Most people spend most of their income on groceries. Though feeding ourselves (and our families) is a necessary expense, there’s no harm in looking for strategic ways to save money when you fill up your cart.
Figuring out how to save money on groceries can save you thousands each year. By perfecting your grocery budget, you can make some serious contributions to your savings goals. Here are our 12 simple tips for saving money on groceries.
- Make a plan and stick to the list.
If you’re wondering how to save money on groceries, this is one of the easiest ways. Make a meal plan and grocery list before you leave the house. When you get to the store, stick to the list. Don’t give yourself any room for budget-breaking surprises.
- Shop in season
When you’re grocery shopping on a budget, it’s super important to living by this rule. Buying in seasons will help reduce the cost. So, throughout the year, make it a point to only buy fruits and veggies that are in season.
- Pay with cash
The best way to be sure you’ll end up with a lower bill is to stick to your grocery budget and pay with cash. When you go to the store with cash in hand, you know exactly how much you can spend—because once the cash runs out, that’s it. Plus, it’ll help you prioritize the meat-and-vegetable necessities rather than the ice-cream-and-cookie impulse buys. Those little extras are okay if you plan for them.
The first key to getting a big bargain is to negotiate everything—yes, even at the grocery store. The sticker price is the starting point, not the final price. Everything is negotiable. You just have to ask.
- Don’t buy more than you need.
We love a deal. Everyone loves a deal. But if you get suckered into buying stuff you don’t really need, did you really get a deal at all? Don’t buy something just because it’s on sale or because you have a coupon. If it wasn’t part of your planned grocery list, then you still spent more money than you were intending to.
- Think before you buy in bulk.
Buying in bulk is amazing when it actually saves you money. Don’t assume that the big bulk buys at the discount stores are automatically the cheaper option. When you’re grocery shopping on a budget, be sure to stop and compare the price per unit or ounce for the item you’re buying.
As tempting as it is to stock up, don’t buy more than you really need—especially when it comes to perishable items.
- If you buy it, use it
Nothing is worse than discovering funky fruits and vegetables floating through the abyss in the back of your fridge. What’s even sadder is that those rotten cucumbers and moldy peaches are cedi bills going right in the trash.
Try your best to actually use what you buy at the grocery store. Put a list of inventory on the front of your refrigerator if that will help jog your memory. Whatever you do, just don’t let those items go to waste.
- Start freezing and storing meals now.
Need to figure out how to save money on food fast? Say hello to freezer meals. There are a ton of freezer meal recipes online. Look them up! You can set aside a Saturday to make a bunch of freezer meals and then reap the benefits later on down the road. Not only will you save money but you’ll also save time. And you won’t have to eat the same meal every day out of fear your ingredients will go bad.
- Eat leftovers for lunch.
We all know this—going out for lunch will seriously eat into your food budget. If you’re dropping GH₵20 just twice a week, that’s GH₵160 a month being spent on going out to eat (and we’re not even talking a nice dinner out with friends on Friday night). Don’t waste your money when you can take leftovers and save some cash.