On average, Canadian households spend between $50 and $250 per week on groceries. The actual amount is dictated by family size and income level. Larger families need more groceries and the more affluent consciously or unconsciously gravitate towards more expensive items. But regardless of the size of your family and income, your grocery bills can quickly grow out of proportions and unbalance your monthly budget if you are not a prudent shopper.
So here are 5 ways you can save money on your next grocery store trip:
1. Make a shopping list and stick to it: Having a grocery list before heading to the grocery store will prevent you from buying on impulse and giving in to temptations. This often results in your buying things that you do not really need and forgetting to buy the things that you actually need. A shopping list helps you buy only the items that you absolutely need and avoid the ones that you can do without. You can view it as a carefully considered plan that addresses your weekly requirements.
2. Do not take the children: Taking children to the grocery store may sound like a good idea since you will have company and a helping hand to carry the groceries. But from a “saving money” point of view, that is a very impractical idea as kids invariably always want to eat something whether they are hungry or not. Grocery stores know this and they display tempting foods where children can see easily – often right next to the entrance. Leave the children at home if you want to save money.
3. Buy in bulk when there are sales and promotions: Many groceries stores have sales and promotions on a regular basis. Whether it’s through coupons or their flyers. If you know that there is going to be a sale not too far in the future, then you should wait for the day. Buying in bulk during sales and promotions often saves you up to 50% or more off the money that you normally spend on your grocery trip. Of course, you should be careful not to buy more than just the right quantity of the things that can go bad quickly, such as tomatoes and bananas.
4. Compare prices: A prudent shopper always compares prices – of different items in the same store and of the same items in different stores. If you want to save money on your grocery bills, then you should also develop the habit of comparing prices. Because there can be considerable differences in prices, you can save a lot of money by buying cheaper items. However, “cheaper” should not be at the expense of “quality”. Consuming low quality food can often lead to sickness, which can be more expensive.
5. Shop only once a week: Shopping can be addictive and the more often you visit the grocery store, the more money you will spend unnecessarily. So make it a habit to visit the grocery store with a shopping list only once a week. In fact, you should buy all non-food items such as toothpaste, soaps, shampoos, detergents, bleach and toiletries at the beginning of each month to last the month. You should buy food for the whole week during the weekend. This way, you will not spend money on unnecessary things.
What are some tips you use when grocery shopping?