As you grow older and start having your own family, you typically have no choice but to learn how to budget your money. During this period, you’ll start to realize how important it is to budget—to be in control of your spending. A good chunk of every household budget is dedicated to grocery and food spending. Particularly if you want to eat organics and healthier foods, you must come up with a strategy that will help you shop on a budget, and we’re here to help. Below are some of the best ways to save money on groceries.
Tip #1: Organic Is Great, But Not Always Necessary
Although getting organic produce is often a superior option, if you’re on a budget it can be wiser to just opt for conventional foods. Buying organics is rarely strictly about nutrition. If your main issue is the use of pesticides, then be strategic and look for fruits and vegetables that have low pesticides whether they are organically grown or not. You can determine this by checking the “Environmental Working Group’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.” Buy organic if you want strawberries, apples and other high pesticide fruits and veggies, but buy conventional for other produce that doesn’t typically have a high pesticide usage. With this tip, you’ll be able to save a few dollars depending on what you’re getting.
Tip #2: Go For Generic Brands
Are you aware that you can save as much as 25% on your groceries if you’ll opt for generic brands instead of the well-known brands? Contrary to popular belief, generic brands these days are often indistinguishable from the major brands. It’s usually a matter of personal taste rather than overall quality. We are not saying that you should completely ditch the brand name groceries though—especially if they go on sale—however, whenever it’s possible make a switch to generic you can save a lot. There are also generic brands that are pretty high end. The online grocery Thrive Market has a substantial selection of house-branded items that are of excellent quality and probably better than many big brand items.
Tip #3: Combine Money-Saving Tactics
The real way to save on your grocery bill is to plan it carefully. That means you should come up with a grocery list and try to stick with it no matter what—buy what’s on the list: nothing more, nothing less. You should also consider visiting local produce stores, because these stores encourage you to eat healthy, save money and support your local economy. It’s also the freshest food you can get your hands on. The prices of the items at a good farmer’s market can be lower than the ones in the big grocery stores. However, there are instances where big store sales can be combined with coupons and you’ll be able to get quality items for a lower price.
Tip #4: Use the Internet and Visit Online Sites
It doesn’t matter if you’re an avid couponer or just a casual one. Coupons are heaven sent—they are of immense value to a lot of organic grocery shoppers. The savings you get from any one items aren’t that big, but they do add up. There are plenty of sites that give away coupons and all you have to do is print them, or even just save them on your phone, and present these next time you go to the grocery. Whole Foods now has an app that routinely saves us money.
A word of caution though. Although coupons can help you save money, they can also influence impulse buying. So self control is important, and see to it that the items you’re going to get are what you really need. If you wouldn’t normally buy an item, don’t try it because you have a coupon for it. (That’s how they get you…)
Tip #5: Pay Attention to Price Breakdowns
A lot of stores are breaking down the price of groceries on shelf price labels; this makes everything more convenient. For instance, how will you know which bundle of toilet paper rolls is cheaper? Is it the 24 rolls, or the 36 rolls? Always check the cost per item. However, if the price breakdown is nowhere to be found, then use your phone’s calculator. The key is, you must compute how each item costs, because buying in bulk doesn’t usually mean you are getting a better deal. You have to pay close attention to the unit of measurement as well, as it can vary between items on the same shelf. Sometimes I’m not sure whether those unit measurements are helpful or a scam.
We all want to save a lot of money. Hopefully, these money-saving tips will help you get a head start.