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5 Simple Grocery Shopping Hacks That'll Save You a Lot of Money

Written by Grace & Silas
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There are quite a few ways to save money on food besides cutting coupons. Yes, cutting coupons is a great way to cut expenses down at the grocery store, don’t get me wrong. But there are much bigger things to look at when thinking of ways to save money.

MONEY SAVING GROCERY TIP #1

I learned this first money saving tip through a job experience I had.

A couple of years ago I use to be a live in nanny. Yeah, it wasn’t that great. It seemed like a good job at the time; I had a place to stay rent free as long as I took care of a couple kids. Turns out, sometimes kids don’t always want to cooperate when you’re trying to take care of them (dem kids were crazy).

But moving beyond this, I got to see some of the living habits that weren’t good for this family. And one of the primary things I saw was how they wasted money on their food. I had to work with it… literally. One of my chores besides watching over the kids was to do their dishes. Wasn’t a bad job, in fact I didn’t mind it. But what I did care about was the leftovers.

They would make a meal almost every night, and then like clockwork towards the end of the week, they would almost never get eaten, and down the garbage disposal or down the trash bin it would go. All of that food wasted.

According to a study done by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the average American family wastes $2,200 on food a year. That’s money that could have been saved for a vacation or have the car in the shop.

Meal planning can help with this, but also being intentional on finishing what was made. I know, I’m being Captain Obvious right now. I promise I’m not trying to annoy you, I’m just trying to hit the point home.

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MONEY SAVING GROCERY TIP #2

Since I already mentioned meal planning, I should probably let you know why this is a great way to save money.

Simply put, meal planning allows you to know exactly what you’re going to get (make sure you set your budget first), and stick to the list. I used to work at Trader Joe’s, ya know, that crazy place with super happy employees (yeah, best job ever). So many times as I’d be ringing customer’s items up, they would let know that they came in just to get a few things and ended up getting a cart full of stuff they didn’t need.

While I understand how tempting Trader Joe’s impulse buys are, these people didn’t go in with a plan. You need to write down, before the week starts, exactly what meals you’ll make and their ingredients. Determine how much you want to spend and stick to it. Don’t be distracted by those dark chocolate covered fries, or whatever crazy things they come out with to catch your eye.

Oh, and make sure you don’t go to the grocery store hungry… yeah, I’ve had to learn that the hard way. That meal planning budget didn’t quite stick to the budget.

MONEY SAVING GROCERY TIP #3

So here are some things you should probably not purchase, or at least not purchase for every meal.

Meat. It’s expensive and shoots your grocery bill up fast. Plan some meals that don’t have meat in them. I promise you, I’m not trying to tell you to be a vegetarian (although I have nothing against vegetarians). I’m a meatatarian just like many of you (that’s a word right?), but sometimes cooking a few dishes without meat will save you money in the end.

Don’t feel like planning a vegetarian dish? That’s cool. Just be sure to purchase chicken the majority of the time. It’s much less expensive than beef. And sometimes they’ll knock the price down because of its due date. Don’t fear the due date if it goes bad in a couple of days, just freeze it and it’ll be perfectly fine by the time you take it out to thaw for dinner.

The second thing is alcohol. Sounds obvious right? Ok, so I’m being Captain Obvious again, sorry. But things like alcohol can seriously ruin the budget.

Still want to purchase a couple drinks? Keep it in the cupboard, don’t put it directly into the fridge. Sounds weird, but it actually makes it last longer and saves you money. When you have to take one or two out and put it in the fridge, put it in one of the lower drawers. You’ll forget about it and then the next day when you see it, you’ll get it out and enjoy it then. It’s a little bit of a mind trick, but it works, I’ve tried it.

MONEY SAVING GROCERY TIP #4

Ever heard of the envelope system? Well a guy called Dave Ramsey (seriously awesome dude, check him out), created a system where you label different envelopes for different spending categories. And then you put the amount of money that you want to spend into each of those envelopes.

So when you go grocery shopping, have an envelope (or just take cash), with how much you want to spend. Don’t take your cards with you, leave those home! Then you won’t be tempted to purchase something that’s not in the budget. Seems pretty simple right?

MONEY SAVING GROCERY TIP #5

So when I was a kid (ah yes, another story) and I’d go grocery shopping with my parents, I’d always wonder why they would sometimes get the off brands. I thought it was cool to get the brands that everyone knew. They were trustworthy to me and looked a whole lot better. Buuuut, they tasted exactly the same.

Don’t let that fancier packaging or that known label fool you. They hike their prices way up because they know that people will buy them. So check out the other off brands (usually the store brand is the cheapest), of the product you want. If you’re a bit suspicious of the difference in taste, look at the back; the majority of the time they have the exact same ingredients in them. The only thing you’ll notice that’s different is the price tag. Trust me, your wallet will thank you.

 


 

There are plenty of ways to save money on food, so expect a part two soon. Saving money can be hard, especially when essentials such as food or rent, get in the way. But thankfully there are some great ways to budget your food expenses so you don’t end up looking at the receipt and wincing.

I hope these tips were helpful for you, but if there was something that wasn’t answered or you have some tips of your own, let me know in the comments below or email me! I’d love to get back to you and hear you out!

Join my EXCLUSIVE email list for money saving and making hacks!

Here I'll give you some of the best tips and hacks I have for making and saving money.

So whether you want to increase your income, get out of debt, or just some simple saving tips, I've got you covered!

Powered by ConvertKit
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Meet Silas & Grace

Silas and Grace always had a passion for travel. So in 2016, they started Chasing Foxes as an independent income source. 4 months after launch, they were making enough money from their blog to travel full-time, and in the past 5 years, they’ve been able to encourage others in their blogging journeys too. Learn more about Silas & Grace.

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