Being a part of the KCL community has really opened my eyes to some of my grocery shopping bad habits. For instance, I now realize I am much more likely to "impulse shop" at Whole Foods than at other grocery stores—I just love that store so much. I have also realized I spend less when I go to the grocery store with my boyfriend (on account of how he hates to shop and is done with his whole shopping list in about 10 minutes!). Along with realizing my bad habits, I’ve also discovered new, easy ways to save on groceries! Check out these six tips to learn how to save $1,000 on groceries over the next year!
1. Buy wild-caught canned salmon.
One of the areas where I’m most cautious in my grocery shopping is with meat (because of all the added hormones and toxins). My motto is "organic or none." Recently I've realized I can buy wild-caught salmon in a can (about $5/can at Whole Foods) and it’s just as healthful and toxin-free as its fresh filet cousin (about $15/lb at Whole Foods). I save $20 a month this way—and my fish stays fresher longer as well!
- Annual savings (2 cans/month): $20.00 * 12 = $240.00
2. Shop every other week (and alternate with your pay weeks).
When you shop on the weeks you don't have an incoming paycheck, you are guaranteed to feel less flush—and more resilient in the face of impulse purchases. For instance, if I've just been paid, I can easily rack up a cool $15 in grocery store impulse purchases just by swinging through the "candles" aisle (what is your "impulse aisle" and how much does it cost you per trip?).
- Annual savings: (2 trips/month): $30.00 * 12 = $360.00
3. Make your own "deli meats."
Buying pre-sliced deli meats may save you five minutes at home, but it costs you in two ways: your wallet (pricier) and your health (saltier). At the deli, you pay for the labor as well as the meat—all that slicing isn't free! Let's say you want to buy turkey breast for sandwiches. You could buy a whole boneless breast for $3.89/lb or sliced turkey breast at the deli for $4.99/lb. You pay an extra $1.10 per week when you buy at the deli and you take in lots of unneeded extra salt.
- Annual savings: $4.40 * 12 = $52.80
4. Become a "take back" queen.
My mom is a "take back" queen. If she doesn't use it, or if it doesn't live up to her quality standards, it goes back—no matter what. So if the berries spoil in a couple of days ($4/carton), or she didn't need that extra sack of flour ($2/lb.), it goes back. She saves money each week just by taking things back. Let's say you save just $12 per month ($6 every two weeks) by taking things back.
- Annual savings: $12.00 * 12 =$144.00
5. Skip the fancy packaged breakfasts.
Breakfast is the easiest meal of the day to "fancy up" on a budget. Oatmeal is a perfect example. You will pay a minimum of $.20 more per serving for the pre-made flavored packets than you will if you just eat the plain oatmeal—or make your own "fancy" packets at home. If you and your spouse each eat oatmeal five days per week, you save $2.00 per week or $8.00 per month.
- Annual savings: $8.00 * 12 = $96.00
6. Weigh before you pay.
I have lost count of how many times I've been sucked in by a great-sounding deal for something I love—such as fresh green grapes for $0.99/lb. So I pick up a big beautiful bag, thinking, "All this for 99 cents!" Hah. $5.00 later…. Let's say you weigh just one thing per weekly grocery store trip—and trim the contents back to what your budget requires—saving you $2.00 per week or $8.00 per month.
- Annual savings: $8.00 * 12 = $96.00
Drumroll please…your total savings!
If you stay mindful of these six things, you can look forward to saving $988.80 in groceries over the next year.
That's nearly $1,000 you could use to invest, save, pay off debt, or build your emergency fund!
This is a post by Shannon from Texas. If you’re interested in sharing some of your best money-saving tips, please send your articles to Contributors@TheKrazyCouponLady.com