When we are shopping for food, we tend to spend a lot of money. It can even seem like we are spending more and more every time we shop and we may wonder whether we will be able to manage all of our other commitments such as rent, insurance, loan repayments and transport as well as buying food. However, there are ways that we can cut down on the cost of our groceries. It may take a little time to do a bit of research but once we start getting into different habits, it can be easy to spend less.
Shop at a cheaper store
Different grocery store chains do vary in how much they charge for their groceries. This means that if you change the store that you shop at, then you could save money. It can be worth looking at the prices of certain items in different stores and you will be able to see whether you can switch to shopping elsewhere and save a lot of money. We tend to be loyal to a particular store and so it can be hard to change. Of course, it may be that you have little choice depending on which stores are near to where you live. However, do look into your options as it could make a significant difference.
When you are in a store it is worth comparing prices between things. It is quite easy to compare the difference between different types of zucchinis, for example looking at the difference between organic and non-organic, packaged and loose or baby and large ones. However, it is worth also comparing the pre-prepared with whole ones, fresh with frozen and things like this. It might mean going to different parts of the store, but it can be interesting. Pre-prepared tends to be dearer, loose can be dearer than packaged and frozen might be cheaper than fresh. It may vary between different supermarkets and different products. Also look at alternatives, as you will find things like seasonal fruit and vegetables will be cheaper or certain cuts of meat will be cheaper than others. It is good to try to expand what you are buying so that you can save money.
Buy less processed foods
The more processed the food, often, the more expensive it is. This does not apply to everything, but it should be cheaper to prepare your own food in many cases, then to buy it prepared for you. Check the prices of cut carrots, compared with whole ones and prepared stir fry vegetables compared with the single ones and consider whether you would be happy to do a bit more preparation and save money. It can be very convenient to buy processed and prepared foods and they can taste really good, but often they are not that healthy for us. It is worth considering whether you would rather change how you shop and save money but spend more time in the kitchen or whether you are happy to spend that extra money for the convenience of not spending so long in the kitchen.
Be careful with reduced items
Reduced items can be very tempting. We can look at them and feel like we should be buying them because they will save us money. However, this may not be the case. If you are buying them in addition to what you normally buy, you will actually be spending more money. If you have to buy in bulk to save money, the food may not get eaten in time and may be wasted. Obviously, if the things you normally buy or need are reduced then you can do well and save money but just be really careful about buying things that you do not need and spending more money.
Take a list and stick to it
It sounds simple but if you take a list with you and just buy what is on it, then this helps. Go through your fridge and larder at home and note down what you are running out of and need to replace. Also think about what meals you will be cooking between shops and consider what you will need for those. It is best to either plan really well and make sure you only buy what you need for those meals or when you are cooking, keep checking what you have and make sure that you use everything up before it goes off.
These steps can be taken up all at once and you could save quite a chunk of money. Alternatively, you could try one at a time to make it easier to adjust. You may find that you already do some of them already, but it is worth checking them again to be sure they are working. For example, you might think you are shopping in the cheapest store and buying the cheapest things but prices change and it may be that they are no longer the cheapest. Comparing priced does get easier too and can soon become a habit that is easy to stick to.