6 proven shopping tips to keep your grocery budget at bay

With the soaring cost of groceries, a few simple tweaks to your usual weekly routine is all it takes to help pare down the cost of food. Here are 6 tips you’re sure to find handy.

6 proven shopping tips to keep your grocery budget at bay

1. Track your food spending for a week

If you don't know how much you spend on food on average, track all of your food purchases for just one week then multiply by four. This should give you a rough baseline for your monthly spending.

  • Remember to include all of your purchases, not only those you make at the grocery store. That includes anything you buy at a convenience store and eat since you could also consider it to be "food" even if it is a chocolate bar.

2. Plan your meals

It's easy to overbuy or buy things that will spoil or expire soon when you don't know what you are going to use throughout the week.

  • Get into the habit of meal planning for the week; you can then easily pick out key ingredients for your week's recipes and buy only the items you need.

How often have you bought fresh lettuce and put it in your fridge's "crisper" drawer – only to have it come out anything but "crisper?" You may as well have simply burned the money.

3. Maintain a running list

Another trick for saving money on groceries is to maintain a running list of items on which you are running low. That way you can buy what you need at the right price before you're forced to pay a premium for a last-minute run to the convenience store.

4. Don't be tempted by bulk buys

Buying in bulk pays off when you are buying staple items and dry food that won't be spoiling any time soon.

  • It doesn't pay off when you are simply stocking up because something is on sale. Just because an item is being sold at a good price doesn't mean it's a wise purchase if you'll only wind up throwing it away later on.

Make sure you're making wise bulk-buying decisions every time you stock up. Do you really need the item you're considering? Or will it simply go to waste, along with your money?

5. Monitor store sales

Many grocery stores heavily promote special offers for free items or discount certain items throughout the week.

  • Get into a routine of monitoring fliers and email specials to take advantage of these deals.

6. Shop around

Shopping at multiple grocery stores can help you save money when you are taking advantage of in-store specials and weekly deals.

  • Keep track of prices and only buy what you need to maximize your grocery budget.

If your weekly grocery bill is putting a big dent in your budget make sure you're taking steps to set a realistic food budget and making smart purchasing decisions to reflect what you can afford, what you need, and what you like to eat.

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