The average American spends more than $600 per month on food, so savings at the supermarket can have a big impact on a family’s bottom line. A few strategic moves can shave $100 or more from your budget, and it isn’t all about simply buying less.
Say goodbye to single use.
Dang, that curry recipe looks good. After a quick analysis of which ingredients you’ll need, you realize the spice aisle alone will cost you $40. A large bag of specialty flour for the naan? Another $8, of which you’ll use exactly one cup. To get the most bang for your grocery-buying buck, one rule trumps all the rest: don’t buy anything you can’t get multiple uses from. That $18 bottle of seasonal extract you just have to have for the teaspoon your recipe calls for? Just put it back.
List it and stick to it.
I was standing behind a woman at the checkstand yesterday who told the cashier, “I was here an hour ago, but I forgot the milk.” “Milk?!” exclaimed the checker as she continued scanning what amounted to $60 worth of groceries. Before you step foot in the grocery store, make a list. A specific list. Then, stick to it. With laserlike focus, navigate the store like a contestant on Supermarket Sweep and ignore anything else that catches your eye.
Stock up when prices drop.
What happens when you’ve run out of deodorant or toothpaste? You buy it. No sale? Doesn’t matter. The lesson here is to get ahead of the desperation when it comes to non-perishables. When your toothpaste of choice is deeply discounted, stock up. The same goes for canned goods, frozen foods, and other lasting items. If you know you’ll use it, snag it while it’s a steal.
Discover the dollar store.
A number of beloved brands sell overruns or smaller containers through dollar stores. Certain items, like cans of olives, jars of tomato sauce, and even bottles of condiments, can be had for less than half the price of the neighborhood supermarket. Drop by the dollar store first to keep your piggy bank happy.
Crack the code on coupons.
Coupons have been around for decades, but their value hasn’t diminished by any means. Printed manufacturers’ coupons can be used on top of sale prices, and some grocery chains even double their value. Want a more modern approach? Many grocery store apps offer the same coupons as the Sunday newspapers, without any clipping. Just tap to add the discount to your loyalty card.