BUSINESS & TECHNOLOGY — As people continue to eat more meals at home, shoppers everywhere are feeling the pinch of increasing prices on nearly every item at the grocery store.
In fact, 7 in 10 people (71%) are more likely to shop on a budget now than prior to the pandemic, according to a recent survey released by Malt O Meal, with parents being 21% more likely than non-parents.
As you look for ways to save at the grocery store, consider these tactics:
1. Create a Budget
While you may have a number in mind you hope to spend weekly (or monthly) on groceries, it may not be sustainable. Start by determining how much you spend over the course of a few weeks and use that number to identify patterns in your spending and set a more accurate grocery budget.
From there, it may be easier to find places to adjust, like buying certain items in bulk or switching to value brands.
2. Make a List
Creating a weekly meal plan and grocery list before you leave the house can reduce the chances of buying things you don’t need.
Knowing exactly what you need for weekly meals and to replenish essentials – and sticking to that list – can help ensure you don’t spend money on products you won’t use.
At the same time, don’t feel like your shopping list is written in stone. Be flexible! One great tip to remember is that as you walk around the store, take a little peak at what other shoppers have in their carts. You might see some great sale item that you missed. This works especially well in discount stores like Grocery Outlet.
3. Seek Out Value Brands
The top two factors consumers prioritize when grocery shopping are quality (34%) and price (30%), according to the survey. To help save money on their weekly grocery bills while still buying high-quality products, one of the top tactics shoppers have used is purchasing food from value brands. Remember, if you can’t taste the difference, why pay the difference?
4. Shop Alone
To help limit the chance of being coaxed into buying things you don’t actually need, go alone and stick to your list.
5. Scan Sales Flyers
Grocery stores run various promotions each week that can help you save on everything from meat and eggs to ice cream and other frozen foods. A simple way to save is checking the weekly ads at the grocery stores in your area.
Shopping at a different store than usual may allow you to take advantage of different sales, and those items are often located in prominent areas of the store, like near the entrance or at the end of aisles, to make them easy to find.
If you want to check out your favorite store’s weekly flyer, but they are not mailed out and are only available in the store, check out ladysavings.com. It’s a great way to see if there are any great sales going on without the trouble of driving halfway across town.
6. Use Rebate Apps
While rebates don’t always provide the same up-front savings of some other methods, such as traditional coupons, you may see a greater savings in the long run. With a variety of free options out there, you can register and start earning cash back almost immediately. For greatest savings, pair rebate app savings with store loyalty discounts and credit card cash back rewards.
7. Look for In-Season Produce
When you’re shopping on a budget, sticking to in-season produce can get you the most bang for your buck. When fresh fruits and vegetables are out of season, stores typically charge more for them since they’re not as readily available.
Planning your meals around in-season produce can not only help save money, but also put the best-tasting fruits and veggies on the table.
Check out this short video with 10 more great shopping hacks!