“Being prepared before heading to the store is the best way to make sure you stick to your grocery shopping budget. But there are also some strategies to keep in mind and ingredients to keep an eye out for at the store. Food is expensive these days, so grocery shoppers must be diligent in looking for bargains. If you are not in the habit of keeping track of your grocery budget, now is a great time to investigate just how much money you are spending. The number may surprise you. Like most people, you likely have a desire to save money on groceries.”
These 29 surprising and easy moves will help you find the best prices, avoid the sneakiest store tricks, and prevent those costly impulse buys.
Regardless of whether you’re feeding just yourself or a whole family, you probably find that groceries take a big bite out of your paycheck.
Food is the third-largest household expense, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. And for a family of four, the average monthly tab runs between $568 for the super thrifty to $1,293 for those on a more liberal budget, according to the USDA.
MONEY consulted supermarket-savings experts for strategies that would help you trim the fat, without giving up the foods you love. Employing just a few of these 29 tricks—because let’s face it, you hardly have time to cook let alone turn shopping into a project—can take your bills down by 25%.
In other words, you could realize between $1,700 and $3,900 in annual savings.
Now that’s pretty delicious.
1. Do an inventory. Take stock of your pantry and freezer once a month to get a sense of what items you need and what you can skip buying, says Annette Economides, co-author of Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America’s Cheapest Family. Her husband and co-author Steve adds, “you don’t want to get in a panic when you’re in the grocery store and impulse buy an item at full price only to go home and find you’ve already got it.” Use an app like Out of Milk to help with your inventory.
2. Plan meals by the ads. “A lot of people make a weekly meal plan andthen go look for a deal,” says Steve Economides. “Instead, look first at the deals and plan your meals around what’s on sale. This way, you can get meals for half price.”