The best shoppers know to understand what it takes to make the most of their short trips to the grocery store. It’s a skill that anyone can grow and develop over some time.
Smart buyers know how to stretch their pennies to avoid buying unnecessary items, visiting the grocery shop all the time, and making the store work for them. If you’ve been wondering how you can become a smart shopper, here are ten ways that you can use to save on groceries.
1. Know when to shop
Promotional offers and coupons found in the circulars are not the only ways that you can use to reduce your grocery bill. Knowing the ideal time to visit the grocery store will work out for you in the long run. Here are a few tips that will help you save while shopping:
- Shop in the middle of the week:
The best day to shop is in the middle of the week, preferably Wednesday. You’ll have the opportunity to look at the sale items of the week in advance. And if lady luck visits you, the store will honor price reductions on the items that you didn’t pick from the previous sale.
- Avoid Saturdays and Tuesdays:
Tuesday and Saturday can be crowded as people do all they can to take advantage of the best deals before they expire. Therefore, you should avoid being part of this group if you want to get the best deal and save on time.
- Shop late or early:
Early shoppers enjoy a lot of benefits because discounted items are normally displayed early in the morning. Also, a couple of minutes before closing is when grocers get desperate especially in the produce department where they reduce the price of items that are about to expire.
Since most shoppers are ruled by a degree of uncertainty, they cannot easily shop on Wednesdays. However, if you manage to get free time, visit the grocery store and the fruit stand as early as you can. You’ll find yourself alone with a variety of items to check out. Plus, you’ll be treated differently since you’ll be among the first customers to arrive.
2. Buy local produce
Do you love small businesses? If yes, your mission should be to shop local whenever you can. One of the best ways to save time and money is by buying vegetables and fruits at local produce stands. Specialized retailers should be your companions if you want to save money. Farmers’ markets are also ideal spots for buying locally grown fruits and vegetables.
Most of them offer great deals especially if you are buying produce in season. Whether you are at the grocery store or farm stand, buying in season will ensure that you pay less for fresh produce. There are a lot of farming and nutrition apps that can help you determine the fruits and vegetables that are currently in season for you to make the right buying decisions.
3. Shop online
Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to go to the grocery store every week? Depending on your location, grocery delivery services like Pea Pod, Safeway, Amazon Fresh, and Walmart Grocery to Go can deliver the groceries of your choice to your doorstep. Although prices are usually higher online, you’ll end up spending less in the long run. Plus, you’ll figure out how much you are about to spend before making the transaction.
This enables you to adjust your cart according to your budget. Another benefit of shopping online is you can make the most of special pricing without having to travel around. While this service has delivery fee charges, you’ll save a lot of time and money.
4. Avoid major chains
If you’ve been shopping with the same store chain for a couple of years, it’s natural to head straight there when you need ingredients to prepare a recipe or when your pantry is running empty. If you want to save money, you need to give discounted grocers an opportunity. They usually offer the same items that a traditional grocer offers. But at a reduced cost.
5. Brand names are not that important
If you are used to a particular brand of sugar or cereal, you might find yourself ignoring the generic ones. The generic ones are usually cheaper and of similar quality with the big brands. It’s important to check the ingredients to ensure that you are buying the same product.
6. Go for dried beans
Most people go for canned beans because they don’t require a lot of work like dried beans. However, preparing dried beans is not a difficult task. Plus, it’s way healthier and delicious. While the price difference is not that big, it will add up in the long run.
7. Avoid visiting the grocery store hungry
Most of us go to the grocery store before dinner or after work. We are usually hungry at this time. Buying groceries when you are hungry will drive you to buy more than you need. Avoid shopping over the weekends and always shop on a full stomach.
8. Create a grocery list
You don’t have to rely on your memory when you are shopping. Relying on your memory makes it easy for you to forget and buy things that you don’t need. Before going to shop, create a list.
9. Don’t spend on fresh herbs
You’ll end up spending a fortune if you don’t start your herb garden immediately. You don’t have to have a huge space to start. Fresh herbs are expensive at the grocery store but free from your garden.
10. Make your spice mix
Fancy spices are usually priced at $5 apiece at the grocery store. However, this is wastage of money in the long run if you can make your spice mix using seasonings that you currently have at home.
Some of these saving tips might be quite extreme. However, they’ll help you save time, energy, and money in the long run. As the saying goes, take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves.
Leon Collier is a writer at college paper writing services, best essay writers UK and Mba essay writing service from Edinburgh, who loves to write about everything: pop-culture, history, travel, self-development, education, marketing. When not writing, you can find him behind a book or playing tabletop games with his friends. Follow him on Twitter @LeonCollier12