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Grocery Shopping on a Budget

Bidisha Mukherjee Jun 30, 2019
When you plan a budget, you face lots of challenges. Here are some tricks for overcoming the challenges of grocery shopping on a budget.
Shopping for groceries while on a budget does not mean that you have to buy inferior quality food. You just have to follow some money saving tips for effective money management. It includes proper planning and realistic budgeting.
Make a list of all those items that you need for breakfast, dinner, and lunch, and other household items. Otherwise, it may so happen that you end up purchasing a lot of unwanted goods and the essential items are left out. It is also very important that you stick to your list while shopping.
Do not get tempted to buy some extra items. Avoid taking kids to grocery stores as their wishes can deviate you easily from your list. Here are some tips for the same.

Grocery Coupons

These can help you save hundreds of dollars from your grocery budget every year without much of an effort. You can collect them from the Sunday newspapers. 
Flyers are also sent by different stores through the mail. Some libraries give out such coupons for their patrons. Hence, you can check it out if such a facility is available with your library or not.
Take care that you collect only those coupons that are meant for items that you need to purchase. It often so happens that you buy certain things that you don't really need, just to avail the discount. Thus, a lot of money can get wasted. Keep these coupons in your purse so that you do not forget them when you go shopping.

Discount Sales

Sometimes, grocery stores offer rebates on certain items on a particular day. However, avail such a discount facility only when you require it and stop yourself from overbuying things.
It should not happen that you drive to a store which is far from your house just to buy one or two things at a discounted rate. Restrain yourself from buying perishable goods in large quantities simply because they are at a lower cost. Even if you get them at a cheap rate, when you are throwing away a rotten food item in the trash, it is a waste of money.

Bulk Purchase

Several stores give money saving offers to people who buy in bulk quantities. Avail this facility to buy the regular household supplies like detergents, cleaners, paper towels, etc., and also for non-perishable foods like cereals, snacks, canned items, etc.
Avoid buying those items that are not required in large quantities. For instance, there is no point in buying mustard for the next five years just to avail a discount. It will be better if you stay away from buying perishable goods like frozen foods on sale.
Most of the time, stores put them up for sale when their expiration date is coming closer. In that case, buying excess of what you cannot finish off before the stipulated expiry date will waste money instead of saving it.

Compare Prices

For this, you have to invest a good amount of time in shopping for the groceries. Select five different stores in your area. Purchase items from all of them one at a time, to find out which store can give you the most value for your money. 
You also have to consider the location of the store. If a store which is at a long distance from your house is giving you things at a lower rate, it may not be a viable option. It is likely that the money you save in the sale will not be much when you compare it with the money that you spend on gas.
Another effective way to save money while grocery shopping is to use cash to make the purchases. This is because, when you see the cash going out of the purse, you will feel like holding yourself back and spending slightly less.
When you opt for cards, it is likely that you end up spending beyond your budget as you don't see the actual money going out at that point of time.