One of the most important expenses in every household is also one of the most costly. Every family faces the same challenge: How to save money on groceries. Rather than let it stress you out or get you down this week, try these five quick hacks that skip the arthritic coupon clipping and go straight to putting money back in your wallet.
Eat before you shop.
In a CBS News report, research indicated that people bought more snacks, dairy items, and groceries when they shopped hungry versus nibbling on a few Wheat Thins before pushing a shopping cart. Often, these foods are of higher caloric value, as well.
Action Step: To curb this habit and end up with a healthier heap of goods on the checkout conveyor belt, eat a quick bite like a hard boiled egg, a granola bar, or some good ‘ole Wheat Thins right before you head out the door.
Snag a coupon app.
Rather than eat up an entire Sunday afternoon clipping coupons, go digital with coupon apps that sweetly disappear into oblivion when they expire, rather than get swallowed up by your purse, couch, or glove compartment.
Action Step: Download one free coupon app for your favorite grocery store this week. Fire it up and “clip” any coupon you think you’ll want with a single touch.
Can you shave money off your grocery bill if you stop at five different stores for five killer deals? Sure, but never underestimate the selling power of a grocery store. Stopping at multiple stores may lead to the “Since I’m Here” syndrome which always chips away at a food budget.
Action Step: Establish how often you’ll go grocery shopping this month and stick to that. If you’re running low on a few things, try your best to stick with the plan. Include your family so that everyone can work toward this common goal.
Hunt down the manager’s specials.
Manager’s specials are heavily discounted items that are either slightly banged up, approaching an expiration date, or just needing to go away. They are usually located toward the back of the store or on the back of an aisle.
Action Step: The next time you write your grocery list, add “Manager’s Specials” at the top so you won’t forget.
Pay with cash.
If you’d rather tear the siding off your house than carry cash to the grocery store, keep these few things in mind:
- Studies show that people spend more with credit and debit cards than cold, hard, once-it’s-gone-it’s-gone cash.
- You can try it for a month, just at the grocery store, then stop if you didn’t save money.
- You can take just enough cash for one trip instead of the whole month if you’re concerned about theft.
Action Step: Label an envelope “Groceries.” Speak with your spouse or a trusted friend who can keep you accountable and decide on an amount for the month. Fill the envelope with cash and go shopping. It’s going to take getting used to, but this is a wonderful method for saving money and reining in extra spending.
Of these five ways to save money on groceries, which one will you implement before your next trip? Share in the comments below!
Laura Harris is a writer, wife, financial coach, and mother of two. She has been featured on The Huffington Post, The Penny Hoarder, and Rockstar Finance. When she’s not spending time with her family, you can find her writing about the triumphs and trials of a work-at-home mom at LauraHarrisWrites.com or Facebook.