How to Save Money on Groceries – 9 New Techniques You Should Try

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I’m willing to bet that saving money on groceries is pretty high on the priority list of most households. And that is why I decided to write this post. In it, I’ll be showing you how to save money grocery shopping.

These ways to save money on groceries will free up funds in your household budget. And because of that, it’ll be easier to allocate funds to other important things, whether it’s a car payment or your child’s education fund.

Without further ado, here’s my list of ways to save on groceries:

Do an inventory before you head out to shop

While making your grocery list, make sure you look at your fridge, freezer, and pantry before deciding what to buy. If you already have an ample supply of one item, there really isn’t any reason to buy more of it. For example, if you already have enough butter to last you until your next shopping trip, there’s no reason to purchase butter during today’s grocery run.

The key here is to avoid redundancies on your shopping list. Plus, a shopping list will help you stick to only planned purchases.

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Know how fast you consume certain items

I have a notebook I keep stuck to my fridge. In it I’ve listed down the most common items I buy — from foodstuff to household cleaning materials to gardening supplies — and how long they last. Some homemakers call this the “burn rate.” It refers to how fast you and your family consume certain items.

A few examples: 15 eggs last only about 7 days in my home since my wife and I are on a low-carb diet. A tub of cream cheese also lasts a week. A large bottle of fabric conditioner lasts about a month. And so forth.

Knowing your burn rate is important because it helps you plot your future purchases. For example, if we just recently bought a fabric conditioner, we’ll know that there’s enough space in next week’s grocery budget for other stuff.

This also helps us stay disciplined during sales. We once found a deal for eggs. An entire tray (30 eggs) was being sold for just a little over the price of a dozen eggs. As tempting as that was, we knew that we wouldn’t be able to finish those eggs before they went bad.

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Shop every other week, if possible

We used to head to the grocery whenever there was a need for food or supplies. After a year of doing this, my wife and I checked how much we had spent, and we were surprised to find out that a large chunk of money went to gas and parking. We could have afforded several month’s worth of supplies with that money!

So we decided to limit our grocery trips to the middle and end of the month. This saved us a lot of money on gas and parking, but it also forced us to make better grocery lists, since our supplies had to last two weeks. Also, less shopping trips meant fewer opportunities to make impulse purchases.

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Buy in bulk

I know I recently mentioned sticking within your burn rate. But for items with long shelf lives, like canned goods, bottled water, cured meats, detergent, and paper products, you can buy in bulk.

Regular groceries usually have bulk sales, but if you want to go all-in on buying in bulk, consider a wholesale club membership. These clubs include establishments like Costco, Sam’s Club, or BJ’s Wholesale Club. You can get a lot of items for way cheaper there, but do consider the fact that you will have to pay an annual membership to shop at those places. So consider how much you’ll be saving by buying in bulk and compare that amount to how much you’ll have to pay for membership.

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Compare prices diligently

Always go for the cheaper brand. But with that said, comparing products isn’t always an apples-to-apples situation. A can of tuna from brand Y will have a different size from brand Z, making it a bit more complicated to compare prices. To make comparing goods a bit easier, divide the price of the product by its weight or volume. That way you can compare the two brands more accurately.

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Don’t hesitate to buy generic or house brands

I know it’s much more gratifying to buy well-known brands. We’ve been conditioned to associate these brands with quality and safety, but when you really think about it, most products are almost the same. The higher price of branded products (and the prestige that comes from them) is the effect of marketing, not actual quality.

You’d be able to save so much more money if you went for generic or house brands. A branded 1 lb canister of salt doesn’t have to cost upwards of $5. Get the no-name version, and put the money you saved to the more important stuff.

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Join your store’s loyalty program

I have what you would consider a “dad wallet”: it’s about two inches thick. Not because of the cash inside it, but because of the various membership cards I have crammed into it. Drugstore cards, coffee shop cards, and yes, a membership card for our grocery. Being a member of that loyalty program helps us accumulate points, which we can redeem later on. We don’t redeem very often, but when we do, it’s usually an awesome experience. Plus, these cards typically can be used in the rest of the store, not just the grocery. So it isn’t hard to maximize the loyalty program’s perks.

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Know when groceries hold sales

The reason my wife and I scheduled our grocery trips around the middle and end of the month is simple: those are paydays, and that’s when our regular big box store holds its sales. They don’t hold sales all the time, but we increase the odds of having a sale during our grocery trips. Next time you do your groceries, try to observe when sales are held and try to plan your grocery trips around them.

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Be on the lookout for bargains

Brands usually provide coupons (both the printed and digital varieties), and those amount to significant savings. Some people have even turned the act of using coupons into a hobby (which they call “couponing”). Always look through your daily newspaper (if you still have one), or the social media feeds of your favorite brands, for news on any upcoming bargains. Be vigilant! Those savings will definitely add up!

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