Grocery shopping is one of the few inevitables of life. No matter your lifestyle, you just have to eat. And that means putting a part of your income towards food item shopping.
Sadly, the rising inflation rate around the world has caused the prices of food items to go up a ladder. Stuff that cost a few bucks a while back are now selling for a lot more recently.
Indeed, times are hard for everyone. And nobody knows when it’s going to end.
In the meantime, we must keep living our lives, which means shopping for groceries like we used to.
In this post, we want to look at the number of ways you can do that without necessarily breaking your savings.
7 tips for saving money at the grocery store
1. Compare prices
If you live in an area with lots of grocery stores, you should consider comparing the prices of items at the various stores. Usually, you will find opportunities for reduced prices when you check out multiple stores.
I know a lot of people may frown at the idea of checking out multiple stores before making a purchase because they feel it’s too stressful. But you need not step out of your house to compare stores again. With sites like nearindex, you can make all the comparisons from the comfort of your home. The site lets you see the best grocery outlets near you, with reviews on each store from real-time customers.
2. Shop with grocery rewards card
Did you know your mode of payment at checkout can impact the eventual amount you get to pay for your groceries?
I still see a lot of folks paying for groceries with cash at grocery outlets, and I’m always surprised. Like, don’t these guys know about the many benefits they can enjoy by switching to card payments?
Lots of card companies have grocery rewards programs that reward users with discounted purchases anytime they pay for groceries with cards. Some companies make their offers in the form of direct discounts, which can be enjoyed at partner stores, while some offers cash-back deals.
By and large, you should consider signing up with card companies that offer special grocery rewards programs. That way, you can enjoy discounted purchases on all your grocery shopping.
3. Join the wholesale gang
You can save a lot of money by buying your food items in bulk rather than shopping for them singly. Many wholesale outlets like Costco allow individuals to save on shopping costs by joining their wholesale clubs. Although you’ll be paying to join the club (Costco’s wholesale membership costs a minimum of $60), the amount you get to save eventually will offset any membership fee you have to pay.
The only downside with joining a wholesale club is that you get to spend a lot of money upfront. If you’re the type that loves to stock up on food items or have a big family, this should not be a problem. However, buying in bulk may be too expensive for those who prefer to shop on a budget.
4. Sign up for loyalty programs
The beautiful thing about loyalty programs is that you can join as many of them as you like.
For example, if you’re in Canada, you can sign up for Loblaws loyalty program or Metro’s. The former offers you savings of up to $99 per year, while the latter allows you to enjoy up to 3% OFF your monthly shopping at METRO stores. Imagine that you sign up for both. That’s a lot of cost saving all year round. Interestingly, you can still sign up for more besides those two mentioned. As a matter of fact, you can sign up for ten grocery stores’ loyalty programs.
It’s a shame that not every shopper takes advantage of this wonderful opportunity. It’s my hope that you change the narrative for yourself from now on.
5. Take advantage of coupons
Almost all supermarkets on the planet offer coupons. Once you’re done signing up for a store’s loyalty program, the next line of action is to clip their coupons. You can do that by looking through the store’s website, sifting through their daily newsletters, or checking through their mobile apps.
Many third-party apps and sites also curate coupon codes for different stores around the world these days. You can look up these sites on Google and bookmark them for later. Even if you don’t find coupon deals that interest you today, you may find one tomorrow.
6. Buy Go in with a clear budget and list of to-buys
Never walk into a grocery store without a clear breakdown of what you want to buy. A lot of people are guilty of not having a to-buy list before visiting a store, and that’s why they end up making impulse purchases they never planned for.
For someone looking to save on grocery purchases, you cannot afford not to shop with a budget and to-buy list in hand. Having this sort of list is absolutely important, as it helps you stay on budget.
If you’re a family person, it’s advisable to leave the kids at home when shopping at a grocery store to avoid impulse cravings and unnecessary expenses.
7. Always look for ‘items on sale’ even if you don’t need them
I have a habit of always adding a few dollars to my budget whenever I’m going shopping. This is for any ‘items on sale’ opportunity I find.
As you well know, supermarkets are always running promos to attract and woo customers. Many a time, they would place some goods in the ‘items on sale’ category to facilitate their sales. You can find these reduced-price items at the store’s entrance or the aisles’ ends.
Even though I may not need a particular item at that point in time, if I feel it’s something useful, I will quickly grab it while it’s in ‘items on sale’. This habit has helped me save a lot of money on groceries.
For example, the last time I went shopping, I grabbed a pack of cereal, even though I still had extras I hadn’t yet opened in the house. I was able to get that for $8 less than the original amount I normally get the product for. This morning, I opened the pack and had my cereal for breakfast. My decision that day has saved me an extra $8 today.