BEST WAYS TO STRETCH YOUR GROCERY BUDGET
Best ways to stretch your grocery budget
Saving money at the grocery store can be one of the easiest and best ways to cut your expenses. This can be done in many surprising and different ways every week. Most people who think of saving money on groceries think of checking ads and clipping coupons. Both of these ways do help and are great practices but if these are the only methods you use, you will be missing potential savings. Coupons are an obvious important step to saving money, but they are not the only way to save. Read on, and hopefully, you will learn something new today that will help you save even more money on your groceries.
Best ways to stretch your grocery budget
Printable grocery coupons
There are many great places to find printable grocery coupons online. I recommend using a few different websites to find the best printable coupons including Mypoints and Swagbucks which actually offer additional points for coupons printed from their website which are redeemed in stores.
To locate Swagbucks printable grocery coupons
Sign up for Swagbucks using this link
Then use the navigation pane on the left side to locate shop and then select grocery coupons as shown in the image below.
Mpoints is similar to Swagbucks and also offers grocery coupons that earn you points that can be redeemed for gift cards and even cashback in the form of PayPal cash.
Sign up for Mypoints using this link
Once you are on the Mypoints website use the navigation panel at the top and select coupons then a grocery coupon option will appear as shown below.
Locating paper grocery coupons
Your local paper and even the flyers that are delivered frequently with ads in your mailbox often come with coupon inserts. If you receive magazines in the mail some magazines even have various coupons for products throughout them. I have even found that our local dollar tree sells Sunday papers that usually include many grocery coupon inserts.
Grocery store Apps
Today many grocery stores offer apps and websites that include addition money saving coupons that you can load to your shopper acct or card. Examples would include Kroger co. and its affiliated stores, Meijer Mperks program and even Giant Eagle. These are just a few examples I recommend checking your favorite stores website for more details on possible store coupons and discount programs available for shoppers.
Grocery rebate apps
You can even enter my referral code V8QKN and you and I may earn additional points as a referral bonus
Make a list and stick to it
This is hard one of the hardest things to do and yet one of the easiest ways to save. The reason it is tough is because it requires self control and that can be a challenge. When we have a limited grocery budget we need to learn to buy only the necessities overall and any additional splurges should be seen as an extra which should be carefully selected. You need to avoid spending on unnecessary items unless your grocery budget allows for these additional purchases.
Avoid shopping in the stores
If you have a difficult time limiting your spending on things you shouldn’t buy, you could try grocery curbside pick-up services. These may cost a small amount in addition to your grocery expenses but some like Kroger ClickList offer additional free coupons exclusively to Kroger ClickList customers. If you download the Kroger app and search ClickList under coupons you can find many coupons exclusive to Clicklist customers. The few extra dollars spent using this service may end up saving you significantly on unwanted purchases, simply because you avoided the temptation and the advertisements.
Shop around at various stores
Aldi is a great budget-friendly grocery store to get everything you need. They do not however accept coupons or work for some of the grocery rebate apps. The cost, however, is very low on a lot of items and if you do not mind Aldi's brand products you can save a lot without all the hassle of coupons. However, if you prefer a different store this can be a great way to supplement your grocery budget with specific items, I buy a lot of canned goods very cheap at Aldi.
Be cautious buying in bulk
If you buy in bulk at stores like Costco and Sam’s club my best advice is only to buy certain things and do not be too eager to buy everything there. On most of my trips to Costco, I am surrounded by other shoppers with shopping carts overflowing with various items. It is not uncommon to watch someone spend $200-$300 at Costco in line ahead of me. Many items at these stores are a great deal purchased in bulk but many items bought in bulk are not saving you money. These items may be the same price or cheaper on sale at the grocery store in a smaller amount. Also, I’m sure many of you who have bought items in bulk have noticed at one time or another, that you have wasted an item because it reached the use-by date or expiration date before you could use it. It does not always make good financial sense to buy every item at Costco. In purchasing items like this you will likely waste both money and food more often than not.
Determine a weekly budget
Set your weekly budget amount and stick to it, if you find this hard to do there are a few things you can try. You can make sure to get cash in that amount to take to the store to ensure you have to stay on track. You can even go as far as calculating everything as you shop, to make sure you stay on budget. Some grocery stores used to have calculators and some still may have them attached to shopping carts for this very reason. Today most people have smartphones or devices of some sort with a calculator that they can use for this. Determining a weekly budget in advance is a great way to stretch your grocery budget.
Buy less pre-packaged foods and more real foods
When you shop at the grocery store try to avoid the more expensive prepared versions that require less prep time and prepare yourself instead. With healthier options versus prepackaged foods this does not always save you money, but done correctly it can save you way more in the long run. It also means you have more real food and less junk in your house, keeping your family healthier. It has been said that going around the outer portion of the store and avoiding the aisles will help you purchase healthier food items. You can freeze a lot of fresh items you cannot use fast enough as well, from herbs to vegetables and even some fruits to be used later.
Make a grocery trip during the week
Try going to the store during the week if possible, when items are less likely to be out of stock. We have all had many experiences where our preferred item is unavailable because they are simply out of stock.
Be sure to check for dates on food items when shopping
Always check expiration dates on food items to get the most value for your money. One of the local grocery stores that I frequently shop at is notorious for not checking dates on milk products, as a result, I have brought home more expired items than I care to remember. This becomes a waste of food or even an unnecessary trip back to the store to exchange the item. Even if it is not outdated currently, you also want to allow some time to be able to use it before the date is reached.
These are just a few ways that my husband and I have learned to save tremendously over the years on our groceries. If you select just a few of these areas to focus on this year I am sure that you will notice a difference in the amount you save. Now more than ever we need to become more conscious of over-spending and learn to find more ways to stretch each dollar.
None of the links, or stores apply to Canada.
Rest of article, is repetitive from other, more useful articles
Seems like most of these sites are for online shopping.