Grandma’s Best Tips for Saving Money at the Grocery Store
Grandma always knew how to get the most bang for her buck at the supermarket. I'm happy to share her best money saving grocery tips!
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Head to the store on a full stomach
Ever noticed that when you’re hungry, you’ll eat just about anything? If you go to the grocery store on an empty stomach, you’re more likely to splurge on food. Make sure to have a quick meal before you start shopping so you don’t spend money on junk.
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Make a list before you go
Having a grocery list before you leave the house is my grandma’s unbreakable rule! If you have a list in hand, you’ll be less likely to stray toward the food you don’t need. (Don’t forget to check your pantry and refrigerator to make sure you’re not buying something you already have.)
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Coupons are your friend
Preparing the week’s meals based on coupons and sales are two great ways to make sure you’re spending less. If an item is on sale but sold out, talk to the manager—you may be able to get a rain check, which allows you to get the item on sale when it’s back in stock.
Psst… You can use coupons on your phone to grab deals, too. Here’s how!
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Brand names = overspending
In my grandma’s opinion, brand names mean one thing: You’re paying more than you should be! You’d be amazed at how much cheaper store-brand items are than the more popular name brands. You likely won’t notice a difference in your recipes, but you might notice the extra cash in your pocket.
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Never buy bottled water
“If you have a working tap, you’ll never need to purchase bottled water,” the old saying goes. Prefer to drink filtered water? Buy a couple gallon jugs to keep refilling instead, and keep them in your refrigerator. A 12-pack of bottled water might seem inexpensive, but saving those extra dollars every week will add up.
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Steer clear of pre-made food
You can go to the store and purchase pre-made food, but there’s a hefty price tag for that convenience. “Get your hands dirty and learn to cook,” says my grandma. Can’t argue with that advice!
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Growing is better than buying
Any type of fresh produce is bound to be expensive. Fruits, vegetables and herbs can all add up in your cart. But if you have some empty space in your yard, consider growing some of this produce. In particular, growing fresh herbs could save you a ton of money at the grocery store.
Buy produce that’s in season
If gardening isn’t feasible, save money by only purchasing produce that’s in season. When you buy out-of-season, the cost is higher since the produce must be transported from further away.
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Always shop alone
Keep the kiddos at home when you do the grocery shopping. They’ll beg you to load up the cart with expensive stuff that hurts your wallet, and likely isn’t too healthy. It’s okay to live a little and splurge every now and then, but bringing the kids along will only help you spend more, not save.
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Buy in bulk, when possible
Buying in bulk might mean spending more in the short term, but it will help you save money in the long run. Consider getting a membership to a wholesale club like Costco or Sam’s to stock up on items you’ll always need, such as paper towels and nonperishable items. If there’s a great sale, don’t be afraid to buy extra for the long term!