5 Tips To Save At The Grocery Store

Trips to the grocery store have become increasingly more expensive over the last several years. With corn and fuel prices on the rise, these trips are destined to continue to be expensive. Food purchases represent about 13% of the average American’s budget, and a significant portion of the variable purchases on a weekly basis. Here are a few tips to cut your next grocery bill:

Preplan your meals – I grew up with a mother that has the ability to look at a pantry full of seemingly random ingredients and somehow create a delicious feast out of thin air. Although this made for wonderful meals, it also meant having a pantry full of ingredients they may, or may not, get used. In fact, a recent study showed that the average family of 4 throws away $2,275 in food each year. Sit down before you go to the grocery store and plan out your meals for the week. This will help cut down on food waste and could save you a bundle.

Make a shopping list – Once you have preplanned your meals, make a list of everything you will need to buy at the grocery store. Be sure to add in food for snacks and other quick meals. Now here’s the kicker – when you go to the store, only buy what is on your list. Do your best to avoid buying anything not on your list. This will help to limit impulse purchases which can really add up.

Eat before you go – Shopping while hungry can cause you to purchase more food than if you go after you have eaten. I think we have all experienced being hungry in the grocery store, and walking out with a cart full of junk. If eating beforehand isn’t convenient, at least grab a quick snack so you aren’t hungry. y

Skip the organic – This is a point on contention with many organic advocates. I would contend that the organic movement has been hijacked by marketing gurus of many food companies. Recent research suggests that food labeled organic may not even be healthier than non-organic food. Organic food is generally more expensive that food not labeled organic. Plus, do you really think organic potato chips are good for you? Instead of focusing on the term organic, try to buy more fruits and vegetables.

Eat at home more often – Okay, so this one will actually cause your grocery bill to go up, but it will lower your overall food bill. Try to limit eating out as much as possible. Not only is it cheaper to eat at home, but it is also a lot healthier.

Food companies have become master marketers. They know how to push your buttons to get you to buy their products. Do what you can to avoid their sales pitch. Your wallet (and your health) will be thankful.

So what do you think? Are you already using any of these tips? Are they working for you? What tips would you add to the list? Be sure to share in the comments section!

About the author

Alan Moore, CFP®, MS

Alan is passionate about providing individualized financial advice to individuals and families, regardless of their net worth, income or investable assets. An educator at his core, he strives to serve as his clients’ guide, available to help with the sometimes stressful or exciting financial situations that life inevitably brings.

Alan is the founder of Serenity Financial Consulting, which he started after noticing the lack of hourly, as-needed financial planning advice available to consumers. With experience working in several nationally recognized firms including Kahler Financial Group and Financial Service Group, Alan combines his industry experience and technical knowledge with his entrepreneurial spirit and penchant for teaching others to create a refreshing style of truly personal financial planning.

Alan is a Certified Financial Planner™ professional and Certified Retirement Counselor™. He earned his bachelor’s degrees in Family Financial Planning and Consumer Economics and his Master’s Degree in Family Financial Planning from the University of Georgia. Driven by his desire to educate, Alan also taught undergraduate financial planning courses while in graduate school.

Alan prides himself on being active in his community and feels privileged to have served in the Georgia National Guard for four years before receiving an honorable discharge. Originally from Georgia, Alan now lives in Shorewood with his wife Melissa, and enjoys taking advantage of the abundance of activities that Milwaukee has to offer.

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