Many of you will be shopping for your Thanksgiving dinner this week. It’s not cheap, but a trip to the grocery store rarely is. A grocery budget is one of a family’s biggest monthly expenses. Want to cut yours down? Read on for three simple ways to save $100 or more.
The trip to the grocery store may be fun for a few, but it’s a chore for many others. A dreaded chore after one look at that grocery bill. Hannah Middlebrook spends about $300 a month buying groceries for her family of 5, which includes her three little boys. And like many Americans, she’d like to cut back on her grocery budget. “I’m always looking for ways to save,” says Hannah. “We do coupons.”
But saving money on that trip to the grocery store takes more than just cutting out coupons. That certainly helps, but if you’re really serious about cutting your grocery budget, it requires strategy and planning. Betty Casey, editor of TulsaKids Magazine, says there are 3 common mistakes shoppers, like Middlebrook, can make that hike their grocery bill.
- Shopping while hungry. Everything looks good when our stomachs are screaming, “feed me!” But Casey says that definitely influences not only how much we buy, but what we buy. “You may end up with some pre-packaged things, some high fat things, some high sugar items that you had not planned to buy because you’re hungry and they’re quick and easy to eat. You may end up buying more than you expect to buy.”
- Too many trips to the grocery store. You go in for only bread and milk, and leave with $30 worth of food. Casey has a simple solution to that. “Don’t take the whole cart in, don’t even take the carry-on because you’ll end up grabbing a few extra things as you go through the aisles. You’ll just end up spending a few extra dollars that you hadn’t intended on spending just because you see something that might look good.”
- Don’t take the kids. Casey says, “When we take our kids to the store, a lot of times we just end up giving in and buying things we don’t need or want.” But what if you have to take the kids? Casey says prepare your children before the trip. “Maybe say you can choose between these two types of cereal when you get to the cereal aisles or we’re going to buy these things, can you help me look for it?”
And there are other ways to avoid paying too much at the grocery store, including:
- Watch the price scanner. Mistakes are common.
- Only use coupons for items you normally use.
- And buy generic or store brands if you can.
Casey says if you’re really thoughtful in what you do, you could save $100 a month or more, making your trip to the grocery store not nearly as expensive, and far less dreaded.