How to Save Money on Groceries

December 21, 2020

With a bit of planning, you can curb that spending and satisfy your hunger. 

Vegetables and fruits on a shopping tote

It’s easy to overspend on groceries and fill up your basket with things you feel like at the moment. Maybe it’s the vibe, strategic product placement, or even the colorful packaging that makes you feel hungry.

1. Start a food budget

Plan on spending 10-15% of your take-home pay on food, which includes both groceries and takeouts. It is easy to blow over your budget.

The average cost of monthly groceries for one person ranges from $162–372 depending on the location. Married couples spend somewhere between $371–773 each month. And when it comes to a family of four, the average cost for their monthly grocery bill shoots up to $570–1298 or more!

2. Shop while full

Believe it or not, it is simple to stick to your shopping list. The key is to avoid temptations while you shop. When you’re hungry, it’s more tempting to fill up a basket or cart with extra chips, ice cream, cookies, or frozen meals just in case. Fill your appetite, not your shopping cart.

3. Plan weekly meals and be creative

You are more likely to buy the items that you are going to eat when you plan weekly. Make a list of what you intend to cook for the week to avoid overspending. By planning, you can also reduce food waste. Find delicious recipes with similar ingredients you can efficiently use. You can have a ground turkey burger on Monday and ground turkey meatballs on Tuesday.

4. Avoid buying perishable food in bulk

Buying in bulk doesn’t always mean you’ll save money. As tempting as it is to stock up, avoid buying more than you need—especially when it comes to perishable items. Keep an eye out to compare the price per unit or ounce for the item you’re buying. Sometimes, it’s cheaper to purchase small quantities and minimize food waste.

5. Shop around different groceries

You will be surprised at the price differences in the grocery stores. Get out of your comfort routine of going to your favorite grocery and start comparing prices. Competing grocery stores have weekly sales that will work to your advantage. Think long-term when it comes to your shopping plan. It might be worth it to keep extra cash in your pocket.

Find out what you have in your pantry to avoid buying the same items. It is easy to overspend when you buy extra food items for “just in case” scenarios. Keep an open mind about generic brand. You’ll save more in the long run.