In the US, 63% of people live paycheck to paycheck. That’s almost two-thirds of the population that depend on their next paycheck to be able to pay rent and eat and if they miss one, it can take a huge toll on their life.
If you’re one of these people, you might want to decrease the amount you spend on weekly shopping trips but be unsure of where to start.
By following these tips, you can start shopping smart and reduce the amount of money it takes for you to eat healthy, satisfying food!
Try a Different Store
Sometimes it might be as simple as looking around at different stores rather than sticking to the same one every time.
Other stores might have the same items for cheaper, or even run deals that your regular store doesn’t.
When you enter a store, you aren’t locked into buying anything, so take some time to explore stores in the area and look at what they have on offer. You might just find your new place to food shop!
Look for Alternatives
If you want to save money but don’t want to switch stores, it might be worth looking at brand alternatives in the store you’re in.
Look up and down the aisle before you pick your usual brand of coffee or usual loaf of bread. You might find something that’s pretty much the same, but costs less.
You might also find that some stores have discount sections, where food that would otherwise go to waste is placed for almost nothing.
Dollar General, for example, will even release a penny list to get items for way cheap!
Getting into coupon-hunting is a great way to save money. Finding coupons can be hard at first but if you know where to look, it will soon become second nature and save you a lot.
Newspapers, ads at the store, and other paper forms of media often have coupons you can cut out and use.
If you order online, there are often voucher codes that can be found if you scour the web.
In general, ordering online is usually more expensive. The prices of items are usually hiked and delivery fees are extortionately high, as well as having to tip your delivery driver! They deserve the tip, but it does mean more money for you.
One of the best shopping tips can actually be to order online, at least in the beginning.
Stores will often offer voucher codes for you to join and shop with them so even if it’s only the first order that’s cheaper, it’s worth doing once.
Plan Your Meals
You might end up spending more if you to the grocery store without planning.
If you go ahead without writing anything down, you might be tempted to just grab lots of different things in the hopes you can make meals out of them later. Some might be banished to the back of the cupboard or freezer, never to be used again.
Instead, write down what meals you want to eat for the week and buy only what you need for them.
By going ahead and planning each meal in advance, you won’t be wasting any of your money because you’ll use and eat everything you buy!
Check For Cashback On Credit Cards
Some credit cards have cashback deals where, if you spend a certain amount at a store, they will return some of the cash to you.
Make sure you check all of your credit cards to see if any of them have these deals. You might have to activate the deal by adding it to your card online so before spending the money, check you’ve taken all of the necessary steps.
Some credit cards also allow points to be used once you’ve spent a lot, so make sure you’re aware of that.
Credit cards can be dangerous if used irresponsibly, but they can also very helpful.
Buy Ingredients in Bulk
If you reduce your weekly shop to every two weeks or even every month, you might find that buying ingredients in bulk is helpful.
Buying in bulk and cooking/freezing meals means you’re spending more in one shot, but you’ll end up benefitting from it in the long run.
A weekly shop might be the norm for most people, but it might be time to reduce it.
Buying things that won’t expire like spices, seasonings, etc., can also be very useful as they can be used in meals for a long time to come.
Never Shop When You’re Hungry
Shopping when you’re hungry can be disastrous! It’s a phrase often thrown around, but a lesson that should actually be followed.
Shopping when you’re hungry — or bored — means picking up snacks you wouldn’t otherwise buy, and these could be a waste just like other impulsive purchases.
Be a smart shopper and shop after you’ve eaten a full meal and are ready to make sensible choices.
Shopping Smart Is Easy When You Know How
No one should have to struggle financially, but if you do need to cut costs, shopping smart is a good way to do it. Get some coupons and voucher codes, check out your credit card deals, and make the best store and brand choices. That way, you’ll be able to stretch your money the furthest.
For other handy lifestyle posts and tips you need to know, check out the rest of our site.