Food eats up a lot of your money. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s the third-largest expense after rent and transportation, which at first sounds crazy, but makes a lot of sense.
While eating out in restaurants is much more expensive than cooking for yourself, grocery shopping can be surprisingly pricey. Of course this all largely depends on where you shop and where you live, but there are a few effective ways of saving money and shopping smart. You just need to know what to do.
Lifehacker compiled a list of tips that’ll help you save up the next time you go to the supermarket.
Check these out:
If you need to cut back on costs, planning your meals ahead of time will help you stick to a plan and avoid wastes. You can also plan your menu depending on the items that are on sale, allowing you to buy them in bulk and save a little bit of money.
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Having a meal plan will also eliminate the odds of purchasing something that you won’t eat and that’ll end up expired in the back of your fridge. Supercook is also a big help, letting you know which meals you can cook with whatever you have on your fridge.
Loyalty Programs Work
If you’re a regular at a grocery store or pharmacy, make sure to sign up for their rewards program which will save you tons of money in the long run and offer you coupons and rewards. This will help you stock up on points and the store will also notify you when there are offers available.
Shop For What You Need
Before you shop for groceries check your fridge and pantry and write down all that you have. This will help prevent you from buying the item again and only having what you really need. If you’re on a budget, sticking to your plan and avoiding temptation will make a big difference in your wallet.
Buy Cheap Basics
Stocking up on cheap basics that won’t expire such as rice, flour, canned foods, and others is a smart way of saving money in the long run and of always having food in your house, allowing you to get home late and cook something up instead of ordering delivery or spending money on a deli.
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Be sure to compare grocery store prices by either using an app or writing down the prices on a notebook. Apps like Favado and Grocery Pal make things really easy, comparing grocery prices for you and helping you save some money. While making trips to different stores can sound like a lot of work, it could also help you save up a significant amount of money.