Going to the grocery store is a task most of us don’t enjoy. Especially if you are on a healthy diet or on a strict budget.
There are just too many distractions at the grocery store. Too many shiny objects that can derail our diet or budget or both.
So today, I just want to write a quick post to give you some tips so that your next grocery store trip may stay closer to budget ( and hopefully stay healthy too!).
10 Grocery Shopping Tips to Remember on Your Next Trip To The Store
1. Look for sales ahead of time
This is something that might take a little time, but it will be worth it. Get out those circulars you get in the mail from your local grocery store (or look them up online).
See what’s on sale and plan your weekly menu around those. Or look for food you can add to your food storage for a great price.
Taking this time could save you lots of money on your shopping trip.
If you are really ambitious (and don’t mind shopping) you can do this at several stores in your area and save even more.
2. Buy in season produce
During the summer and fall, stores usually have an abundance of produce they need to sell before it goes bad.
Many grocery stores are trying to use more local produce to compete with farmers markets in the area.
If you find a great deal on in season produce, grab it.
Then you can eat some and preserve some for later.
Eating more seasonally is healthy and can save your budget at the same time.
3. Buy in bulk if available
Buying in bulk, especially for staples such as baking ingredients, rice, spices and other real food necessities makes sense and will save you money in the long run.
Your grocery store may have a separate section for bulk foods, so find out where that is and what they have available.
And then make sure that when you buy in bulk you are storing your items properly so bugs or rodents don’t get inside. You will also want to store them in a cooler part of your house to increase longevity.
4. Pick the store brand
When shopping at your local grocery store, don’t get caught up in the name brand hype.
I would say 98% of the time, the store brand is just as good as the name brand. And it’s almost always cheaper.
So save money by buying the store brand and get more bang for your buck.
5. Keep a price journal
If you buy the same things often, you start to remember what things should cost.
But if you are just starting to follow a budget, you might not know when things are a good deal and when they are just hype.
So keep a small notebook with you while shopping (or use the notes app on your phone) and write down prices of things you would normally buy.
Then you can come to a conclusion for what a good price is for that item. If you find a better deal, stock up and save money over time.
6. Don’t buy everything organic
Organic food is better for us, no question. If all food was organic in the world, the overall health of everyone would be better.
But when it comes to buying organic at the grocery store, you don’t need to spend the extra money on every item.
The best way to know which fruits/vegetables you should buy organic and which ones aren’t necessary, consult The Dirty Dozen list. It’s updated every year, so make sure you find the newest one.
If you have a garden, you can supplement your organic needs by growing you own organic food. It is very satisfying and if done right can save you money.
7. Don’t shop hungry
This one is huge for me. If I shop hungry, I always buy things I shouldn’t.
This could affect my diet or my budget but most of the time it’s both.
So make sure you have a snack or eat a meal before you go grocery shopping.
As a side note, my kids love it when I go shopping hungry! I get a bunch more stuff I don’t normally buy.
8. Don’t take the first item on the shelf
Grocery stores usually use a system of stocking shelves that puts the oldest items in the front and the newest (ones with a longer expiration date) in the back.
(This is how you should be rotating your food storage as well).
So you want to make sure you take items from the back of the shelf so it will last as long as possible in your pantry.
This will save you money by not having food go bad before your family eats it.
9. Don’t forget your list
Making a weekly meal plan and a list to go with it is a huge way to save money while grocery shopping and trying to eat a real food diet.
So make sure you have your list with you (and stick to it) while you are shopping.
If you’re going to several grocery stores, make several lists.
I use the notes app on my phone to make my grocery list so I can erase it as I go and don’t waste paper.
That’s up to you. I don’t care how you make your list. Just don’t leave it at home. You’ll be flying by the seat of your pants while shopping, and that’s terrible for your budget.
10. Don’t shop with your kids
My kids are almost all out the house now, but I have 3 boys and it was always crazy when I would take them grocery shopping in the past.
They would stick things in the cart. They would distract me while I tried to figure out prices. They would beg for things in the checkout line.
So if at all possible, shop by yourself. Then you can concentrate on what you need and stick to your budget.
It can also be a quiet time you might just start to love, just for the break.
So there you go! My 10 best tips for grocery shopping that will help you stick to your budget every time.
And if you really just don’t like going to the grocery store, there are some great curbside and delivery options out there.
I have used WalMart pick up many times. It saves you time and money because you only get what’s on your list. No extra spending.
Many stores have added a delivery or curbside component since the pandemic and I hope it stays around forever.
But if you can’t plan ahead and must go inside, I hope these grocery shopping tips will help you on your next grocery shopping trip.
You got this!
What grocery shopping tips do you have to add? Let us know in the comments below. And if you found this post helpful, please share. Thanks!