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Last Updated on March 25, 2021

How To Save Money On Groceries: 13 Quick Tips

How To Save Money On Groceries: 13 Quick Tips
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How many times have you gone to the grocery store and filled your basket with items that aren’t on your list? It could be more times than you can even remember. Eating is essential to life. However, that doesn’t mean you should make overspending on groceries a habit. It’s possible to eat healthy while on a budget.[1] But why save money on groceries?

Reducing your grocery expenses may mean less food going to waste, and you can put the extra money toward something big. Spending too much happens when you don’t have a plan.

In this article, I’ll show you some real ways to cut back on your grocery expenses. This way, you won’t buy anything you don’t need. It’s time to start minding your financial goals any time you go grocery shopping. Read on to find out the best tips on how to save money on groceries.

1. Create a Meal Plan

If you’ve found yourself spending extra money on emergency takeouts several times in the past, meal planning is for you. First, count the meals that you (and your family members, if living with any) consume every week. This number doesn’t include the free meals you get from time to time.

The next step is to know how long a specific meal lasts. Let’s say you buy a dozen eggs. Ask yourself how many times they’re going to be used for meals. By planning your meals like this, there won’t be instances where you have to order expensive food because you ran out of ingredients.

2. Do Some Math as You Shop

While you add items to your basket at the grocery store, it’s best to have an idea of the amount you’ve spent so far. Use the calculator on your phone to keep track of the total cost. If you’re good at counting in your mind, go for it.

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You can even round up the prices to a higher number. For instance, count a $1.89 fruit as $2 and $3.29 veggies as $3.50. This approach enables you to be under the budget. Do this for all the items you buy and you’ll be surprised by how much you save at the checkout.

3. Pay in Cash

Using credit cards comes with benefits such as earning rewards and enhanced security. But using them irresponsibly can bring you more debt and make it challenging to hit your saving goals. That’s why it’s best to pay for groceries in cash if you’re someone that frequently makes impulse purchases. You only need to carry cash that’s enough to cover the items on your list.

Withdraw cash for groceries each week and keep away your credit cards. When doing online grocery shopping, use a debit card for payments instead. By doing this, you won’t buy things that you can’t afford.

4. Shop at Different Grocery Stores

When picking a go-to grocery store, several factors come up. It could be that it’s near your home. Or maybe it’s where your friends go. It won’t be a surprise that you chose a specific store because it has the best logo.

Because you’re here to know how to save money on groceries, your focus should be on the most affordable prices. So, put that above all other factors and start going to different grocery stores. Check what’s on sale at other stores from time to time. Take advantage of the anniversary or other deals you can find.

5. Avoid the Grocery Store When Hungry

We all know that an empty stomach can make you do things without a plan, and one of them is shopping. When hungry, you might add many items to a big cart and be met with an unplanned grocery bill. You go ahead and pay any amount because your body tells you that you need them all. In the end, some of the things you buy may go to waste.

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So, don’t go grocery shopping when you haven’t eaten something. Better yet, only go there when your stomach is full.

6. Only Buy What You Need

It’s a common habit to buy lots of stuff to push your next trip to the stores further. Aside from that, you may see discounted prices and take advantage of them by buying more units than you need. Or you might be expecting some visitors that you aren’t sure will show up.

All these reasons can cause you to buy items you don’t need or large units of things on your list. Chances are they’ll get spoiled before you get a chance to use them. So, set specific days for grocery shopping and avoid buying something you don’t need even if there’s a discount.

7. Check Out Items in Lower Shelves

Many grocery stores keep their expensive items on eye-level shelves. They’re mostly the easiest to see, making the items on them the first and only option for most people. And that’s why some stores keep the costly stuff there.

You don’t have to fall for these tricks anymore. The next time you’re shopping, check out the low-level shelves and you might find prices that favor your grocery budget. The cheapest items might be those lying on shelves closer to the floor. If that means crouching a bit, so be it.

8. Pick a Small Basket

Sometimes, carts and large baskets are the first you see on your way into the supermarket or grocery store. Just because you encounter them first doesn’t mean you should pick them.

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Having a huge basket and few items won’t make sense. So, you’ll probably try to fill up its space with stuff you don’t need. And so, you end up spending more money. Instead, find a smaller basket that can perfectly fit the items you’re shopping for. If you only need one or two items, you’re free to carry them by hand.

9. Eat Seasonally

Eating seasonally enables you to save money on groceries. While the concept is clear, many people still don’t pay attention to it. When you buy groceries that are in season, their supply is high and they cost less.

Buying fruits and veggies that are out of season can cost a lot because they aren’t readily available. They probably went through long trips to reach your local grocery store. As a result, transport costs are included in their prices.

10. Check Expiration Dates

Don’t check the expiration dates when you get home. Do it before adding the items to your basket. You don’t want to buy items that expire in a day while you had planned to use them for a few more days. If the produce lasts longer, you won’t have to go to the stores every day. Aside from saving you money, you get a chance to enjoy your food when it has the most nutritional value.

11. Store Your Groceries Properly

If you store your groceries properly, it takes more time for them to go bad. This includes cleaning your fridge regularly, not over-packing, and not storing vegetables when damp. In case your fridge has a cooling problem, fix it. If it’s too old and shows signs of going out, you need to replace it. While it might look like you’re spending too much here, it’ll save you more money over the next several years.

12. Go for Unpackaged Fruits and Veggies

As you know, packaging can be a tiring process. No one wants to spend time wrapping and putting groceries in packets for free. If you buy pre-packaged items, you also pay for the packaging indirectly. So, only pick lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, and other produce that isn’t in cool (and costly) packets. Besides reducing your grocery expenses, this approach ensures healthy eating.

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13. Don’t Go Shopping With Big Spenders

Go for groceries without friends or family members who are good at adding items that aren’t on the list. Most of the time, kids are the ones who have the habit.

It’s possible that the big spender could be that best friend who thinks you’re “rich.” Leave them at home and you won’t have to buy anything extra during your trip to the store.

Bottom Line

Cutting back on your grocery expenses doesn’t mean you won’t be eating healthy or enough. With a proper plan, you get a chance to free up more money while reducing food wastage.

Because you now know how to save money on groceries, keep these tips in mind every time you go to the store. The result will be nothing short of you achieving your financial goals faster!

More Tips on Saving Money on Grocery

Featured photo credit: Bruce Stockwell via flickr.com

Reference

More by this author

Mike Stuzzi

Mike Stuzzi is an Internet entrepreneur and personal finance blogger at The Money Galileo.

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

Financial Freedom is Not a Fantasy: 9 Secrets to Get You There

Financial Freedom is Not a Fantasy: 9 Secrets to Get You There
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Have you ever considered your life now, and how it would be if you had more time to spend with your family and less worries about money?

Nowadays, financial stress is one of the most troublesome weights in life. If you’ve ever encountered financial stress, you know the difficulty of not having enough income to pay your obligations or bills.

Many people say that money is not the ultimate goal of life. While that’s true, money certainly plays a very significant role. The meaning of financial freedom changes with the different phases of our life, but ultimately, it is something that many people strive for.

In this article, we’ll explain how to capture that financial freedom you’ve been looking for. Read on to learn the secrets to financial freedom.

Break Free of Your Finances

Financial freedom is about having a constant flow of cash from your assets to cover all your regular needs.

When you are not worried about your income, or living paycheck to paycheck, you gain a great sense of freedom. It’s the freedom to be obtain and do what you truly need to make your way through everyday life.

Gaining financial freedom, though, is a process of growth, making small improvements and gaining emotional strength.

Though it seems hard to believe, it is really very simple to get financial freedom.

To do so, you simply need to make sure that your assets exceed your liabilities. In other words, you’ll need to find the sweet-spot where your residuals meet or surpass your expenses. This is something that you can achieve with the proper plan.

While not every person will accomplish financial freedom, the potential for anyone to do so is certainly there. Anyone can achieve this success, regardless of their income level.

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Outlined below are 9 secrets that will help you in your goals of achieving financial freedom.

1. Stop Unnecessary Spending

We often spend money inwardly, instead of objectively.

For example, you may spend when you’re anxious, depressed, restless, exhausted, from fear of missing out, or to please others. This is a very unhealthy way to handle your finances.

To stop this habitual spending, log down all your spending over the course of a month.

Just as some people keep a food diary, keep an expense diary. Remember not to just write down how much and what you spent the money on, also include the circumstances of why you spent the money. Was it an impulse buy at the checkout line or was it something you planned to purchase?

This increased self-awareness could enable you to avoid triggering situations in the future when you are considering an impulse buy.

2. Plan a Monthly Budget

This is a great opportunity to get serious.

Take a seat with your spouse or partner and make a monthly budget based on your income, not your expenses. You are never again going to spend more cash then you have on hand.

Overspending is the thing that led you to more financial obligations. Make sure you decide every month what is coming in and what will be going out and stick to that budget… no matter what.

3. Cut-up Credit Cards

Perhaps you are the type of person who always pays your credit card balance in full before the end of your billing cycle, and enjoys the reward points you gain. If this is the case, then you’re already way ahead of the game.

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If not, you may want to consider ridding your life of the burden that credit cards bring.

Many cards have strategies set up so that if you make a certain number of late payments, they will raise your interest rate much higher. This can really add up in the long run and you won’t be doing your financial situation any favors. If you’re prone to late payments or have a large balance due on your cards, cut them up!

Without proper self control on credit card spending and payments, you are basically throwing your money away. To ensure that you have better control over your spending, use only cash or debit for all future purchases (and don’t forget to pay at least your minimum payment on your cut-up cards each month!).

4. Increase Savings

There is no doubt that for a comfortable retirement you must accumulate satisfactory savings throughout your working life.

It’s good practice to save up to 15% of your income.

Start with your workplace 401(k), if you have one. If not, a Roth IRA (if you are eligible) or a traditional IRA (if you are not eligible for the Roth) are the next logical steps.

Increase in longevity means you might be able to look forward to 25 to 30 years in retirement, or possibly even significantly more. Investing now in good retirement plans will ensure that you have a guaranteed a stable monthly income when the time comes to stop working. [1]

5. Invest Wisely

Consider investing in funds.

Specifically, you will gain higher returns if you invest in different types of mutual funds such as Debt funds, Equity funds and Hybrid funds with a proper balance, although it absolutely relies on your personal preferences and sense of risk taking.

To get the most of these benefits, make sure you are investing in a variety of assets. Another resource of investing in mutual funds is SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) where you invest some money every month in funds. SIP works by averaging the per unit price of the stock.

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Mutual fund investors are aware of the benefits of an SIP (Systematic Investment Plan). For one, it is the most secure way to invest in equity mutual plans so that wealth is created over a long period of time. This plan also helps you to gain a better sense of financial discipline, which will come in handy in all your financial endeavors.

6. Invest in Gold

There isn’t really a better way to invest in gold than to have the physical gold itself in your possession.

You can purchase gold coins and bars from mints as well as from coin dealers and other private sellers.

Another way to invest in gold is through ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds).

These are is similar to mutual funds but they are exclusively investments of gold. ETFs are great because they offer more liquidity; the ETF owns the actual physical gold, stores it, and retains the value of the shares. These shares can then be bought and sold in the stock market, and one big benefit is that the transaction costs of gold ETFs are much lower than the that of physical gold.

With its consistently-increasing demand, investment in gold can be very wise long-term investment to make.

7. Stash Emergency Funds

Whether it’s a cash gift or a work bonus, always try to save any extra money that comes your way rather than making unneeded purchases.

If you get paid every other week, you’ll get an “extra” paycheck (three rather than the usual two) twice a year. Either save those paychecks towards your emergency funds or utilize the money to pay down other obligations, such as loans, credit cards or other debts.

Make it hard to get your cash.

Put your savings in an alternate bank, maybe an online bank that forces you to delay for several business days before transferred money hits your regular bank account.

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8. Find Fabulous Mentors

Find a mentor, such as a friend or family member, who has exceptional control over their finances and pay attention to everything they do.

If you do not have any friends or family that are enjoying financial freedom, then find a mentor online! There are numerous blogs and guru websites featuring the advice of many people who have reached financial freedom, and they exist primarily to let you in on how to achieve it for yourself.

There are also plentiful forums available that share tips and tricks on how to best achieve financial freedom. Read as much as you can and start changing your habits for the better.

9. Be Extra Patient

Patience is the key of financial success.

Being patient can be quite tough, especially when you’re struggling with your finances, but having faith is worth it. You’ll continuously be on the right track if you are taking the proper steps above.

So don’t be discouraged, even if you are only saving a few dollars a month; it all adds up. Within just a few years you’ll look back proudly at your accomplishments and be glad that you had the patience to get there.

Financial Freedom for All

Anyone can achieve financial freedom, regardless of their financial circumstance.

Use the tips provided above to get yourself on the track to financial freedom and toss your monetary concerns out the window. If you wish to achieve a life with financial freedom for yourself and your family then you must adopt a disciplined approach towards your finances.

Following the simple secrets above is a great start to making your money work for you, so you can work less and live more!

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Hartford Gold Group: IRA Retirement Accounts

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