Each month, the one thing that people spend a significant amount of money on is food. Grocery shopping can be overwhelming, time-consuming, and expensive – but it doesn’t have to be! I’ve created a list of my best grocery shopping hacks to make sure that you keep the costs down and save money when grocery shopping!
- Download the apps! Nowadays each store has it’s own app. Some apps will allow you to enjoy discounts and coupons that you couldn’t find in the circular at the store. It’s also a great time saver, so you don’t have to clip coupons. Some stores allow you to do your deli order on the app and then pick up in store. Other apps track your points for you. Save money and time with apps!
- Know what you have at home. There’s nothing worse than buying something expensive only to come home, rummage through the pantry, and realize that you already have it. Take inventory of what you already have on hand to avoid these mix-ups.
- Plan out your meals. In order to know exactly what you are spending, plan out what you need to buy and calculate the cost of your trip before you go. If you create a budget, you can stick to it by planning in advance.
- Decide when you are going to eat out, and resist temptation. We’ve all been there. You had to get up early to finish a project for your boss, you spent the whole day running around the office, and a solid hour at the gym. You haven’t stopped moving for the past 12 hours – the last thing that you want to do is cook dinner. Put a little wiggle room in the budget for occasions like these so that you don’t have to cook. But you also have to realize when there is no room in your budget for wasting food that you have at home and going out instead. Come up with some quick recipes so that you can whip something up when you’re in a situation like this.
- Don’t waste food. Don’t just buy food because you think you should eat it. Yes, it’s great to have tons of fresh produce on hand, and you should be eating it, but if it goes to waste every week because you don’t feel like having it, you’re throwing money down the drain. Take baby steps when it comes to incorporating a new food into your diet so that you don’t end up wasting it.
- Eat before you go to the grocery store. This is a psychological trick. Shopping on an empty stomach increases our likelihood to make impulse buys. As we walk through a grocery store, we are blinded by our hunger and end up grabbing whatever looks good. If you shop on a full stomach, it will reduce these impulses.
- Buy in bulk, when it makes sense. If you’re willing to do some research, you can calculate when it will save you money to buy items in bulk. Taking advantage of bulk items can be helpful in reducing costs in the long run.
- And last but not least, bring your own reusable bags. With the new law going into effect on August 1, 2019, avoid the fee to buy bags – and use one of ours instead.
Contact us if you would like a “Consumer Legal Services, LLC” reusable bag, provided by my friend and colleague, Erin Eberhardt at West Shore Associates, LLC. (Please note that this is a special offer; supplies are limited; the offer is valid only while supplies last on a first come, first served basis, and you must pick-up your bag at our Milford, CT office.)