We all do it: go to the grocery store hungry. Before we know it, we’ve filled our cart with impulse-buy after impulse-buy… and spent money that we didn’t intend to spend.
1. Look In The Fridge
Before you head to the store, head to your fridge! Oftentimes, there are hidden meals in our refrigerators and cabinets—we just need to get creative.
For instance, one of my ex-boyfriends rarely cooked and it was pouring rain outside, so we didn’t want to go grocery shopping. I dug through his fridge and found an array of foods and made them into a random, yet tasty, pasta dish (I think it contained sautéed onions, white corn, and fresh Parmesan cheese). So, you never know what’s lurking behind those fridge doors!
2. Search The Cabinets
Usually, we have emergency food in the cabinets, right? Macaroni and cheese or soup will tide us over if all else fails.
3. Assess Meals For The Week
What will you and your family eat this week? Envision it and write it down (use recipes for help if you have to) before heading to the store and only buy what you need!
I know, much easier said than done! Those cupcakes look so good! So does that new Ben & Jerry’s flavor! And those tortilla chips…
EatingWell has a great meal planner so you can be prepared when you go to the store and know how to say no to those taunting cupcakes and ice cream!
4. Shop In Bulk
Costco and Sam’s Club exist for a reason, and that’s not only to help them, but us. You stock up on all your family’s favorites (like all those giant boxes of cereal and Clif Bars—who can have too many of those, right?).
In addition, Amazon’s “Subscribe & Save” can help lessen your grocery costs, so check that out for even more savings.
5. Comparison Shop
We do it when buying cars and clothes, so why not groceries, too? Ten cents here and twenty cents there adds up, so be sure to check out the price per unit to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
For instance, let’s talk about baby carrots. Yes, they’re are awfully cute and easy to eat… but, they also cost more than full-sized ones – just go to your grocery store and take a look. The same goes for milk: Do you really need that name-brand kind? Isn’t milk… milk?!
6. Use Coupons
There’s no reason not to use coupons! But, make sure you actually need the food item, don’t just buy it because it’s on sale. Sometimes, certain stores’ websites have coupons that are only online, so check those, too!
7. Find The Day-Old Section
Look for day-old bread and fruit and watch the savings add up. For instance, bananas are sometimes reduced so much—50 cents a pound less. If you buy two pounds a week, that’ll save you about $4 a month.
8. Explore The Bruised-Cans Section
The clearance bin is often neglected, so you may as well take a look there for all your canned soup and veggie needs.
9. Try Eliminating Meat At Least Once A Week
You may know about “Meatless Mondays,” where people—you guessed it—eat no meat. Well, since it’s usually the most pricey part of the meal, it will help your wallet and health. Get our cheap vegetarian meal ideas here.