How to save money on your weekly shopping trip
No matter how big your household is, grocery shopping can get expensive. From caving-in to your desires with sweet treats, to only picking up branded names, it’s easy to fall into the grocery store’s trap and spend more than you budgeted for.
Whether you’re an impulse buyer, a cart over-loader or brand seeker, there are ways to reduce your weekly spend. These can be simple changes, like never shopping on an empty stomach, or processes that take a bit of time - but all lead to huge savings in the long run.
See our top tips for saving money on your weekly shop and take back control of the aisles:
Make a list
Although it may seem obvious, there are plenty of benefits to creating a shopping list. For one, it helps you to stick to the items you need and not stray into the blurred lines of things you want.
The best method for this is to create two separate lists:
- Recurring list that has all the items you buy on a weekly basis
- Smaller list for anything extra you might need, such as toiletries or household products
After a few weeks, you’ll be able to plan a budget, based on the amount you spend on your weekly essentials.
It also helps to write down a food plan for the week, so you know what exactly you need to buy to make each individual meal. Before you put your list together, check the cupboards to see if there’s anything in there which could be used instead.
It also helps to make the most of leftovers by cooking larger portions and storing some away for future meals.
Use a gift card
Gift cards are great for budgeting. Set yourself a limit on your food shop and load up your gift card with that amount. Then, when you next shop in store, leave your purse or wallet at home and only take your gift card – helping ensure you can’t go over budget. Put the most important items first and ask the cashier to stop when the total amount reaches your limit.
If you’re a regular shopper at one of Kroger’s Family of Stores, then you could make huge savings on your fuel when you shop by purchasing a Kroger gift card. These can be used instore at the likes of Fred Meyer, City Market and Fry’s Food - as well as online.
Every time you buy a new Kroger gift card, you’ll earn fuel points on your Shopper’s Card, saving you money on gas. Keep an eye out for limited time deals and 4x fuel points on certain gift cards too, where you could save even more money.
Swap out branded names
Their catchy slogans and colorful labels have tempted customers into buying only their products for decades - but branded names often mean higher prices. Keep a mental note next time you go shopping to see if you’re instinctively picking up the more expensive household names, rather than more affordable alternatives just a few shelves below.
Buying branded sometimes comes down to personal choice, such as quality or flavor. But it’s worth swapping one or two branded products a week for the store’s own brand or plain labels and see if you notice the difference.
If just prefer brands, try to buy in bulk when they have special offers on. If you don’t, you may only save a few cents but in the long run swapping premium products for cheaper alternatives soon adds up.
Use coupons and sales
On top of the regular deals on gift cards and fuel points, you can also use coupons to save money on a range of products.
Ask if your local grocery store has a weekly newsletter, as these often include discounts or sales. Coupons are also often posted online or feature in ads at the front of the store, so do a bit of searching before you fill up the trolley.
Most of the savings will be minimal but use them as much as you can to save dollars at each shop.
Sometimes sales mean being flexible with your food plan. If there’s a discount on certain meats you might want to change one or two meals to beef-based recipes.
But try not to fall into the trap of purchasing items just because of their price. Ask yourself where you’re going to use it in your weekly meal plan first. If you’re drawing blanks, put it back.
Grocery shopping may be a necessity, but it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune every time you go. Make just one or two of these changes and you’ll soon start to see the savings adding up.