Buying groceries are expensive. I can remember hearing horror stories from my aunt about how much food and milk her family of five burned through in a month. I never appreciated the cost of food until I grew up and now have a family of my own to feed. Now, I want to ration my eight year-old’s milk consumption like it’s the 1940s all over again.
I know that it is good for him, but a couple of cups per day at today’s gallon milk prices will drive me to the poor house! But, there are a few ways to save some money at the grocery store on your food bill. Here are a few of my favorites…
Four Easy Ways To Save Money At The Grocery Store
Stay On The Outside Loop
Like a race car driver, you should stay on the outside track of the grocery store and away from the middle. Not only will your wallet be appreciative, but your midsection will as well.
Think about it where are all the sugary, sweet treats? Where are the most expensive foods in the supermarket? Where are all the foods that are staples that you desperately need to feed your family? They are on the outside lanes of the store like a loop.
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Don’t go down the middle isles if you can help it. The meat, milk, dairy, vegetables, and breads are all on the outside lane. Stay on the outside to save money. Don’t go down the aisle.
Never Forget Your Loyalty Card
I am always blown away by how many people tend to forget their loyalty card and miss out on tons of savings and coupons. Do not let it go if you do. Forgetting even just once can cost you a few dollars.
You should ask your fellow shoppers to your front and back to swipe theirs in a pinch. They get the credit for your purchases especially if they have linked their loyalty card to a program like uPromise to earn rewards and money for their children’s college education.
Sometimes you can ask the cashier to use their cards but many grocery chains frown upon this practice. In the worst case scenario, you should consider just signing up and grabbing a new card. You can always just throw it away, but it is better to have five cards from the same grocery chain than miss the savings.
Don’t Shop For Groceries Hungry
I think that almost everyone has heard this tip at some point in our lives, but we still fail to follow it. It is almost as bad as going to Wal-Mart or the grocery store on a payday.
I swear every time I make this mistake, like a rookie shopper, that I’ll never do it again. But, I always find myself heading to the store on an empty stomach. And, to make matters worse…I’ve gone to the grocery store hungry on an empty stomach on payday more than once. It is just asking for trouble…double trouble!
Stay Away From Impulse Purchases
Originally, studies came out in the 1990s that said that almost 70% of all our purchases at the grocery store were impulse purchases. Now, a new study conducted by Professor David R. Bell from the Wharton School of Business has found that the number might be closer to 20%.
That’s a relief but still very troubling. My family may spend several hundred dollars to feed our family every month. So, over $50 could quite possibly be pure needless impulse purchases. It can really add up when you stop to put real numbers against your bad habits.
There are many ways that you can save money on your groceries. Most people only consider clipping coupons and hitting the weekly sales though. This is a mistake to only focus on those tactics. You also need to address your spending habits as well in order to save money at the grocery store.