all of the options the grocery store has available. Keep in mind that meal planning will also help you and your family stay healthy since you won’t be rushing to fast food restaurants because you forgot to get the ingredients for a specific meal.
3. Food Distributions
For those that are struggling with affording groceries, consider looking into local food distributions. These events are usually hosted by local groups and they provide basic grocery necessities to those in need. They tend to include produce, canned goods, and dry good and are handed out on a first-come, first-served basis. To find out if there is one near you, check your local news or a community Facebook page for your area.
Check out this article to get a glimpse of what a food distribution is and what kind of information you should look out for.
As you can see, it’s not impossible to save on groceries without undergoing radical financial transformation. With planning and a little discipline, you’ll be able to cut that grocery bill down to nearly half the size in no time.
5. Save coupons
The easiest way to save on groceries is to collect coupons and shop for specials. Keep those newspapers and fliers because most of them are loaded with these tools. Also, check the supermarket’s website before you go shopping to see if there are any promotions or deals. Another option is to download coupon apps on your phone where you can get credits for what you buy at the store. Once you get enough credits, you can either cash them out or get a gift card to one of your favorite stores or restaurants. A few fan favorites are:
4. Visit the farmers markets
Find out when and where farmers sell their produce and pay them a visit a couple times during the month. Not only do farmers markets usually have higher quality food, they’re often cheaper too. Pensacola has a great local farmer’s market called the Palafox Market. They set up every Saturday downtown (weather permitting), and they have tons of different food options such as meats, veggies, fruits, bread, sauces and spices, and tons more!