Want to save money when shopping for groceries? Who doesn’t? It feels like the price of food just keeps going up. However, if you shop smart you can actually save. Follow these 7 supermarket shopping tips from shopping expert to shave several dollars off your food bill each week.
1. Shop around.
Many people make the mistake of buying all of their groceries in one store, but if you take the extra time to shop around, you’ll actually save a good bit of money. You can’t beat the price of staples at discount stores like Walmart and Aldi. Some things are definitely cheaper at wholesale clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club. Some regional stores are known for their weekly buy-one-get-one-free sales.
2. Plan ahead.
Make a menu for the week. Check your fridge and pantry to see what you already have on hand and can put to good use, especially if it’s something that will soon go bad or expire. You can even plan your menu around what’s on sale that week. Make a list of the remaining items you need, and stick to it when you shop.
3. Skip the name brands.
It may take a little experimentation, but give up the name brands for the store brands when possible. You may even find that they taste or work better in some cases, and they are definitely less expensive. Sometimes the product in the store brand can and the name brand can is the exact same thing.
4. Eat a meal before you go.
You’ve probably heard this one before, but you should never go to the supermarket when you are hungry or thirsty. If you do make that mistake, your eyes become bigger than your stomach — or your wallet — and you buy plenty of food and beverages you don’t need.
5. Prepare your own food.
Prepared foods are awfully convenient, but it’s a convenience you have to pay for. Shredded cheese, chopped fruits and veggies, and deli foods like sandwiches and salads are all a big waste of money when you can buy the ingredients and make the same thing at home for much less.
6. Know your products.
There are some products you buy and use every week. Pay close attention to the size of each unit and the regular price. When it goes on sale or the unit price drops, you may want to stock up if it’s an item that won’t go bad, because the price will rise again.
7. Shop the perimeter of the store.
The perimeter of the store is where you will find your necessities like meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. It’s also where you’ll find the healthiest items. If you must go up and down the middle aisles, look to the top and bottom shelves, as this is where the least expensive items are located.