Save money on your next trip to the grocery store

by Kristina on June 10, 2013 · 10 comments

Good morning Dinks. I don`t know about you, but I spend a lot of money on food. When I was younger and financially irresponsible I used to spend a lot of money eating out in restaurants and buying take-out food. Now that I am older and more mature and I learned how to budget I spend a lot of money when shopping at the grocery store.

Admittedly I am not a very good cook and I have a very limited sense of taste, so basically I tend to buy and eat the same types of food each and every week. Last Saturday while I was at the grocery store I had an epiphany about my weekly cost of groceries and I wanted to share my savings tips with you.

2 tips to help you save money at the grocery store

Think outside the box and skip the list.  I will be the first to admit that a life without lists is a life with chaos, but I am learning that when it comes to the grocery store this rule may not necessarily be true. Every week I buy the same food at the grocery store regardless of the price, this means that every week my grocery bag is full of the same produce but my bill is not the same amount.

I recently started planning my groceries differently. Now I have a fixed budget in my head and I go into the grocery store no expecting to pay more than I planned. This requires me to put down my list and try new foods. If I need fresh fruit and strawberries are on sale, I can forget my normal blueberries and pick up a pint of strawberries. My list of veggies usually includes tomatoes, lettuce, potatoes, carrots and peppers; but maybe I can substitute some of my regular veggies for new items such as beans and spinach. Thinking outside of my list will help me buy more items on sale and save money on groceries every week.

Grow your own veggies and eat them fresh.  I live in an apartment so unfortunately I don`t have the luxury of creating a vegetable garden.  In my apartment I can`t grow carrots and potatoes but I can grow fresh basil and cherry tomatoes. I personally love everything about basil, I love the smell and I love the taste so the fact that I can pick it fresh any time is a big plus.

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is good for our health and growing them ourselves is good for our wallet. I know that some of our Dink friends grow their own veggies and I think it`s a great idea. I live in the snowy Northeast and we get six months of good weather every year, if we are luck so I definitely like to take advantage of the warm weather and grow my own herbs and veggies while I can.

What is your favourite tip to save money at the grocery store?

Photo by Angela dreams 

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 DC @ Young Adult Money June 10, 2013 at 8:46 am

Growing your own vegetables is a great money-saving activity, and I like how you were creative with growing them in your apartment. I’m not sure I’m on board with skipping the list, but I can see your point. I think trying new recipes can save money long-term because you know exactly what ingredients you will need and won’t buy excess food that will go to waste.

2 Jake @ Common Cents Wealth June 10, 2013 at 9:44 am

I am a list person, but I enjoy not having one at the grocery store. I walk up and down every isle and look at the sales, then determine if I need it. This results in a little less money spent and allows us to branch out from what we normally eat. Also, we’re not very brand loyal, so if we need some shredded cheese and another brand (not our “normal” one) is on sale we’ll go with that one. There seems to be about one brand of everything that’s on sale each week.

3 John S @ Frugal Rules June 10, 2013 at 12:16 pm

I am a list person like the others, only as that helps keep our shopping organized which also saves us time. In regards to #2, we have been doing that for years. There’s nothing like going out to our backyard and being able to pick enough veggies to have our own salad that night.

4 Kendal @HassleFreeSaver June 10, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Groceries are one of our biggest expenses and though I make lists, I don’t always stick to them. Buying sale produce is definitely the best way to save money on fruits and veggies while mixing things up in your diet. I recently started juicing so we spend a boatload on fruits and veggies, but now that it’s getting into the summer we’ll pay less for seasonal produce.

5 David @my2centopinion June 10, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Thanks for these outside the box ideas. I hadn’t really thought that my list could be holding me back from saving. I’ll have to think be a little more critical when I put my list together to make sure I am saving the best I can. I don’t think I could let go of my list.

6 KC @ genxfinance June 11, 2013 at 8:16 am

I know. It’s so easy to food, especially to good food. The thing is, we don’t have a limited taste. It’s not unlimited but we’re not too choosy. So, as expected, we spend a lot on our groceries too. We started our own garden as well. It’s not too big yet with just a few veggies but when it’s harvest time, they’re really good.

7 Kristina June 11, 2013 at 9:33 pm

I also enjoy the taste of fresh herbs and veggies a lot more than the ones from the grocery store. Thanks everyone for reading!

8 Christine @ ThePursuitofGreen June 12, 2013 at 1:15 am

Every week I go through the ads from the grocery stores I like to go to. It’s usually either Ralphs or Albertsons for me. Then I try to plan as much of my meal around it! The very best tip to cut down on your grocery bill though, is to go shop at an asian market! My bill gets cut in half almost when I can do that! So whenever possible, I’ll stop by one. They are farther away though and aren’t as convenient.

9 Matt Lacy June 19, 2013 at 10:32 am

It`s so true about buying the same things each, I do it the whole time. Next week I`m going to make a real effort to change.

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