How to Save Time & Money On Your Weekly Groceries
For many people, grocery shopping is a time-consuming and dreaded chore. Not only does it eat up your time, but it also costs a lot to get the food you need. When you are already tired and stressed, you’re more likely to make impulse purchases that run up your bill even higher. Read on for some tips that will help you save time and money on your weekly groceries.
Do a Weekly Inventory
When you’re already at the store, it’s hard to remember whether you have a full jug of milk or if it’s almost empty. You might not remember if you have only two eggs left, or if you still have a whole dozen. Before you make your online grocery order or drive to the store, do an inventory. Check your freezer, refrigerator, cabinets, and pantry. By using up what you already have, you’ll avoid wasting food. You’ll also save money by not buying extras of things that would go bad before you could use them. Shop seasonally for a low-cost product that is fresh. In October, squash is inexpensive. In April, you can get great deals on asparagus.
Plan Meals on What You Have
According to Bon Appetit, planning meals on what you already have will also save you time and money. If you have ingredients that don’t seem like they quite go together right, you could visit a website or app and input the ingredients. It will provide you with a list of recipes to try. Keep in mind that you don’t have to use all the ingredients in one dish. The cup of leftover rice, can of tomatoes and green pepper could be the base of a Mexican dish, and the can of pineapple and leftover cottage cheese could be breakfast.
Compare Prices With an App
There are several free apps you can download onto your Android or iPhone that will allow you to compare prices on the groceries you need at the stores in your area. You can also use apps to get rebates, cashback incentives, and coupons for the things you buy. Some of the apps even toss a quarter your way just by scanning an item or checking into the store. These are small amounts, but you could do them while standing in line or waiting.
Cut Down on Shopping Trips
Recognize that each store will have different “loss leaders” each week. These are items priced at a loss to the store. They entice you into the doors, and the store owners hope that you’ll buy some full-price and impulse items while you’re there. You might have to go to more than one store to get the best prices for each of the items on your grocery list. Just know that the more stores you visit, the more likely you are to throw a few extra items into your cart.
Order Groceries Online
If you get frustrated in crowded stores, lose track of where things are located, or tend to add things to your cart that you don’t really need, consider ordering your groceries online. Most stores allow you to save your list, so if you usually get the same things every week, making your next order will be even faster. With online grocery shopping, you can pick up at the store or have them delivered to your home. There are delivery fees for the home drop-off, but it could save you time. Home delivery could also save you money if you tend to make a lot of impulse purchases.
Consider Alternate Pickup Options
Some stores don’t offer 24/7 hours. If you work irregular shifts, have two jobs, or are busy, your schedule might not mesh with the store’s schedule. Grocery lockers are one way to pick up your order at your convenience. These lockers offer freezers and refrigerators to keep perishables at the right temperature. You get a code to access your items, and the lockers are located in safe, convenient areas that are well-lit at all times.
Grocery shopping is necessary, and these tips will help you reduce the cost, stress, and inconvenience. By streamlining your lists, arranging for pickup or delivery when it suits you, and using helpful apps, getting your food will be a lot easier.