In recent years, I have discovered that I can save over 50% of what I initially spent on groceries just by implementing a few simple tweaks to my shopping routine, and it’s made a world of a difference to my bottom line. Here are seven ways to save on groceries for more cash in your pocket:

Make sure to make a list before you go. 

I’ve had experienced grocers tell me never to impulse shop or buy food when I am hungry because I end up spending more money than what’s really needed. Shopping for groceries should  be a planned and an organized experience. 

This might mean preparing meal plans for the week, to ensure getting the right ingredients and not more. Buying excess or random ingredients adds up in the long run.  

Take advantage of coupons and sales.

Coupons and discounts are very common ways to save some extra bucks while grocery shopping. The best way is to use coupon apps or a  coupon clipper notebook to keep track of all your coupons and when they expire.  

Make as few trips as possible and get the best bang for your buck. You never can go wrong with non-perishable essentials, so  when you have coupons, buy multiple items and store them in the right place so you know it’s there. Some non-perishable items that I only usually buy on sale include rice, yellow lentils, and whole wheat flour.

Try an alternate grocery store if the products are less expensive.

My experience in choosing the right grocery store has changed over years. I’ve realized my next door community grocery store is more expensive than our local Walmart. Sometimes, even if it’s a few cents or dollars lower the small changes over a period of time can add up to a significant amount of money saved. 

For fresh organic produce, I buy from a local farmer’s market vs Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s as it is much cheaper. If you like to cook globally-inspired cuisines, try out ethnic grocery stores for seafood, meats, and vegetables. I’ve been to Asian, Mexican, and Middle Eastern grocery stores  every time it’s been an excellent experience.

 Purchase unbranded goods instead of branded ones.

A high-quality consumer product doesn’t need to be branded. Always go for non branded or local store brands for essential items and necessities. 

I often go for new branded products only when they  have excellent deals during  their entry into the shelves. In fact, many new vendors give out free samples to test their products or offer them at much lower prices to get consumers to try them.  In this case, go for it. 

Keep a budget and analyze your spending.

It is very important to have a budget with everything. We often overlook simple grocery purchases, but once  you analyze your spending habits you will see a pattern that could surprise you.

We usually end up getting unnecessary and unwanted items. Always make sure to check your credit card statements to analyze where your maximum spending is going when it comes to your grocery bill. 

Do not be afraid to purchase groceries in bulk from wholesale stores.

Many stores such as Sam’s Club and Costco allow consumers to buy in bulk, which gives them a huge discount. The best is to stockpile nonperishable items when they are available on sale, but make sure to pay attention to the expiration date. 

Use the best credit cards and apps that give you cash back on your grocery bill.

There are several credit cards and cash back apps that provide great  deals, which you can use to cut your spending on  your grocery bills. 5% cash back on grocery purchases annually can save a significant amount of money. 

Keep an eye on new deals from new merchants. Sometimes, you can even get free products if you just sign up or register your information to use an app. On certain apps, you can just add the offers that you want to use, upload your receipt after your grocery trip, and the cash back is automatically calculated.. However, be careful about what apps and cards you sign up for, as there are a lot of untrustworthy sources and scammers out there.

About Anika Nayak

Anika Nayak is a freelance journalist from Tampa, Florida specializing in health and wellness. Her work has appeared in ArchDigest, Business Insider, Elite Daily, HuffPost, Insider and many more.

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