You do your best to save money at the grocery store by clipping coupons, watch for sales and use store coupons but is your grocery budget still in desperate need of help? Grocery shopping is not a chore most of us like to do and it’s very easy to get into a routine of bad grocery shopping habits. You may be able to get your grocery budget down even more, possibly you just may have some grocery shopping habits that end up costing you more money.
- You don’t Plan: If you don’t have a plan before going to the grocery store you will almost certainly buy items you don’t need and forget to buy items you do need. If you have not yet start meal planning now is the time to start. Make a list of meals you would like to make for the week and then check your pantry for items you need. This takes 10-15 minutes and it’s going to end up saving you lots of money, and extra trips to the store.
- You assume the store brand is the least expensive: Many of us just assume that the generic store brands are cheaper and therefore they must be the best deal. This is no longer the case as big brands want your business and if you are one to automatically grab the store brand you are missing out. Often times you can get the name brand items for the same price or possibly even less than store brands. Also check to see if a coupon is available on the name brand item, likely you will find one to score an even better deal!
- Not Checking the Expiration Dates: Grocery stores do their best to sort through and find items that are expired however they are still there! It’s not fun coming home to find out you have rotted produce, or expired milk or cheese. Gross!! Stores will take these items back but its trip to the store.
- Buying Out of Season Produce: Do your best to plan around what’s in season. Buying strawberries in the fall will cost more than double the price than if you purchased them in the summer. When your favorite items are in season, stock up for later! Most fruits and veggies can be frozen to use for later. I buy lots of strawberries and green beans to freeze. When they are out of season I use the berries in smoothies or cobblers and the veggies in soups and stir fry’s.
- You Ignore Unit Prices: This is one of the top grocery shopping habits that will cost you more money. Just because an items total price is the least expensive does not mean it’s a better deal. Often times it is just the opposite. Get in the habit of checking the items unit price which is listed right beside the price. You may only find it’s a few cents difference however that adds up to quite a bit of money when you have a cart full of groceries.
Do you do any of grocery store shopping habits that cost you more money? I admit I have been guilty of a few of these but little changes can make a BIG difference.