There are two ways to save money on your groceries, buy less or pay less. But it doesn’t end there because there are lots of different ways to do these two things.
Buying less always sounds like you have to cut down on what you buy but this isn’t always true. Spending less always sounds like going into the supermarket with a bag full of coupons. True, these are ways to cut down on your grocery shopping bills but with a little bit of thought you could probably cut down your spending many other ways too.
You may be able to buy less because you are using less or reusing the same things more than once like plastic bags and containers. You can also buy less by making things last longer like diluting fruit juices. This will help you save money and calories.
Another way to buy less and save on your grocery shopping is to buy smart and think about all the things that you might be wasting because they’ve gone bad or expired before it gets used. Large yogurt pots and some fruits and vegetables can cause this problem.
Also think about all the disposable items you might be buying that could be replaced by a permanent item, for example permanent coffee filters, plastic food containers instead of disposable bags, razors for shaving, even water filters. There must be tons of people throwing money away because they buy bottled water instead of using a water filter that dollar for dollar gives you probably ten times the same amount of fresh filtered water.
The most common ways to pay less for items is to buy the items on sale, buy cheaper brands, or buy in bulk. Often items that are reduced to clear are perfectly suitable to consume – it’s just that the store has to sell them quickly or face throwing them out.
Also avoid impulsive buying. Many people buy impulsively because the products are there on the shelf in front of them. You know what they say, never go grocery shopping when you are feeling hungry or without a list.
You can also shop around different stores to find bargains and you might be surprised by how much you can save.
Be weary of supermarket tricks. Things like raising the price of a popular brand for about two weeks then ‘price cutting’ to just below the original price to make it look like it’s on special offer.
Supermarkets can raise and lower their prices to match the supplier’s situation. So if a product supplier is struggling to supply apples one week, then the price will go up, and when the apples start flooding back in again, a special offer price will appear.
But don’t make the common mistakes that many people make. When supermarkets put things on special offer, such as ‘buy one and get one free’ people think this is a great deal. It often is, but this may make you simply consume more so you really won’t be saving much at all.
The best ‘two for the price of one’ offers are on things that you can only consume at a certain rate like bathroom and cleaning products, such as toothpaste and soap powder.
The same thing goes for coupons. Sure coupons are a great way to save money on groceries but if you’re buying things you normally wouldn’t buy or twice as much to get the special sale price then you may actually end up spending more. Often times the coupon offers are higher priced items than the store brands.
By the same token, be careful of store brand or value products that are cheaper imitations of the real thing. Buying lower quality can be a money saver if you choose wisely, but if you end up using twice as much and the product lasts half as long, then you might as well enjoy the real thing.