5 Tips to Save Money on Groceries and Household Essentials

An older woman in a pink top, looking at an iPad while groceries sit on the table in front of her.

It seems everywhere you go prices are up. At the gas pump and especially at the grocery store. But don’t fret just yet! We’ve got some tips and tricks to save you some money as every dollar counts.

  1. Shop grocery store circulars every week. We all have our favorite grocery store or maybe you shop at the store closest to your home for convenience. You may want to reconsider as it’s worth your time to check out the circulars mailed to your home each week for all the stores having sales.

    Shopping around to see what loss leaders are being offered at each grocery store can save you some serious money. What’s a loss leader? It’s a strategy stores use to sell products at a price that isn’t profitable for the store but it’s low enough to bring in new customers and it save you money!

    Tips for shopping loss leaders:
    • We all get excited at the idea of a deal but if you’re overbuying or buying things you won’t eat or use it’s not worth it and you’ll actually be wasting money.
    • Also look at the fine print. Loss leader deals often limit what you can buy so make sure you have all the details before you go to the store.
    • If it’s an item you use a lot and there’s a limit on what you can buy you can have a family member come along and you can each go through the line separately.
  2. Keep a list going and stick to it. It may not be as fun to shop with a list but it will keep your wallet happy and prevent impulse buys. Keeping a list on your fridge or in a place everyone sees in your house helps you know what to buy. A good habit to make is when you open a new bottle of ketchup or pickles put it on the list that way you’ll never run out and can add it to your shopping list especially when it’s on sale.
  3. Buy certain things at dollar stores. The dollar stores are great places to buy certain staples like spices, condiments and paper goods but are also often a really good deal on things like party supplies and greeting cards which can be pricey even in stores like Walmart. Dollar stores can be tempting for people who impulse buy so go in with a plan to get only what’s on your list and you’ll do well. Ignore the fun stuff and focus solely on the items you’re there to get and then get out as quickly as you can before you buy something you don’t need.
  4. The bulk shopping clubs aren’t always the cheapest. Comparison shop is the name of the game for bulk shopping. People think that Sam’s Club or Costco is automatically cheaper because bulk must be cheaper right? Not always! When you really look at the prices on the shelf you need to compare it to the loss leaders at the grocery store (see section one above about shopping the circulars) and you may be surprised. A good way to do this is look at the unit price you can use an online unit price calculator. You might find that your bulk club is cheaper for certain things like bananas and chicken but more expensive than the regular grocery store for others. Be a smart shopper!
  5. Buy dry, canned or frozen for certain items. Americans waste a lot of food. According to Feeding America, food waste in our homes makes up about 39% of all food waste which is about 42 billion pounds of food waste. That also means wasted money thrown away. Buying long lasting food is always a good idea but not just junk like boxes of mac and cheese. Make wise choices like frozen vegetables and fruit which is healthy and cheap. Also, canned and bagged beans are shelf-stable, healthy and saves you money at the grocery store. A win/win!

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