According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the average family of four spends around $700 to $1,000 a month on food. That’s a lot of money, especially considering that most families waste around 40% of food each month!
Considering that the average family is wasting so much food, and most probably aren’t taking part in the many ways to save money on groceries I list below, there is a lot of room for people to cut down on their grocery bill.
Just think about it: If you’re currently spending $750 a month on food and you’re wasting an average of 40% (yes, this seems high, but this is the average!), that’s $300 that you are throwing away each month. In addition to no longer wasting food, the tips below may be able to save you even more money on groceries. That could be a nice chunk of change to keep in your pocket each month.
That’s a couple thousand dollars that you may be able to save each year!
Grocery spending is an area that nearly everyone can work to improve on, including myself, which is why I’ve created today’s post.
And yes, you can eat well on an affordable grocery budget.
Related posts on how to save money on groceries:
Below are several ways to save money on your next trip to the grocery store.
How to save money on groceries:
Plan your grocery trips.
Before you head to the grocery store, you should plan your trip. By doing so, you’ll be able to save money on groceries because your trip will be better planned for finding sales, deals, buying exactly what you need, and so on.
Some of the things that you should plan include (these will all be discussed further below):
Plan what meals you will have
Always shop with a grocery list
See if anything you are buying is on sale
Bring any coupons that you need
Know your stores
Meal plan to save money on groceries.
Meal planning is something that has completely changed our lives. We eat healthier than ever, we are saving money, and we have less food waste.
Meal planning is great for many reasons, as it helps you save money as well as prevent food waste. By purchasing only what you need to make a meal, you will have less food waste.
If you have trouble eating at home, then try out $5 Meal Plan. They send meal plans directly to your email and it is my favorite meal planning service.
It’s only $5 a month (the first two weeks are free), and you get meal plans sent straight to you along with the exact shopping list you need in order to create the meals. Each meal costs around $2 per person or less. This allows you to save time because you won’t have to meal plan anymore, and it will save you money as well! If you are interested in joining for free, click here.
Always shop with a grocery list.
Shopping without a grocery list is a bad idea because you generally won’t know what you need, how much you need, or anything like that. This may lead to you buying items that you then end up throwing away because you don’t use them before they spoil.
Shopping with a grocery list can also prevent you from purchasing unecessary items because you’ll only go to the aisles and areas that are on your list, rather than scanning every single aisle and shelf in the grocery store.
This will also help prevent impulse purchases.
See if there are any sales for the items you are buying.
Grocery stores have sales that cycle on a regular basis, and you can usually find what’s on sale online, in a newspaper insert, or in the mail.
By knowing what’s on sale, you may be able to stock up on an item or plan your meals around the sales that grocery stores are having.
For example, if there is a sale on chicken, then you may want to have more meals that revolve around chicken that week. If strawberries are on sale, then you may want to purchase many containers of them to freeze, can, or store them in some other way.
Use coupons when grocery shopping.
Surprisingly, most people don’t use coupons, even if there’s one right in front of them. Well I’m here to tell you, if you have a coupon for something that you’re going to buy, use it! This is such an easy way to save money on groceries, yet so many people skip it.
Coupons can be found everywhere these days, in places such as:
Newspapers or weekly ad inserts
In cell phone apps for the grocery store
At the grocery store
Even if you believe that the small amount isn’t worth it to bring a coupon, it is. Coupons can add up quickly, which means you may be able to take a good percentage off your grocery bill each time you go to the store.
Now, you do want to be careful when grocery shopping with coupons. You shouldn’t buy something just because you have a coupon for it, as this may lead to wasting money and food if the items are never used.
Know your stores to learn how to save money on groceries.
Different stores have different prices, values, and sales. By knowing which sale does what, you may be able to plan your grocery trips around different stores so that you can save money on groceries.
Don’t grocery shop when you’re hungry.
Shopping when you’re hungry may lead to you spending much more money than you originally planned.
This is because everything will look appetizing, and you may start putting several random items in your grocery cart that you wouldn’t have bought otherwise.
Purchase a water filter.
According to The Water Project, the average person in the U.S. spends around $100 per year on bottled water.
Instead of spending $100 on bottled water each year, you can drink the water from your own home. You can even buy a water filter if you want to.
Note: Yes, I realize there are some towns out there where the water is not clean and that water needs to be bought, but that is not the average person.
Compare prices on items.
Generic items aren’t always cheaper than their name brand counterparts, but sometimes they are. Before deciding on an item, you may want to compare generic and similar items to see if you are able to save some money. If you can, be sure to compare quality, size, and so on.
There are some items that we nearly always buy generic (or whatever is cheaper) because we don’t notice a difference. These include sugar, rice, cereal and canned goods.
Complete an inventory check.
When was the last time you really took a look at what you have in your pantry, fridge, and freezer? You may have some items buried in there that you have completely forgotten about!
For the next few days or weeks you may want to plan your meals around what you already have. By using what you already have you can make sure nothing goes bad, and you are able to save money on your next grocery trip.
Don’t forget about the top and bottom shelves.
Typically, the middle shelves at grocery stores contain the most expensive items. Grocery stores do this because that’s usually where people’s eyes are drawn.
When you go shopping, be sure to scan prices and items that are on the other shelves to make sure that you’re not missing out on a better deal.
Skip the premade and precut items.
Premade and precut foods, such as sliced fruit or seasoned meat, are usually marked up significantly. Plus, with things such as precut fruit or prepackaged fruit, you may also be wasting materials such as plastic.
I recently saw something where a grocery store had peeled oranges for sale in plastic containers. Oranges are already in the perfect “container,” so why should they be peeled for you?!
Watch as things are being scanned.
I used to be a cashier at a retail store, and I know that things don’t always ring up correctly. Due to that, it is wise to watch as items are being scanned as something may ring up more than once, or they may even scan for the incorrect price.
By watching what’s being scanned, you can catch any mistakes or incorrect pricing right away.
Find the clearance grocery items.
Grocery stores often have clearance racks or even aisles dedicated to items discounted because they don’t think they will sell in time.
You may find meats, breads, and more for a fraction of the cost.
Sign up for the grocery store’s loyalty card.
Many grocery stores have loyalty cards, and simply signing up for them may save you 10% or more on your purchase each time.
Signing up usually just takes a few minutes, so even if it’s not your regular grocery store, it can be worth it to sign up.
Shop with cash.
One of the best ways to save money on groceries is to go shopping with only cash.
By doing this, you will watch your grocery list and spending very closely because you know exactly how much money you have to work with.
Are you looking for ways to save money on groceries? How much do you spend on groceries each month? Hope you learned how to save money on groceries today! 🙂