Attempting to save money on groceries can be overwhelming! There are so many money saving methods you can use, which may or may not be effective and may or may not take up a whole lot of your time.
If you want to start saving on groceries, I’ll let you in on a little tip: You don’t need to worry about every single thing you buy. You’ll see a big difference in your spending if you start out by only worrying about your most expensive grocery items.
So let’s get into how you can save money on your most expensive groceries.
Step One: Pick 10
Remember how I said that you don’t need to worry about saving money on every single thing you buy? I want you to only concern yourself with ten items — the most expensive grocery items that you buy regularly.
Maybe there are foods that you only like the name brand version of. Maybe it’s beverages or pre-made food items, like hummus, guacamole, and microwave dinners.
Look through your pantry, think through your shopping list, or look back at old receipts. Pick out ten of the most expensive grocery items you buy regularly and write them down. For the next few weeks, you’re not going to worry about getting the best deals on absolutely everything, just on those ten items.
Below are some of the money saving strategies that you can try. You don’t need to do them all, and you certainly don’t need to try them all at once. Just start with what sounds easiest and go from there.
2 Minute Tip: Save Money on Food Without Getting Overwhelmed
Step Two: Apply Money Saving Strategies
Check Sale Ads for 2-3 Stores
Before you make your meal plan and go shopping, check the sale ads for a few stores in your area for your ten most expensive groceries. Since these foods are costing you a lot, it’s probably worth an extra trip to another grocery store to get them on sale.
If you find a really great price on one of your expensive foods and it won’t go bad, stock up!
This probably won’t work with avocados and strawberries since they’ll go bad before you can use them all up (unless you want to freeze them), but it’s a great idea for beverages, cereal, crackers and other processed foods.
If it’s not on sale at all or you know you’ve seen better sale prices, do not stock up. Only stock up for great prices!
Start a Price Book
Prices can vary a lot from store to store and with sales. If you start keeping track of the prices you see at each store and during sales, you’ll know for sure when something is a great price. You’ll also know where to go for the best price if your item isn’t on sale anywhere this week.
A price book can feel overwhelming, but remember you’re only tracking prices on ten items. You can handle that.
I’ve been keeping a price book and recently found that the everyday price of frozen fish at one store is less than the sale price I was getting at another store! I thought I was getting a good deal by buying fish on sale, but it turns out I could do even better without the sale at a different store.
To start a price book, you can write down in a notebook on a spreadsheet:
- the store
- the brand
- the price
- the price per unit (price per ounce or per pound so that you can easily compare)
- if the item was on sale or not
Once you’ve got information for a few different stores and different weeks, you can start shopping a lot smarter!
Look for Coupons
I’m not a big fan of using coupons, but if there are foods that you only like the name brand of, they can be helpful.
You can look online, search through coupon inserts in newspapers, or (my favorite) use a savings app like Ibotta.
Alright, you may not like this idea which is why I saved it for last. A great way to save money on your most expensive groceries is to simply use less of them.
- Plan fewer meals that require those ingredients.
- Set limits for yourself on how many cans of soda or glasses of milk you’ll drink per day.
- Save special foods to have as treats on special occasions instead of all the time.
- Measure out serving sizes for chips, cereal, and ice cream so that you go through less.
There are all kinds of ways to use less of a certain food and it can save you a huge amount of money, so don’t forget that it is a great option!
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I hope focusing on the ten most expensive grocery items you buy regularly helps reduce the overwhelm you may feel with trying to save money.
Once you’ve gotten used to some of these methods and reduced your spending on those ten most expensive items, you can start to add in more expensive groceries to save even more money.