6 Ways To Save More At The Grocery Store

Since we’ve tried to eliminate as much extra spending as we can on going out to eat (check out our January Savings Challenge here), you might wonder if our grocery budget has changed at all. We’re already watching our savings grow just by prepping our own food and eating at home more often, but shopping smart can help you save even more money! Keep a few of the tips below in mind the next time you have to re-stock your pantry…

1. Make a list. We keep a running grocery list on our refrigerator that we can access easily. Anytime we run out of anything, it gets written down right away so we don’t forget to grab it the next time we head out. Nothing is worse than coming home only to realize you need to run back out for something that was left behind.

2. Check to see what you already have. Before we add to our grocery list (either items that we’ve run out of or things we’ll need soon for something specific), we double-check to make sure we don’t already have it in our cabinets. I’m totally guilty of assuming we need something, just to get home from the store and find it behind a box or can that I was too lazy to move (which is why we have 5683240 cans of black beans in our house). Don’t waste money on items you already have at home!

3. Shop the right stores. We’ve switched to discounted grocery chains like Aldi and Trader Joe’s as opposed to Whole Foods and Giant Eagle, and I’ll never look back. Some stores, especially if you’re near a larger city, mark their prices higher for one reason or another, even though you can find the same thing or something similar elsewhere. Try a few out and see where you save the most.

4. Opt for generic brands. I used to insist on having brand-name products only for just about everything, I think mostly because they were what was familiar to me. After trying out the store-brand versions of most of the things we typically buy, I’ve come to realize there’s not really a difference, at least in most cases, other than their cost. There are still some things that I stick to (I prefer specific brands of chocolate for baking, for example), but try a few different kinds out and see if you can tell!

5. Don’t shop on an empty stomach. Nothing’s worse than strolling down the snack food aisle when your tummy is grumbling! You’re more likely to make unnecessary purchases when you’re hungry, because you’re bound to come across a number of things that look appealing to you at that moment that you might not normally purchase. Try to avoid using your nose near the baked goods department, too!

6. Avoid overpriced convenience foods. I’m not just talking about meals you find in the freezer, although they’re a part of it (because often times, you can buy the ingredients to make those meals yourself for cheaper, AND get more servings out of it), but I’m including things like pre-cut fruits and veggies you see in the produce section. Things like these might save you more time, but you’ll spend more paying for that extra “convenience” charge of having the work done for you. You’ll have to decide what’s worth more to you!

What ways do you use to save more when you’re grocery shopping? Have you found anything that does or doesn’t work well for you?