Saving money on the groceries you buy each week is a great way to reduce spending and control your budget. If you’ve already switched to buying off-brand products and monitoring the sales but you still can’t get this expense low enough, here are five tips that can help push your grocery spending even lower.
- Compare unit cost, not item cost. When comparing prices, it’s never a good idea to just compare the cost of one package against another. The size, weight and number of items in a package determine the cost that you pay per unit (or per piece) and that’s the number that really determines which package is cheaper. Check out Financing Your Life Grocery Cost Comparison to start comparing the right way.
- Add item prices to your grocery list to help give your spending boundaries. Going to the store with a list is a vital part of saving money while you shop. But it’s not enough to write down what you need to buy—you should also write down the maximum you can spend on each of these items. That way you ensure not only that you remain on target, but that you stay on budget as well.
- Choose recipes for the week that share ingredients. When you buy ingredients that only come in large quantities (such as spices, baking supplies and certain vegetables), you’re going to inflate your grocery bill needlessly. By choosing recipes that have shared ingredients, you can more effectively shop and plan your spending.
- Have one go-to, low-cost meal every week. You can find super cheap, healthy recipes that cost $1 or less per serving to make. Having at least one of these cheaper-than-average meals every week allows you to keep up the variety in your suppers while bringing down your grocery costs.
- Don’t pay for convenience. In the produce aisle, you can buy precut fruits and vegetables. In the cookie and chip aisles, you can buy boxes with individually wrapped servings. In the frozen foods aisle, you can buy premade pizzas, french fries and more. All of these convenience foods and packages may save you time, but they are costing you extra money. If you’re trying to live on a budget, you wouldn’t dream of bringing a personal chef in to cut your vegetables, package your treats or make your pizza—so don’t pay to let the grocer do that for you, either.
What are some ways you’ve cut down your grocery spending?