Being prepared before going to the store is the ideal way to ensure you stick to your grocery spending budget. But there are also some strategies to bear in mind and ingredients to keep a watch out for at the store to make grocery budget shopping easier and more enjoyable.
How Much Do People Spend on Groceries
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Americans spend an average of 11 percent of what they make on food. Only 6 percent of that, however, is spent on groceries, the other 5 percent is spent dining out.
The average person is spending $162 – $345 per month on groceries while the average family is spending $570 – $1298. Of course, the amount everyone spends vary on locations and stores.
Luckily, with some practice, this budget calculator tool, a grocery list, and the right spending habits, you can save some money on your groceries.
How to Save Money Grocery Shopping
Here are a few of my favorite ways to save while shopping and still load up on tasty and healthy foods.
Sure, bagged salad mixes are convenient, but they are expensive and may go from crisp and fresh to wilted to decidedly slimy in a heartbeat. Opt for purchasing heads of lettuce instead, and make your very own mixes.
Try mixing up romaine, radicchio, red leaf, escarole, or any other head lettuce that is looking fresh. You can store your mix in a gallon with a zipper in your crisper.
The key to longevity? Once you wash and cut your greens, make sure they are completely dry before putting them in the fridge.
Purchasing food at the grocery is only half the battle. Being on top of how rapidly your fruits are ripening and moving it to the fridge or away from its hyper ripening neighbors might help cut down on food waste.
Spices are key to keeping your meals tasty and healthy. They offer up bold flavors so that you can back on added salt and sugar. The disadvantages are that they can be expensive plus they have a shelf life. Following a year or two to simply sit around, they do not retain their flavor well.
For spices that you have a tendency to use less frequently, consider buying them from the bulk section the price per ounce is frequently more affordable, and you may buy just what you need. This way you are less likely to have old spices sitting around which are ready for the trash can-a serious waste of cash.
Organic produce tends to cost more than conventional produce. Every year, the Environmental Working Group puts out a listing of the highest and lowest offenders. Strawberries, spinach, and kale topped the list of worst offenders last year, while avocados, sweet corn, and pineapple had been the cleanest.
For 12 Foods You Should Purchase Organic to help tailor your shopping list visit here.
Warehouse club stores, like Costco or Sam’s Club, are an investment upfront, usually charging around $45-$60 for a one-year membership. While throwing down money only to walk in the door doesn’t sound like a great money-saving strategy, it can pay off in the long term, particularly if you focus your shopping efforts on staples like extra virgin olive oil, nuts, dried fruits, and pasta. These items can frequently be half the price of the same product at a conventional grocery.
If you are like me and not very loyal to one brand then you may want to try switching to generic brand. Contrary to old beliefs generic brands like Kroger, Kirkland, and Signature, just to name a few, make some really tasty products.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do still buy things like Heinz ketchup and Pepsi but I am okay with drinking any brand cola and I don’t care what Mayonaise I buy. As long as it tastes good to me and my family, the brand is just a label.
Saving money on your groceries may seem hard but it doesn’t have to be. WIth a little planning and a few changes here and there you will be on your way to achieving your goals and saving money.
This newly saved money will help you to be able to pay down debts, put towards other goals, or just increase your overall savings. So try one of these tips the next time you are out shopping and maybe you will even find more ways to save.
We would love to hear from you: What do you find to be the hardest thing to save money on when grocery shopping? What advice would you give to someone trying to save money grocery shopping?