We’ve all been there, grocery shopping while hungry, tired or distracted. You get to the checkout line only to realize you’ve gone over budget and quite possibly forgot to pick up the one thing you absolutely needed. Food and grocery shopping is a necessity, but overspending is not. There are simple, yet effective ways to help you navigate grocery shopping and save money while you’re at it.
1. Make a list
First thing first – always make a list and stick to it. When you have a plan, it’s much easier to keep your eye on the prize and only buy what you actually need. Use the Flipp app to search for the best sales and plan your meals around discounted items. Having a list allows you to stick to the plan and limits the need to shop aisle by aisle.
2. Shop generic
Many grocery stores have their own generic brands such as Meijer Made by Meijer or Great Value by Walmart. These brands mimic some of our favorite products, and are priced much lower. They taste similar enough (or better) to their brand name counterpart, so substituting for these brands when you can will end up saving you lots of money.
3. Buy less pre-packaged foods
We live in a world where we value convenience, but at the grocery store, convenience has its price. Although buying pre-packaged foods such as grated cheese or pre-cut vegetables is appealing and saves you time, purchasing an item in its original state will instantly save you money. Is the five minutes it will take you to grate that cheese or wash and cut lettuce really worth paying more? You be the judge, but when it comes to saving money, we think every penny counts.
4. Eat in season
Seasonal fruits and vegetables are not only delicious, but they are also very reasonably priced. Keep this in mind while planning your next grocery shop, and try to plan some meals or snacks incorporating these items. You’ll have a good idea of what’s in season by browsing through the weekly grocery ads, as these fruits and vegetables will most likely be on sale. The best part is that the recipes that often circulate on social media tend to use what’s in season, so you'll have lots of inspo on how to cook with these ingredients.
5. Stock up
When a good sale hits, don’t waste any time. Stock up on the goods! When there’s a sale on non-perishables or items that can be frozen, there is no shame in buying a little extra to save for later. These sales don’t come around often, so take advantage of them while you can. You may be paying a little bit more today, but you are definitely shopping smart and saving some money down the line.
6. Never shop hungry
We hear this again and again, but trust us when we say – don’t shop when you’re hungry. Even if you have a list, your stomach has more power than you do in steering that grocery cart. You think you were the one that ended up in the snack aisle? Nope – it was your stomach. Do yourself a favor and have a snack before you shop.
7. Keep a price log
Have you ever wondered if a deal is actually a good deal? Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you truly are getting the lowest price, even if that’s how it’s advertised. This tip comes from one of our Flipp users:
"Keep a price log to help you track the prices of the items you buy week after week. This will not only help you with your budgeting, but it will help you to understand the average prices on your everyday items so you can determine the best time to buy them. It will take a little extra work in the beginning, but it’s so worth it in the long-run.”
Grocery shopping doesn’t have to be expensive, and we hope that these tips have helped you get back on track. To make sure you’re saving money every week, download the Flipp app as your one-stop shop for all the best deals.