Cutting down grocery bill doesn’t necessarily mean having empty fridge. Mostly it comes down to planning and shopping smartly.
When times are tough financially, saving money on your grocery bill is a must. However, keeping those costs down doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice eating healthy. In fact, there’s a whole host of handy tips that you can use to keep your grocery bill down whilst keeping your body healthy and happy.
The foolproof 6-step plan to cut your grocery bill
Step 1: Plan every meal
Whether your grocery shopping is weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly, planning every meal meticulously for the days to come is a good way to cut down on unnecessary costs. Think of it this way: if your every meal is planned and written down, when it comes to shopping, you’ll only be buying what you need and not what you think you might need.
This way you can plan out your healthy meals without straying into buying things that aren’t needed and will later end up in the garbage.
How many times have you bought something, pushed to the back of the refrigerator, and then thrown it out? It happens to us all. So planning every meal cuts down your spending, but it also cuts down on waste — win win!
Step 2: Use cash-back apps
Cash-back apps have become all the rage in recent years and for good reason too. Cash-back apps compile deals on products from various stores, you then buy the item from the app (or scan your receipt from a grocery store) and receive the money you’ve saved on the deal back to your bank account.
These apps are essentially modern coupons minus the endless clipping.
Anything you can possibly imagine will be listed somewhere on a cash-back app. All you have to do is download a cash-back app to your phone (pick a free one to really save money) sign up to the app and then browse through the listed retailers for any products that are available for ‘cash-back’ or have deals on them.
They are simple to use and allow you to receive money for doing nothing. Okay, so you’ll only be saving cents at a time, but all those cents will eventually add up over time.
Step 3: Buy seasonal
When certain foods are ‘in-season’ they cost a lot less than when they are out of season. Why? Because whenever food is ‘in-season’ there’s a surplus of it, and less scarcity means low-price. Plus, ‘in-season’ foods are usually locally produced, so transportation costs are dramatically reduced which too brings the price down.
Not only is it cheaper to buy ‘in-season foods’, but it’s much healthier for you too. Seasonal foods are packed with more nutrients because they are much fresher than non-seasonal foods. The less time produce has had between being picked and put onto shelves the more nutritional value it retains.
Step 4: Buy store brands
Some of you may wince a little here, but store-bought brands are nothing to turn your nose at. All it takes is a little time and patience.
Experiment with various store-bought brands; some you might hate, but for the most part, you’ll likely say, “Wow! That tastes just as good as the branded stuff!”
Most of the time, we’re paying for the brand and its fancy packaging rather than the product. And if all the ingredients are the same then why should there be a difference in taste?
Sometimes store brands just need that extra bit of seasoning or spicing, but more often than not you’ll be unnecessarily paying for the brand.
Step 5: Stockpile when price is low
Your freezer is your best hack for reducing the grocery bill. When certain foods are low in price you should stockpile them. If they are perishable, simply freeze them for another day.
You’ll essentially be cheating the system for when those food items go back up in price! Prices on foods fluctuate for a variety of reasons, so when the price is low stockpile, this way you won’t need to buy the food at its highest cost. Think of it as the stock market for grocery shopping.
This all applies to buying seasonal foods too. Stockpiling seasonal foods and then freezing what you don’t need right away is a quick way to save some of your hard-earned cash and eat healthily
Step 6: Cut down on cravings
It goes without saying that eating healthily means cutting down on giving into our temptations.
It’s hard, sure, we all have our cravings, but those cravings usually aren’t for more vegetables, are they? Let’s face it; they’re for pricey, sugary or fatty foods, damn!
Being a little disciplined when it comes to grocery shopping keeps your diet healthy, and keeps your bill trim.
Okay, so everybody deserves a little slack, but it’s ‘cut down on cravings’, not ‘completely get rid of cravings’. It’s best to streamline those cravings, or in other words, don’t go overboard with them.
In the long run, you’ll reap the health and financial benefits.