Has your budget been harder to stick to lately? Does your grocery bill seem to get higher with each passing week? I feel your pain. Grocery prices seem to be mimicking gas prices with their volatility. I’ve got a few common sense ways for you to save money every week at the grocery store without becoming one of those crazy coupon obsessed people you see on TV. And while these may not be life changing ideas they are good grocery store rules to remember.
1. Where you shop makes all the difference. If you have an Aldi anywhere near you give it a try. It is definitely a different shopping experience. You don’t have access to all the name brands or anywhere near the selection of items that one of the major grocery stores has but it is totally worth it. The more I shop at Aldi the more I love shopping in a smaller store. While their selection may be more limited, I don’t have to wade through 6 types of one thing and do the math to figure out the best deal. Aldi just has the best price on pretty much everything and often by a substantial margin. I’m out of there quicker and with more cash in my wallet. Double win.
If you don’t have an Aldi look for a secondhand food store in your area. I used to shop at one in college that carried the grocery store rejects including foods with dented up packaging. The meat kind of scared me but a lot of the other stuff was perfectly edible.
2. Make a list and stick to it. Plan out your meals ahead of time and you’ll definitely save money. Before I started living by this rule we had to throw out groceries that went bad all the time. We bought stuff that looked good as we walked down the aisles but had no idea when we were going to eat it. If you schedule your meals before the week starts you’ll avoid this conundrum and cease wasting money AND food. And the amount of food that we waste as American’s is alarming.
3. Allow room in your cart for deep discount items, especially non perishable’s. I realize that I am kind of breaking rule number two here but it’s broken in the name of savings, not impulse. For example, you can often buy canned goods at a ridiculously low fare before they jump back up to their regular price. I might or might not be known for coming home with multiple boxes of Cheez-it’s but, when they are buy one get one free it’s a no-brainer.
4. Clean out your pantry. Every few months you should look to see what might be sitting around unused in your pantry. You might get a few meals out of the stuff that lurks in the shadows. If you are wondering why it’s there and not sure when you might use it give it away to a local food shelter.
These steps are key to fighting back against the grocery bill rise that we are all feeling right now. This might take a bit more effort but it will definitely be worth it when you see your savings. And if you happen to be a coupon nut, more power to you!