Grocery shopping. Picture: Oleg Magni/Pexels.
Grocery shopping. Picture: Oleg Magni/Pexels.

8 tips for grocery shopping that will help save you money

By Sacha van Niekerk Time of article published Jul 30, 2021

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Have your grocery bills been increasing by the week? From shopping on an empty stomach to failing to plan meals and resorting to takeways, we have many bad habits when it comes to food shopping.

Ultimately, these ends up costing money.

Try these cost-saving tips next time you head to the store.

Eight tips for grocery shopping that will help save you money:

Check your stock

Before you head out or write a list, take an inventory of what items you’re low on or have run out of. Don’t forget to look in the freezer, cupboards and potato and onion bins. Doing so will give you a better understanding of what needs to be bought, helping to prevent unnecessary double purchases.

Compare and contrast

Look at the websites of grocery stores and compare prices. The internet is also a good resource for looking for good deals that will help you save money. By doing this, you’ll have a better understanding of where to shop for specific items.

Meal plan

Draw up a rough meal plan for the week. This should include the number of people who will be consuming each meal and what you’ll be eating. This will make it be easier to shop for the items in the correct quantities.

The plan can also help you budget for the week, so you know how much you can afford to spend with every weekly/monthly shop. If you tend to resort to takeways on those lazy nights or run out of groceries too early in the week, this may be your greatest tip.

Write a grocery list

Jot down the items you need to buy, taking note of specific brands you prefer as well as quantities. Also, don’t forget to include other household items like toilet paper and dishwashing liquid – these items should also be considered necessities but can rack up your total if you aren’t careful.

When you walk blindly into a grocery store without a list, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the variety of goods on display, ultimately making you stray away from your cost-saving goal.

Shop with a calculator

Most cellphones have a calculator app. Use it to tally the cost of each item, so you don’t go over budget. If you fall under budget, you can decide whether you’d like to add a few extras, like luxury items and treats, just ensure you don’t overdo it.

Save where you can

From buying in bulk to opting for one large bag of dried beans instead of multiple cans and choosing frozen rather than fresh veggies, there are many ways to cut expenses. A big way of bringing down costs is to choose generic brands which cost less and usually taste the same as branded items.

Don’t shop when you’re hungry

When you’re starving, pretty much everything looks good at the store. From overpriced and unhealthy ready-made meals to junk food galore, there are way too many temptations when you have a growling stomach. It’s best to shop after you’ve eaten.

Buy in season/local

Fresh and local produce is always best. Imported fruit and vegetables carry hefty prices due to how far they’ve travelled to be available to you. Local is always more nutritious, because freshly picked fruit and veg begin to lose their nutrients within 24 hours of being picked.

Shop online

If you can, shop online. It’s quick, easy and efficient and won’t leave you with a surprising total. The site tallies your cart as you add new items. Online shopping sites also have great deals that you don’t have to hunt down because there are usually signs and the discount applies at checkout.

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