Money Management 101: Saving Cash While Grocery Shopping

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In this series of posts on money management, we’ll be bringing you some great tips and tricks to save on all of those day-to-day expenses. We’ll start today with groceries.

Now for many of us, the trip to the grocery store is the most dreaded adventure of the week—especially for those with large families or, even worse, teenage boys to feed (who we all know could spend an entire day just eating.) It can get expensive!

And these days many of us can no longer afford to satiate our family’s every culinary desire, and so we’ve had to cut back. But rather than scrimping on food that is good for us at the grocery and opting for cheaper junk food, there is a smarter way to save. Sure, it will take some discipline. Okay, it might take a bit more thought. But in the end, you’ll save a lot of money, you’ll get more bang for your buck, and you might even end up eating healthier. And who wouldn’t want that?

So check out these tips on how to better mange your money at the grocery store. And for more money management ideas, be sure to check out our post on how to feed your family for just $20 a day!

1)   Create a budget beforehand. Be sure to stick to it! And don’t forget, you can always spend less!

2)   Plan all your week’s meals in advance. This way, you won’t buy unnecessary ingredients.

3)   Look through your fridge and pantry before leaving. You don’t want to buy something you already have, especially if it is something that might not get used and will go bad.

4)   Go shopping alone. If at all possible, avoid taking friends or family to the store, so you won’t be influenced by anyone else’s ideas or the classic argument, “but I wannnnntt it!”

5)   Go shopping early. The early bird gets the worm, and in this case, the worm is a better selection of fresher groceries.

6)   Don’t shop hungry. You’ll end up buying what you’re craving; not necessarily what you need.  Drink water and eat a good snack before you shop.

7)   Don’t be afraid of store brands. Trust me, they taste the same. Don’t believe me? Just compare the ingredients!

8)   Don’t be afraid of coupons. Cut them from papers, print them online, get them from coupon books… However you get them, the result is the same: money saved.

9)   Shop according to monthly sales. During certain months of the year, certain products are fresher, less expensive, and even have huge sales. Check out the link for a calendar.

10)   Use this shopping calendar for deals on nearly everything. This calendar even includes the days of the week that are best for certain products!

11)    Beware of in-store marketing “booby traps”. Stores will try to trick you into buying, from the placement of certain products right down to lighting. Don’t be fooled!

12)    Compare prices. Go the old-fashioned way and visit multiple stores, or try this app, ShopSavvy. It’ll do all the comparing for you!

13)    Save your leftovers. Pack them for lunch for the whole family, or use your leftover veggies for an omelet in the morning!

14)    Plant a garden. This option may be a bit extreme for some people just looking to save in the store, but if you can hack it, it is the ultimate way to save on produce.

Be sure to come back next week for more money management tips: entertainment edition.

Do you have any grocery shopping tricks or tips? Share them below!

Sources: FiveCentNickel.com, TheKrazyCouponLady.com, LivingRichlyOnABudget.com, Bankrate.com, MangoMoney.com/blog

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