2022 is the year that things are returning to a normal social state. However, our money is not going to go as far as it used to given inflation. The Wall Street Journal recently stated “Prices were up sharply in January for a number of everyday household items, including food, vehicles, shelter and electricity. A sharp uptick in housing rental prices—one of the biggest monthly costs for households—contributed to last month’s increase.” Are raises this year going to combat inflation? It is hard to say, best to be on the defensive and manage where you money is going. Here are some ideas to stay thrifty from a self proclaimed thrifty gal. 🙂
1.Download your grocery store’s app for coupons
Most grocery stores have apps these days. These apps surface deals, coupons, sales, and what is in season on a regular basis. Because why wait to go to the grocery store and read the flyer? Do your research prior to going to the store. You can check the app store to see what is available such as name of store, key features, active states, and associated digital coupons.
2.Buy in Bulk
Have you ever looked at a unit price? This is where you can calculate savings. When you buy in bulk your unit price goes down. If you really like something and consume it often, this makes the most amount of sense. The cons are storage as well as possibility of not using up all of the units. A great way to save on your grocery bills!
3.Use Rewards Apps
Using rewards apps can be time consuming but it does pay off in the long run. You may also have to adjust which brands you usually buy because specific brands have incentives attached. Here is a list for you to explore:
- Checkout 51.
- Fetch Rewards.
- Rakuten (formerly eBates)
- Target (formerly Cartwheel)
So many ways to save on your grocery bills!
4. Simplify Meals
This I followed in college. On a budget and limited time, I lived on ramen. Not very different from other college students! Say you were to combine tips #2 and #4 you could take a bulk purchase of pasta and instead of making a Bolognese you simplify the sauce to olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and oregano. You could slash your grocery bill and still eat your pasta 🙂
5. Shop the Freezer Section
Most basic foods are cheaper in the freezer section because fresh foods cost more money to preserve. If you want to buy basics like produce and fruit, opt for frozen. You are looking at a minimum of 50% savings on your produce. Some freezer meals can be more expensive, so look out for coupons to make the prices more reasonable. However, they may not be healthier.
Freezer food is arguable fresher than what you find in the regular grocery aisle. What do you think?
6. Stick to your Grocery List
Plan out your shopping trip before you head out to the store. Decide the items you absolutely need to buy and stick to it. That will keep your costs low. From personal experience, when I stick to a grocery list, I don’t impulse buy and only buy the things I will consume and need. Those extra items off your list may never get used, and could be money down the drain.
myMoneyCoach stated: “According to research from the University of Pennsylvania, people who can avoid impulse spending can save up to 23% on their grocery bills. Making a grocery list and sticking to it is the best way to shop.
Potential Annual Savings: $2,360*”
7. Find the Discount or Final Sale Aisle
Most stores have discount sections to reduce extra inventory. I personally like to get the daily bread after 5pm for half off. I generally use it within a few days! It is always a delight to get a good deal.
The Kitchn also feel that way: “Typically, these foods are marked down considerably, between 25 and 75 percent off their regular prices, allowing me the freedom to try things I might have shunned at full pop. (I also get to stock up on regular food items at rock-bottom prices!)
Before you dismiss the clearance section as “old food,” think again. Often what gets marked down are items that are “going out of season,” like hearty fall fare, or ingredients that now come in new packaging, or a flavor that’s being discontinued. The store simply wants to move these items quickly to make space for more popular items.”
If you cannot find it ask the customer service desk at the grocery store. They will even tell which days new items are added to the clearance aisle. Don’t forget to ask if they have more than 1. My grocery store has 2 clearance areas.
8. Shop Around
If you have multiple grocery stores close by, definitely do your homework and compare prices. Also check sales! The everyday price may be expensive compared to other stores, but sales can change the game. You can do this in different ways
- Check prices in person
- Review sales circulars or weekly Sunday ads
- Check apps!
- Talk with friends
- Don’t forget #7 check clearance aisles as well
9. Use the Right Credit Card
One of my favorite bloggers “The Points Guy” has a great list of credit cards that great for grocery shopping. Listed are all of the perks and % cash back on purchases.
Picking the right card also goes hand in hand with the planning process.
10. Raincheck on Out of Stock Sales Items
This is one of the best perks that is not widely advertised by stores. Check with your local store how long you have to redeem. My local King Soopers has a 30 day redemption policy. Don’t forget to note how many units are included.
No need to rush to the grocery store!
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