If you’re like most people, you probably do the majority of your grocery shopping at one particular store. Whether it’s because it’s the most convenient option or because you’ve found that they offer the best prices, having a go-to spot for all your food-related needs can make life a lot easier.
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But even if you’re loyal to one store, that doesn’t mean you’re getting the most out of your grocery shopping experience. In fact, there are a number of ways you can save time and money every time you hit the supermarket – and we’re here to share some of our best tips.
Make a list – and stick to it.
This one might seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning because it’s one of the easiest ways to save money at the grocery store. By planning out your meals for the week and writing down exactly what you need to buy, you can avoid impulse purchases and stick to your budget.
Take advantage of loyalty programs.
Loyalty programs are becoming increasingly common at grocery stores, and for good reason – they can save you a lot of money. If your store offers a loyalty card, be sure to sign up and use it every time you shop. You’ll often get access to exclusive deals and coupons, and you might even earn points that can be redeemed for free merchandise.
Just because you usually shop at one store doesn’t mean you should blindly accept whatever prices they’re offering. Take a few minutes to check the weekly circulars for other stores in the area to see if they’re offering any better deals on the items you need. You might be surprised at how much you can save by doing a little bit of research.
Take advantage of sales.
Grocery stores are always running sales, so it pays to keep an eye out for the items you need that are on sale. If you see a good deal on something you were planning to buy anyway, stock up! This is a great way to save money on staples that you’ll need to purchase on a regular basis.
Coupons can be a great way to save money, but they’re not always easy to find. The best place to start is your store’s website – many of them will have digital coupons that you can load onto your loyalty card. You can also find coupons in the weekly circulars, and there are even websites dedicated to finding and sharing the best grocery coupons.
Buy in bulk.
If you have the storage space, buying in bulk can be a great way to save money on groceries. Non-perishable items like canned goods, pasta, and cereal are often much cheaper when purchased in larger quantities, so it’s worth stocking up when you see a good deal. Just be sure to check the expiration dates before you buy – you don’t want your savings to go to waste!
Shop the perimeter.
The items in the outermost areas of the grocery store are typically the healthier options, and they’re often the ones on sale. By doing the majority of your shopping along the perimeter of the store, you can save money and make better choices for your health.
Avoid pre-made meals.
Grocery stores are full of tempting prepared foods, but these convenience items come at a price. In general, you’ll save money – and eat healthier – if you cook meals from scratch using fresh ingredients.
Know when to buy organic.
Organic food can be expensive, but it’s not always necessary to buy everything organic. The Environmental Working Group produces a list of the “Dirty Dozen” fruits and vegetables that contain the most pesticides, so you can prioritize organic purchases for these items. For everything else, you can save money by buying the conventional version.
Bring your own bags.
Many stores now charge for plastic bags, so it’s worth investing in a few reusable shopping bags. Not only will you save money in the long run, but you’ll also be doing your part to reduce plastic waste.
By following these tips, you can save time and money on your grocery shopping – and make the whole experience a lot more enjoyable.