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10 Supermarket Spending Tricks You Need To Know To Save More On Groceries

10 Supermarket Spending Tricks You Need To Know To Save More On Groceries

Food is one of the inevitable spendings that eat out a huge chunk of your budget. Yet, you can cut down your expenses drastically without giving up on the goods you love! Try using at least a few of these smart tricks and watch your check shrinking for at least 30%.

1. Opt for bags and bundles

You do know that buying in bulk is cheap. However you always felt reluctant about dragging a truckload of food back home, especially if there’s just the two of you to consume it. Well, middle-sized multi-packs are amazingly great deals too! For instance, a bundle of 4 Dannon Activia yogurts costs 2.58$, when a single cup is typically priced around 1$. Same works with buying loose grocery vs. bagged. Five pounds of potatoes are 36% cheaper when bought bagged. This trick works fantastic with foods, soap and pet food.

Money spent WITHOUT the trick: $22.50

Money spent WITH the trick: $14.40

Money saved: $8.10

2. Grow your own herbs

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    Stop buying bundles of herbs for 2$ per item and make your living space greener instead.You neither need advanced gardening skills, nor a lot of space to set up a small garden, say on your kitchen window or porch. By investing around 5$ once, you will always have fresh fragrant herbs in stock. Plus, no extras spoiled and wasted when you decide to make a few changes in your weekly menu.

    Money spent WITHOUT the trick: $40 per month

    Money spent WITH the trick: $5 for seeds and pots

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    Money saved: $35

    3. Do your own slicing

    Yeah, you love having everything beautifully sliced and vacuum packed for you in pretty packs. However, if you are on a mission to save as much money as you can, you’ll have to do all the peeling, slicing and dicing yourself. It’s pretty rewarding as, for instance, a cut and peeled pineapple costs 5.99$, whereas the uncut one can be bought for just 3.99$. Same applies to whole chicken vs packaged, block cheese vs sliced, and much more goodies.

    Money spent WITHOUT the trick: $33.78 per month

    Money spent WITH the trick: $18.58

    Money saved: $15.20

    4. Do some reconnaissance

    Make a list of items you always buy (e.g. milk, bread, chicken, soap etc) and devote your day to analyzing the prices at a selection of stores in your area (Walmart, Target, supermarket, dollar store) to run a smart price comparison. Put all the data in a spreadsheet like this to go through it later and find out the cheapest place to stock up on the basics. Also, I would add a separate graph listing types of loyalty cards each store offers and which rewards you can get if sticking to a certain chain.

    Money spent WITHOUT the trick: $25 per week on average.

    Money spent WITH the trick: $21.25

    Money saved: $3.75 per week and 15$ per month

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    5. Shop organic … at Walmart

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      Walmart decided to be in trend this year and introduced his own line of organic products – Wild Oats Marketplace. It includes a variety of foods from canned veggies to organic chicken broth, that are 18% to 40% cheaper than similar organic goods at specialized stores and some other big-box outlets. For example, Wild Oats organic pasta sauce costs 40% less than a similar sauce at Target.

      Money spent WITHOUT the trick: $50 per month on average

      Money spent WITH the trick: $32

      Money saved: $18

      6. Check out the discount rack

      Certain products are placed in supermarket clearance sections not because they are bad, but for a number of other reasons like damaged packaging now looking not so flashy and attractive; being slightly off season – Christmas cookies are still delicious in March; or merely just because the manufacturer decided to discount them for some particular reason. Buying discounted stuff will save you at least 50% of the original price if not more. You should still double-check the expiration date though.

      Money spent WITHOUT the trick: $38 for groceries and candies

      Money spent WITH the trick: $19

      Money saved: $19

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      7. Plan menus by the ads

      Now most people first plan their weekly menu and afterwards start searching for relevant discounts and coupons. However, by doing the opposite: finding the hottest deals first and planning your meals around them would save you up to 50% of your weekly bill. Get a few shopping apps installed like Retail Me Not and SnipSnap to take pictures of printed coupons and flash them at the store. Plus, subscribe to newsletters at various stores to be the first to know when certain items go on sale.

      Money spent WITHOUT the trick: $98 per week

      Money spent WITH the trick: $60.76

      Money saved: $37.24

      8. Sign up for subscriptions

      Now there’s a certain list of goods you inevitably stock up on each month – shampoo, bottled water, laundry detergent etc. Save time and a bunch of money by opting for monthly home-delivery subscription services. Amazon guarantees up to 15% discount on your entire order, plus free delivery at your doorstep at the day you’ve selected. Target recently launched a similar service offering free delivery and 5% extra discount added to your Target REDcard discount.

      Money spent WITHOUT the trick: $120 per month

      Money spent WITH the trick: $85.20

      Money saved: $34.80

      9. Buy for 10 weeks at a time

      Did you know that sales typically run through cycles on an eight to twelve week rotation? Take advantage of this fact and stock up with discounted goods in advance. Say, you usually eat one pack of cereals per week. Get ten when they go on sale and put an extra fiver straight to your piggy bank.

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      Money spent WITHOUT the trick: $32.80

      Money spent WITH the trick: $27.80

      Money saved: $5

      10. Learn the layout

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        According to a recent study by Marketing Science Institute the less aisles a shopper visits, the less impulsive purchases they make. While those who walk around the entire shop usually end up with 68% of unplanned purchases, more determined shoppers with a clear plan in mind, usually grab less than 50% of random things to their baskets. Besides, you should avoid pooling goods from middle shelves as loads of companies pay for being placed exactly at your (or your kid’s) eye level. Don’t be lazy to squat and check out the lowest shelves or stretch up to the top where you are likely to find way better deals at lower prices.

        Money spent WITHOUT the trick: $32.80

        Money spent WITH the trick: $27.80

        Money saved: $5

        Featured photo credit: Charlotte via flickr.com

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        Elena Prokopets

        Freelance Writer

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        Published on May 7, 2019

        How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

        How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

        When it comes to stocks, I bet you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.

        Everyone who’s not a financial expert has been there. I’ve been there. But, time is passing and you need to be crystal clear with how you’re investing for your retirement.

        Otherwise, it’s back to work until you can afford not to. So, how can you invest for retirement when you’re not a financial expert?

        You take the time to learn the fundamentals well. If you do, you can grow your wealth and retire happy. The best part is that you don’t need to be a financial expert to make smart investment decisions.

        Here’s how to invest for retirement the smart and stress-free way:

        1. Know Clearly Why You Invest

        Odds are you already know why should invest for retirement.

        But, maybe you know the wrong reasons. It’s time you get clear on why you’d like to retire. Here are some questions to help you get started:

        • Will you spend more time with your family?
        • What does retirement mean to you?
        • Are you looking to launch that business you’ve been holding off for years?

        Everyone wants to retire but not for the same reasons. Once you’re clear for why retirement is important for you, you’ll focus on making it happen.

        Investing in the stock market allows you to take advantage of compound interest.[1] All this means is that your money earns money on top of its interest. A reason why investment in the stock market is one of the best ways to plan for retirement.

        2. Figure out When to Invest

        “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”– Chinese Proverb

        It’s true if you’d had started investing when you were 10 years old, you’d have a lot more money than you do today.

        The reality is that most people don’t start investing until it’s too late. So, if you’re currently waiting for the perfect time to start an investment, it would be today. Open your calendar and block out 2 to 3 hours to choose how you’ll invest for retirement.

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        A quick way to get a snapshot of where you stand is to use Personal Capital. Input all your personal information and spend some time setting your retirement goals. Once completed, you’ll know where you stand with your retirement.

        Having a savings account for retirement isn’t planning for retirement. Why? Your money loses value when you factor in US inflation.[2]

        3. Evaluate Your Risk Tolerance to Create the Perfect Portfolio

        Investing your money well depends on your emotions.

        Why?

        Because when the market drops most people panic and withdraw their money. On average, the US stock market yields an annual 6% to 7% ROI (return on your investment.) But, this won’t happen if you’re worried about short-term loses.

        Before you invest your next dollar, know your risk tolerance.[3] Your risk tolerance determines the number of risky and safe investments you’d have.

        Regardless of your investing style, you need to view investing for retirement as a long term game. Know that some years you’ll lose money but recoup this in the long-term.

        Avoid watching market-related new. Also, create a double authentication to log in your investment account. This way you’re less likely to withdraw your money.

        4. Open a Reliable Retirement Account

        Depending on your circumstance, you may need to open a new brokerage account. This is the account is where you’ll invest your money.

        If you’re currently working for a company, odds are that they offer a 410K investing account. If so, here’s where you’ll invest most of your money. The only problem with this is that you’re limited to the stock options that are available.

        You do have the option to open a separate IRA (individual retirement account.) Here are some of the best brokers:

        1. Vanguard
        2. TD Ameritrade
        3. Charles Schwab

        5. Challenge Yourself to Invest Consistently

        Committing to invest for retirement is hard, but continuing to do so is harder.

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        Once you’ve started investment for your retirement, you run at risk from stopping. Often you’ll want to contribute less, so you’d have more money in your pocket.

        That’s why it’s important that you create a budget that allows you to invest each month. If you’re working for a company, you can set a percentage for the amount you’d like to contribute each month. Most people by default contribute 1% but aim to contribute 10% to 15%.

        Be the judge for how much you can afford to contribute after covering important expenses. To stay motivated, use Personal Capital to view your net worth.

        A benefit to contributing money to your retirement account is not taxed. For example, if you earn $100 and invest 10%, you’d contribute $10, then get taxed on the remaining $90. As of 2019, the most you’re able to contribute towards your 401K is 19K but this can change.

        6. Consider Where to Invest Your Money

        The most common way to invest your money is in stocks, but it’s not the only way. Here are other ways to invest:

        Robo Advisors

        Robo-advisors[4] are fancy algorithms that’ll choose the best investments for you. Sites like Wealthfront make it easy for first-time investors to invest their money. You’d input information about yourself and set your risk tolerance.

        Then, set your monthly contribution amount and your robo-advisor would do the rest. Robo-advisors charge a fee to manage your money, but less than regular advisors.

        Bonds

        Think of bonds as “IOUs” to whomever you buy them from.

        Essentially, you’re lending money and charging interest. Like stocks, not all bonds are equal. Some will be riskier than others depending on their rating.

        Here are the different types of bond categories:[5]

        1. Treasury bonds
        2. Government bonds
        3. Corporate bonds
        4. Foreign bonds
        5. Mortgage-backed bonds
        6. Municipal bonds

        Mutual Funds

        Picture a group of people dumping all their money in a jar that’s managed by a professional. This is how mutual funds work. The fund manager manages the money looking to earn capital gains (interest.)

        One of the best types of mutual funds is index funds. Since these funds don’t try to beat the market and instead follow it, they need less research. Because of this they often charge the lowest fees and yield the best long-term results.

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        Real Estate

        Yes, buying a home is an investment when done correctly.

        Imagine buying a home and using it as a rental property. After repairing it, you receive a monthly surplus check of $100 to $200.

        This may not sound like a lot, but repeat this process enough times and you’d earn a large amount of passive income. That’s why real estate is one of the best investments to not only retire but become wealthy.

        But, it requires a lot of money to start and you should expect losing money along the way as you learn the process.

        Savings Accounts

        Your money can still grow in a savings account. Nowadays most online banks offer a 2% annual return. Although the average inflation is higher your money will be available when you need it.

        7. Master Disincline to Dodge Short Success

        Investing for retirement is a long-term strategy. That’s why you need to master delayed gratification. All this means is delaying short-term pleasure for something bigger in the future. Research shows that those who have delayed gratification are more successful.[6]

        So how can you master delayed gratification?

        By building your discipline.

        Think back to what retirement means to you. A clear purpose will help you avoid withdrawing your money during a market downturn. It’ll help you contribute more towards retirement when you’d want to waste it instead.

        Your journey towards retirement will be long, so reward yourself along the way. Choose a reward that’s relevant and meaningful, so that you reinforce positive behavior. For example, after contributing more towards retirement, treat yourself to dinner.

        8. Aggressively Invest on This One Investment

        I’ve mentioned several types of investments but haven’t covered the most important one.

        It sounds cliche but here’s why you’re your best investment towards retirement. The more you know, the more money you’ll be able to make. The more good habits you adopt, the more secure your retirement will be.

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        More importantly, investing in yourself is an investment that no one can take away. There’s no market downturn nor tragic circumstance that’ll wipe your knowledge and experience.

        But, how can you invest yourself?

        Reading books, blogs, and anything that’ll help you learn new topics daily. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks on your commute to/from work.

        Save money to buy courses and hire coaches. I used to believe hiring coaches was a waste of money when I could learn the subject alone.

        But, coaches see your blind spots and hold you accountable. Hiring the right coach will help you achieve your goals faster than you would’ve alone.

        Retire Happy with Excess Money

        The key to a secure financial future doesn’t only belong to financial experts.

        It’s possible for you and I. What if you were able to retire earlier than most people and weren’t a financial planner? What if you were able to focus on what you enjoy doing the most while your money was working hard for you?

        I know this sounds impossible now, but the truth is you’re capable of taking charge of your retirement. I’m not a financial expert but I’ve learned how to invest my money by reading books and learning from others.

        Investing your money is scary. So start small and invest a small amount of your money with a robo-advisor. Feel your money drop and rise for a month or two. Then, invest more and keep this up until you’re aggressively saving for retirement.

        One day, you’ll wake up with a net worth you’re proud of – confident about your retirement. You now know a few strategies you can use to invest in your retirement. Will you take action to retire happy?

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        Featured photo credit: Matthew Bennett via unsplash.com

        Reference

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