Have you ever entered the grocery store with your pockets full and left with almost no money?
If yes then you’re not alone.
It’s not entirely your fault, you thought you would buy things you only need, maybe a few things you don’t need and go home.
Instead, you bought a lot of things you need, a lot of things you want and almost half of the things stores wanted you to buy.
If you don’t follow these 29 grocery tips shared below you are surely going to spend a lot more money than you imagined leaving you with nothing for other luxuries and savings. Thus destroying your budget and creating financial problems.
Following are the 29 ways you can save money on groceries:
1. Rethink your dinner
In the good old days, dinner was considered an enormous feast where there were 5 to 10 different dishes to indulge in.
But today life is more practical and has a lot of variety to eat from and this just ends up wasting food. You don’t need 10 different things to eat, all you need is some carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fat in your meals.
I suggest you stop excess cooking and start cooking smart. Science states that the dinner you eat shouldn’t be too heavy on your digestive system.
You can make curd rice or just some simple old dal khichdi or veggies of your choice with two chapattis along with a salad should be an ideal dinner.
2. Take a close Look at your Fridge
Don’t pile up foods just because you think you don’t have anything to cook with. Take some time and check your fridge, what ingredients do you have and what all can you make with it.
You’d be surprised to find out that you could cook meals for another 3 days easily.
If you find it difficult to figure out what to cook, simply type whatever you have in the fridge on google and it will show you the various recipes which include ingredients you have at home.
3. Pay with Cash, Cash, and only Cash
One effective way to save quite some money is by paying cash, Ditch that credit/debit card, and instead, opt for cash payments.
Now every time before you head to the counter, you will see how much money you have in your wallet, calculate the approximate bill in your head and if you fall short of money, just remove things you don’t really need. This will save you a lot of money as you don’t really carry a lot of cash.
4. Every item you add to your cart, add it in your mind
If you start adding up the prices of everything you purchase, you won’t be surprised if the bill came up to be too much. You already have an estimate of what it might be, so you can remove some items beforehand.
This might make you stop and ask yourself – wait, do I really need chicken tandoori tonight? Probably not because I have already cooked my meal.
5. Round-Up every item you buy
Another easy math trick to use to your advantage is rounding up every number to its higher end.
Let’s say you buy a pack of apples for ₹260, rather than adding ₹260 in your mind or your calculator, round it up to ₹300, and add that. This way you’ll always make sure you stay under budget.
6. Stick to a delicious meal plan
This is actually quite fun. Figuring out the meal plan for the week helps you get creative, save a lot of your time in the week and save you money.
Try to use ingredients you already have at home and buy things you don’t have. You can pick a day for cooking everything for the week either a Saturday or a Sunday and deep freeze it.
7. Start Freezing & Storing your meals
There are tons of recipes online on how to cook in advance and freeze your meals. Use this to your advantage.
Cook your foods in bulk and store them in the freezer. You will not only save money but also a lot of time. Wow, that’s a whole lot of awesomeness right!
8. Try MMM’s
Meatless meal Monday’s. I know meat is delicious but do you know what else it is? Expensive.
Eating meat regularly will increase your cost and destroy your budget. Try not to eat non-veg foods for at least a day a week, preferably Mondays.
It not only saves your money but reducing meat has also been proven to improve your health and mind. Do give MMM’s a try and see your expenses reducing.
9. BYOB every time
No, it’s not what you think!!! Bring your own bag every single time. Every store takes advantage of the situation and charges you hefty prices just for the bag.
It’s a total loss for you and a complete gain for the store owner. So next time you buy groceries don’t forget to BYOB!
10. Purchase store brands
Want another easy way to save money on groceries? Buy store brands over your daily brands.
Store brands are nothing but the store owners private labeling other products into their own products, don’t worry it’s legal and way cheaper as the store has complete flexibility on prices.
You end up getting a 30% discount on store brands over the other brands.
The quality is fresh as the store owners won’t mess with their own products as doing that might create a huge loss of customers for them and you get the same things at a much affordable price. It really is money in the pocket.
11. Avoid Eye-Level Items
A great marketing strategy is to keep those items that are expensive right in front of your eyes. Don’t believe me, next time you visit your grocery store, check it out yourself. Instead of falling for these tricks, look up and down properly to find out exactly what you need.
Remember, these items are at eye distance to slightly force you into buying it and you can’t buy anything which isn’t on your list.
12. Look out for Clearance sale
Clearance sale is usually when the food is going to get expired in a week. You can buy these at awfully low prices and cook them within a week to ensure you save your money as well as yourself.
There is usually a dedicated section for clearance sale in the store, ask around and buy all that you need at lower costs.
13. Buy seasonal foods and fruits
Fruits in season are often cheaper than those not in season.
Buying a mango during winter might be almost twice the price it usually is during summer and the worst part, it won’t even be fresh.
So next time you head to the grocery store only buy fresh seasonal fruits to save some money.
14. Don’t fall for marketing tricks
Buy one get one free offer or try out our sample, if you like it you can buy one packet are some of the strategies grocery stores use all the time.
These tricks work amazingly as almost everyone falls prey to them. It’s like the ultimate strategy to spend more on groceries.
You might say, “if I get one free it’s actually awesome I save a lot don’t I?” Not really, was the item on your list? If it was, yes your saving money Hurrah! But if it’s not buying an additional item based on marketing tricks is definitely not the way to go.
15. Try Changing your grocery store
Why did you pick this one as your grocery store? Convenience? cause your mom used to go there?
Most of us just go there because its a habit, groceries lets go to that place. If you spread your vision a bit further, you will be surprised to know that there are shops where prices are really low compared to what you pay for.
In Mumbai, Dmart is one such place where you get the same groceries for prices much lower than the other shops. If you don’t have Dmart nearby ask around to find out the local groceries that are affordable in your locality. I’m sure you will find a shop.
16. Shop when they give a lot of flyers
Flyers lead to discounts, huge discounts. Yes, it is one of their marketing tricks but everything is on sale.
All the groceries you need will be available at a huge discount and you can’t miss this. Unless you’ve already done your grocery shopping for the week/month.
But beware, these discounts also fool you into spending more than you want to. For instance – if your bill is more than Rs 4000, you get Rs 400 off. While this is a great discount, if you entered the shop with the goal of spending Rs 2000 and end up falling for the amazing offer, you’ve just spent an additional 1600 and crashed your budget.
17. Try growing your foods (If you can)
In Mumbai, you probably won’t have space to grow vegetables and fruits, but if you can why not! Growing vegetables and fruits at home will not only save you money but also provide highly nutritious, no-chemical foods at your disposal.
You will also learn to care for plants and the nature around you.
18. Only shop at stores which offers store loyalty programs
Have you heard of loyalty programs? Basically loyalty programs mean each time you buy something from the store, you earn some points which you can redeem once you reach a certain amount of points.
These points can be redeemed as cash or a product or service at a discount or even for free. Loyalty programs are created to cause customers to get excited to purchase as they get rewards and spend more.
Choose a store that offers loyalty programs but ensure you don’t fall for excessive buying caused due to these programs.
19. Don’t shop when your moods, not right
There is a fine line between an impulsive buyer and a stick to a listed buyer. When you’re having a bad day or are grumpy, lazy, or anything which is your normal behavior, restrict yourself from shopping during this time.
You will without a doubt end up overspending and crashing your budget hard. Go when you’re in a happy mood and buy items you need.
20. Close your eyes at the checkout counter
Not literally speaking! Near the checkout counter, you will find things like chocolates, magazines, water, ice-creams, make-up, notebooks, and a lot of high price items.
These are kept strategically near the counter for a reason. This is the last trick the stores use to create an urge to buy items at high prices.
Most often you will find chocolates near the counter cause who doesn’t like chocolates!
21. Shop Online then do a store pickup
What’s the difference? You could rather just go to the store and buy the stuff you need right? Not so much.
When you shop online, you tend to add only those things to the cart which you actually need, thus following the list you make and not falling prey to impulsive buying.
No more buying aerated drinks just in case my friends drop by. Further few stores give discount coupons for online shopping, using it just increases your saving.
Few stores offer free home delivery while few take delivery charges. Crosscheck all expenses and save the most.
22. Skip Pre-cut and prepared foods
Definitely, it can save you a lot of time, but it will surely up your expenses. Prepared foods are never fresh so avoiding them is in your best interests.
Today almost all grocery stores offer prepared and pre-cut foods such as chopped cabbage or diced mushrooms for customers convenience and because it’s more profitable for them but buying it will only lead to more expenses.
Instead, cook them yourself.
23. If you have kids, better to leave them at home
The reality is when you take your kids to shop groceries, you will 100% tend to spend more than you planned. Your girl might say she wants juice and you can’t say no to her cause she wants it.
Biscuits, wafers, ice cream a lot of additional expenditure can incur if you take your kids with you. Shop alone so that no one can trigger you to buy something you don’t really need.
24. Make a list and stick to it
Impulsive buying? It’s an unplanned buying decision taken due to cravings for something which you weren’t supposed to buy or didn’t think of buying.
Usually, impulsive buying includes unnecessary items. Making a list ensures you have a goal, a strategy when you enter the store, to buy only those foods which are on your list.
Following this one habit ensures you don’t indulge in excessive buying.
25. Eat Leftovers the next day
Don’t throw away the excess food which you couldn’t eat for the day. Cooked food can stay in the fridge for up to 4 days.
You can either eat it the next day or cook something new from the leftovers. Many food bloggers and YouTube have thousands of easy and delicious leftovers recipes to make.
26. Shop on a full stomach
It’s a scientific fact, shopping on full stomach tricks your mind into not buying a lot of things as your body is already filled with food just eaten. This will easily make sure you stick to the list.
Even when you might look at the soda, your mind will instantly say no. You will only stick to necessary groceries, no add-ons, and definitely no junk.
27. Don’t always go for big brands
If big brands offer really good quality without which your dining experience is hampered, go for it. But if you buy them because you’ve never tried any other brand, try opting for local brands.
They are comparatively cheaper than big brands and sometimes even provide better quality for the price.
28. Don’t let it die in your fridge
You bought a pack of fresh apples, kept it in the fridge, and didn’t eat it at all. After two weeks, it got spoilt and you had to throw it.
You assumed that you didn’t have any fruits, didn’t check what you have at home, and thus bought new fruits from the market and forget about the apples in the fridge. Does the story sound similar?
Wasting food is worse than anything as your not only wasting money but efforts of growing the foods also go waste.
So next time check what you have at home before you go shopping to avoid wastage.
29. Buy unpackaged fruits & veggies
In the supermarket, there are two types of fruits and vegetables. One which is open and kept on the rack and one which has been packaged nicely with labels to make it look beautiful and premium.
Obviously, you’ll be tempted to buy the packaged ones but hear me out, packaged ones aren’t so fresh as they sit in the manufacturing warehouse where they are kept in packets for days sometimes even weeks.
Whereas unpacked ones are directly bought from the farm. Also, unpacked ones are cheaper and always better in quality.
What do you learn?
” Don’t judge a book by its cover “
How to save money on groceries?
Grocery shopping on a budget isn’t all that hard. The fact is you make it hard by complicating simple things. A few new habits to form is hard but if it helps you save some cash, why not?
Saving money from groceries means you don’t overspend, stick to your budget leaving you extra money on the table which if accumulated each month could drastically help you pay out your debts, invest more for the future of your family, maybe go out once in a while for a lovely dinner with your family.
You will definitely not be a Pro Grocery Shopper from the get-go. It surely requires a lot of planning, research, and calculation with respect to your groceries. Consistently implementing these tips will ensure you save money on groceries.
Try out these 29 ways to save money on groceries and you’ll be shocked to see how much you actually need to spend on groceries. Just by developing a few habits, You can Actually Save quite a lot of money!
Let me know down in the comments below how you save money when you head out to buy groceries?
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