After your monthly housing expenses what is the next biggest expense you have every month? For Nic and I it’s definitely food. We don’t have a car and rarely take any form of public transportation so after our rent and utilities are paid our biggest expense is food – both groceries and eating out at restaurants.
Nick and I spend anywhere from $85 to $120 on groceries per week. That all depends on if our items are on sale as well as how much food we have leftover from the week before. We shop every Friday and try to eat everything by the next week, but that doesn’t always happen because sometimes we get lazy and want to eat out.
How do you save money at the grocery store?
Of course there are some obvious ways to save money when grocery shopping such as clipping coupons and buying the no name brand. You can also save big bucks on regular household items by shopping in bulk and trying to shop at discount warehouses such as Sam’s Club or Costco. Costco is a great alternative because their customer service and return policies are outstanding. But what about some less than conventional ways to save money at the grocery store.
Keep these four tips in mind next time you’re out at the grocery store:
Calculate the per unit cost
We’re a household of two so shopping in bulk isn’t always realistic, so I like to shop by cost per unit. The cheaper the cost per 100 grams or 100 ml the better deal the item is. We definitely buy household items such as paper towels, laundry soap and toilet paper in bulk. We also buy non perishables like Uncle Ben’s rice in the biggest bag possible because it brings the cost per unit down and it’s something we eat regularly.
However with items that can go bad shopping with the cost per unit isn’t very realistic because we would just end up throwing out the item – even though we got a good deal it’s still a waste of money. It takes us approximately one year to go through a 500 ml bottle of olive oil, so buying something like that by the gallon is just not a good idea.
Shop more frequently
How much produce do you throw in the garbage each week? I hate throwing out food because I hate wasting money, but sometimes it happens. Nick and I shop weekly because that’s how long it takes us to go through the food in our pantry and fridge. I feel that if we went to the grocery store only every couple of weeks we would end up wasting a lot of produce and I don’t want to do that.
Go to social media
Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are the new weekly flyer. If you have some favorite products then follow and like the company on social media. I often get coupons for free drinks from Starbucks through their Facebook page. I also liked the dishwasher cleaner Finish on Facebook and got an entire box of free soap. Social media is new way to find deals and coupons – and it’s eco-friendly so it’s a win-win for everyone.