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**Easy Ways to Save More on Groceries**
Today I have a guest post from Gracia Smith on easy ways to save more on groceries. Gracia is a working mom and freelance writer. She loves sharing her ‘fabulously frugal’ tips for other parents looking to give their families the most while saving money around the house. When she’s not writing about personal finance or parenting, she loves organic gardening with her three kids. Take it away Gracia!!
Easy Ways to Save More on Groceries
We’ve all done it before. You get your paycheck and you’re suddenly flush with funds to spend. Ideally, you should squirrel away that hard-earned money in savings while budgeting for recurring bills like car payments, your rent or mortgage, student loans, or utilities. After that, things like groceries and other basics may come to mind. While you may be tempted to go on a comically overpriced Whole Foods binge, there is another way you can go grocery shopping without spending half your paycheck. Aside from the obvious couponing and price comparisons, let’s take a look at some lesser known ways to save more while keeping your kitchen stocked.
Buy in Bulk
While you probably don’t need a 48-count package of Tabasco sauce, buying in bulk can save you valuable money when it comes to household staples. Think about how many times you buy items like milk, bread, grains like flour or rice, or canned goods. Now, think about how much money you could save if you didn’t have to buy these products at the unit price markups that grocery stores typically charge.
While big box membership stores like Sam’s Club and Costco boast savings of up to 22-40% on household basics, you may be deterred by the prospect of lugging all that home. Luckily, the rise of eCommerce has opened the door for online bulk and wholesale companies that sell to individual consumers no matter where they are! Stores like Warehouse 115 and even Amazon allow customers to shop from trusted brands and have their orders shipped directly to their homes.
Don’t Shop Hungry
It may sound like a no-brainer, but you’ll spend more money on needless junk food if you head to the grocery store without having eaten anything. If you’ve heard the adage, “your eyes are bigger than your stomach,” then you may already be familiar with what it feels like to go shopping while hungry. Not only does this lead you to act like a proverbial kid in a candy store, a Reuters article cites 2013 research that shows that grocery shopping on an empty stomach led to a disproportionate amount of unhealthy junk food prioritized over more cost-conscious, healthy food that would have lasted longer.
According to the study’s sample of 68 adults, some subjects were given wheat thins to sate their hunger while others were told not to eat anything for five hours until they went grocery shopping. Ultimately, researchers found that the hungry participants bought 6 high-calorie food items versus 4 from the participants that had eaten a snack.
Plan Meals Effectively
Whether you’re planning on cooking a heavy meal that gives you up to 3 to 4 days of leftovers or you’re thinking about easy 30-minute meals during the workweek, planning meals is a proven method of cutting costs around the kitchen.
The bloggers at Cashcowcouple have an interesting approach to this. Buy first, then make a meal plan later. While this may seem counterintuitive, it’s done with the purpose of letting you focus on items that are actually on sale rather than forcing you to stick to a recipe for the sake of an ingredient. If you’re looking online ahead of time. Simply search for a generic term on Google like “easy roast chicken,” then select a recipe that calls for ingredients you can find on sale.
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Easy, Affordable Grocery Shopping
Ultimately, taking control of your finances starts when you set some basic ground rules and priorities, and managing how much you spend on household groceries is a great first step. Whether you’re buying for yourself or feeding a family of four, these are tips that will hopefully lead you to savvier, smarter grocery shopping. Good luck, and stay on the lookout for the best deals out there!
Gracia Smith is a working mom and freelance writer. She loves sharing her ‘fabulously frugal’ tips for other parents looking to give their families the most while saving money around the house. When she’s not writing about personal finance or parenting, she loves organic gardening with her three kids.
Thank you so much Gracia!! Do you have tips you would like to add to our list? Please share it with the rest of us.
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