How to save at the supermarket – the best grocery savings
Create a list and stick to it
Saving at the supermarket starts way before you’ve even set a foot in there. It starts with planning. The first thing to do is to create a shopping list, and be determined to stick to it.
Buy what’s in season and available locally
As you build your shopping list, keep in mind what fruit and vegetables are in season. If you’re not sure here’s a great site to keep you up to date. A trip to a local farmer’s market will also help you familiarise yourself with the seasonal offerings, and is also likely to offer cheaper prices, enabling you to save money on groceries. This approach is kinder to the earth, kinder to your pocket, and can inspire you to try new recipes featuring what’s in season now.
Keep an eye on grocery advertising
The major grocery chains tend to send out circulars that offer grocery savings, and they’re also available at the store. These can be worth holding onto and reviewing when you make your list. If you don’t receive the circulars, look them up on the store’s website.
Throughout this process however, be careful not to buy for the sake of the saving. Try planning your meals around the specials advertised, buying only because you need it.
Don’t shop on an empty stomach
One of the most important ways to save money grocery shopping is to not let a ravenous tummy influence what you buy. Studies show that when hungry people shop, they buy more than those who ate before entering the store.
Check out the clearance section
Visit the areas where items are on sale before heading to the full priced products. Items nearing their sell by dates are often reduced, and if you plan your meals around eating them first you may have access to delicacies that are affordable.
Stick to the outer aisles
The widest selection of unprocessed foods tend to be found in the outer aisles of a supermarket. This is generally because these foods are fresh and require refrigeration (the electricity supply for the fridges, freezers and deli counters are against the walls). The processed, preserved and sugar and fat laden foods are to be found in the centre of the store, and are often best avoided (both from a health and a budgetary perspective).
Give generic brands a chance
It’s often through clever advertising and force of habit that we favour a certain brand. Surefire ways to save on a grocery bill are to give the generic brands an opportunity occasionally, and buy generically branded cleaning products and canned foods. Often you won’t notice a difference.
Team up with a friend to buy bulk
For non-perishable foods buying in bulk can be a smart way to save money. You might like to team up with someone to buy your staples in bulk, such as beans, seeds, grains and cleaning products. Take care not to go overboard though, and double check that bulk buying really is a saving per unit for the products you require.
Items likely to be cheaper in bulk:
• Toilet paper
• Fizzy drinks
• Dried beans
• Baby wipes
• Dog food
• Fresh meat
• Paper towels
Run the gauntlet – don’t buy from the checkout display
All eyes on the cashier! Don’t even look at the sugary offerings on display, presented there especially to tempt you as you wait in the queue. No ifs, buts, or maybes, just avoid them.
BYOB (bring your own bag)
To be truthful, this one isn’t really that much of a money saver. Depending on the supermarket you visit there can be a slight saving if you take your own fabric bag to store your groceries. This recommendation has been included because of the enormous impact plastic bags have on our environment. While they may not have a particularly high monetary value, their cost in other ways is enormous.