Grocery shopping can be incredibly overwhelming and you will find yourself lost in a sea of snack food, no-name brands, and unhealthy products that are full of sugar and fat. Allowing these small blunders to pop up on your grocery receipt could add up to serious money down the drain over the span of the year.
In this article, we will dig into some tips to help you when you go to the grocery store so you can save money without sacrificing health.
1. Buy Store Brands
There are times when it’s better to go with the store brand instead of the name brand, due to the fact that it’s cheaper. This can save you a lot of money over time if you’re buying a lot of the same item. In fact, some store brands are actually made by the same companies that make their name-brand equivalents and have exactly the same ingredients but cost less because they don’t have fancy packaging or advertising costs.
2. Understand the Nutrition Facts Label
When purchasing food for yourself or your family, it’s important to understand what each product contains so that you can make better choices. The nutrition facts label, found on most packaged foods, gives you information about calories, fat and sodium
content in addition to other nutritional information. It also helps you avoid products such as fruit juices that contain ingredients your body doesn’t need (like added sugars).The term “natural” can appear on any food label, including those that are highly processed or contain artificial ingredients. This makes it difficult to know what these products actually contain and how they affect your health. However, some companies do try to make sure their products are natural by using only high quality ingredients.
3. Eat Before Going Grocery Shopping
You’ve probably heard the saying “starving kids run faster.” Well, this is true when it comes to grocery shopping as well. When you’re hungry, your blood sugar levels decrease and your brain gets foggy. This makes it hard to make smart decisions on what foods you should buy while shopping. If possible, eat a small meal before heading out to the store so that you’re not tempted by unhealthy snacks that often tempt us when we’re hungry (candy bars anyone?).
4. Make a List
If you know what you’re going to buy before you get there, then you won’t be tempted by impulse buys or overspending on food because you didn’t plan ahead. Make sure your list includes everything that’s in your pantry so you don’t end up buying something that was already there!
5. Don’t Buy Too Much Fresh Food
Fresh produce is healthy, delicious and inexpensive. But if you aren’t careful about how much you buy, it can be costly. One way to keep costs down is to buy frozen or canned versions of fruits and vegetables whenever possible. They’re usually just as good (if not better) than fresh versions and are less expensive too. And if you’re concerned about getting enough vitamins and minerals from your diet, supplementing with a multivitamin can help fill any gaps in your diet without breaking the bank.
6. Use Coupons
You can save a lot of money by using coupons. Most stores have websites where you can find printable coupons for their products. You can also find coupons in newspapers and magazines, or get them from manufacturers directly. When shopping at the grocery store, make sure to look for the coupon section and grab any deals that interest you!
7. Don’t Bring Too Many People
It’s a common mistake to take your entire family with you when shopping for groceries. It’s fine if they want to tag along, but make sure they know how much money you have to spend before they start adding items to the cart. If they add something that is not on your list or has already been used, then you will end up having to pay more than what you intended.
8. Always Check the Fridge
It’s important to make sure that you have enough food in stock before buying more. If you’re going to shop weekly or bi-weekly, then this is an easy task. However, if you’re going to shop monthly or quarterly, it’s important to keep track of how much food you have left so that you don’t buy too much of something and end up wasting it. This can also be accomplished by keeping track of each item as it goes into the refrigerator or pantry and using a spreadsheet or notebook system to keep track of items as they get used up.
The main takeaway from this is that there are certain things we do when we go grocery shopping that add up to a pretty penny. We’re not even talking about buying the expensive low-quality foods at the housewares section, but rather simple bad habits like buying extra stuff we don’t need. Take the time to practice these tips, and you’ll likely see the amount of money you spend on food drop significantly.