6 Ways to Save Money at the Supermarket

Grocery shopping is an area where our budgets can easily be overrun. Shopping when we are hungry or stressed or at the wrong time of day causes us to buy things we don’t need, costing us extra money. With our six money-saving tips, you can learn to shop smart and buy only what you need.

1. Plan Ahead and Make a List

The first and most important tip is to make a detailed list and stick to it. This will prevent you from wasting money and keep your shopping trip streamlined. Plan out all your meals for the week, using food you have at home and food you need to buy. Shopping with a strict list will help you keep on budget, and will also keep you from buying unhealthy food as impulse purchases.

2. Don’t Shop Hungry

The worst time of day to shop is before mealtime. Hungry shoppers are more likely to buy more and will often turn to unhealthy food. Before you go into the grocery store, have a meal, or at least a healthy snack. This will keep your blood sugar up and keep you from being a slave to your stomach while you’re shopping.

3. Avoid Shopping with Kids, or Make it a Game

If there’s any way you can avoid grocery shopping with your kids, do so. For older children, it could be fun to get them involved in the budgeting process. Give them a calculator and the total budget and have them add up your purchases as they go. Treat it like a game and your kids will want to play.

4. Shop for Paper Goods and Cleaning Products Elsewhere

Items like toilet paper and cleaning supplies are often marked up at the supermarket. Try getting these items at discount stores instead. Many of these items are even available at the dollar store at nearly the same level of quality you would get at the supermarket.

5. Buy Store Brands

Don’t be afraid to try store brand versions of your favorite foods. These have improved a lot over the years, and it’s possible you might like them even more than the more expensive varieties.

6. Take Advantage of Coupons and Savings Programs

If you’ve never clipped coupons before, pick up a copy of your local weekend newspaper and give it a try. You can also use store loyalty programs and other digital discounts.