How much did your last grocery trip cost? More than you’d like? I know the feeling. I used to go with the intention of only grabbing a few items, yet come out with a large bill. The time came for action! After evaluating both the grocery store business and my own spending habits, I’ve found proven, straightforward ways to save money on groceries.
So get out your last receipt, give that number a good look, and get ready to slash it.
1. Avoid any products at eye level.
How do grocery stores decide what items go where? It’s easy. Humans naturally look at and right around eye level, so this is where large corporations pay for shelf space to host their expensive brands.
The takeaway? Make sure to look high and low rather than grabbing the first item within arm’s reach.
(And hey, surprise bonus: Routinely squatting down to grab cheaper items like off-brand peanut butter will give your legs a sneaky mini workout.)
2. Learn the standard grocery store map.
The grocery store layout has been carefully calculated to trap you into spending more money. Here are the most important aspects to be aware of.
Basic staples are positioned on all sides of the store.
Milk and dairy at the back. Bread to one far side. Fresh fruit and veggies to the other. In order to get items from each food genre, you have to travel across the entire store and come into contact with products you don’t need.
Beware of product pairings.
Let’s say you go grab graham crackers and find chocolate and marshmallows featured right next to them – perfect! You buy them without even comparing prices of other brands.
The result? You purchase s’mores ingredients that are double the price of the off-brand options just a few aisles over.
3. Grocery shop on Wednesdays.
Why? Most stores start new deals of the week on Wednesdays, plus keep deals from the past week. This means twice the discounts.
Plus, if your local Albertson’s or Ralph’s is anything like mine, going midweek means you’ll avoid the busy weekend rush.
4. Prepare a budget.
When buying a home or planning a wedding, the first step is setting a budget, right? Otherwise, it’s easy to overspend.
Approach grocery shopping the same way; set a budget and keep it top of mind when shopping.
5. Make a list.
It’s easy to find your grocery cart full of unplanned items, like chips that were on a 2-for-1 special.To ensure you arrive home with groceries you truly need, make a list beforehand and, like maple syrup, stick to it.
6. Say no to individual packaging.
Last week, I was selecting ingredients for a creamy broccoli and Alfredo pasta.
- One head of broccoli? Cost $1.25
- One bag of pre-rinsed broccoli florets? Cost $2.99
Each of these options provided the exact same amount, 3 cups of florets. It might take a few more minutes to rinse and cut the head of broccoli, but purchasing this option each time saves a lot of money in the long run.Just check out the numbers. If you utilize 2 heads (6 cups) of broccoli every 2 weeks from this store, in one year alone you’ll save $90.48.Let’s be real: isn’t there isn’t something you’d rather spend $90 on than broccoli?
Navigating the grocery store is tricky, but with these 6 easy grocery store hacks, I know you’ll be cutting costs starting as soon as your next trip.