This is the first part of our “Save Money When Grocery Shopping on a Budget” series.
Cutting costs at the grocery store can be a great way to stretch your budget, but it can be difficult to know exactly what to do to reduce your food bills. After all, you have to eat—so simply buying less food is not an option.
However, cutting your grocery bill doesn’t have to be difficult or painful. You can save money at the supermarket with some easy tweaks to your shopping routine. This starts before you even set foot in the grocery store with things you can do before you shop to reduce your bill:
1. Shop your pantry
Have you ever brought home new groceries, only to find that you already had several of the exact same items at home? Buying items that you already have at home wastes money and food, which is why it’s a good idea to take an inventory of your pantry and icebox before you shop. That way you know what you actually need from the grocery store.
2. Make a meal plan
Another great part of shopping your own pantry is that it can help you decide what meals you will make throughout the week. You can come up with a few meals that use what you already have on hand with as few additional ingredients as possible.
3. Make a shopping list
Once you know what you have at home and what meals you plan to make for the week, you can create a shopping list. Not only will a list ensure you don’t forget anything, your list can also keep you from making impulse purchases. The longer you spend in the grocery store, the more likely you are to fall victim to an impulse buy. Your list keeps you on track and efficient in the store.
4. Have a snack before you leave
You really do buy more at the grocery store if you shop while hungry. It’s much more difficult to say no to the donuts or chips that are on sale if your stomach is rumbling. So take the time to have a quick snack before you shop, and you’ll find it much easier to stick to your shopping list.
Set Yourself Up For Success
It may be easier to just hop in the car whenever you need to go grocery shopping, but taking a little time beforehand can make a huge difference in your bill. Determining what you actually need, planning your weekly meals, making a list, and ensuring that you don’t shop hungry will all set you up for a less expensive trip to the grocery store.
Find out more tips on how save on grocery shopping in the 2nd installment of our “Save Money When Grocery Shopping on a Budget” series: What to Do at the Store.
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