Sticking to a reasonable budget can seem like a daunting task, especially when it comes to food. We need food to survive, many social events revolve around food, and some of us just eat when we’re bored.
On average, Americans spend between 5% and 11% of their budget on food. It’s time to take back control of our budgets by following attainable action steps. Fighting the overcrowded grocery aisles and dodging abandoned carts is hard enough.
Smart shoppers can use these simple tips to extend their grocery budget and save money.
1. Clip Coupons
This requires some prep outside of your shopping trip, but you don’t have to be an extreme couponer to save money with this classic strategy! Check out a newspaper or your local store’s weekly flyer for great deals on the items and brands you love.
For some, the way of the old school coupon clipping is gone and digital deals are on the rise. You can get coupons sent right to your phone by downloading them from your favorite store or third party website.
There are also apps to keep on your phone, like Ibotta, that help you earn cashback for verified purchases.
2. Shop Sales
Whether you found the perfect coupon or not, shopping the in-store sales can help the items on your list dwindle as the savings on your receipt increases.
Most stores will advertise their sales right on the shelves, making it easy to spot the deals! When it comes to selecting which brand to buy, we are typically presented with overwhelming options anyway. The easiest way to choose is going for the slashed prices or BOGO (buy one, get one).
Pro-tip: if there is a 2 for $2 deal, but you don’t need both, check with your store to see if they will still honor a reduced price for just one of the items because most stores will.
3. Go Generic
This budget-saving method requires low effort with a high return. All you have to do is choose the generic or store brand instead of the name brand food.
Usually, the only difference is the packaging and price, but you are getting the same item on the inside! A few cents here and there really adds up and this strategy can save a family hundreds of dollars a year.
However, we encourage you to still be aware of other sales that could possibly make brand names cheaper that day. Taking a few extra seconds to compare the prices will benefit you in the long run.
4. Buy Bulk
You may be imagining oversized boxes in warehouse club shopping carts, but buying in bulk can cut major costs on the per-unit price. If a company can get you to buy more of one item at a time, they are more than happy to give you a discount.
A lot of people may think that buying in bulk is not beneficial for their smaller family, but there are still ways to make it work. Pantry items can last for months if they are shelf-stable, so don’t be afraid to stock up on these when you can.
Meat and produce can be a little trickier if you know you won’t be able to cook it all within a few days, but you can always freeze what is left. These fresh items can last a lot longer and will be there when you need them later to cook up or make smoothies!
5. Follow Full Cart
So far, we have covered a lot of great ways to extend your grocery budget at the store, but what if you could achieve the same goal without ever leaving your home?
Full Cart helps you save money by providing a box of free groceries right to your front door! You can get dozens of delicious meals for just the cost of shipping.