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Grocery shopping on a budget isn’t rocket science at all. In fact, it’s probably something you can do in your sleep. When I started grocery shopping for myself, I set a budget of $100/week (for two people) thinking that I’d always hit that mark. But in reality, I’ve always been under because for the most part grocery shopping can be pretty cheap. Based on my weekly routine, I will show you 5 tips on how to grocery shop on a budget.
1. Pay Attention to Weekly Ads
The easiest way to save money on groceries is to buy items on sale. Before you go to the market, set time aside to look at weekly ads. Be intentional and choose to plan your meals ahead of time. That’ll save money instantly.
2. Check Out Other Markets in Your Area
Not many people will have the luxury of choice when it comes to grocery stores, but if you do, consider shopping around. I travel about 9 miles at most to go to the grocery store, but that’s only because it’s an Asian grocery store. If it wasn’t for that, I’d travel as far as 5 miles. Within five miles, I have plenty of choices with various price points and selection.
Try to think outside the box when deciding to go to the grocery store. You don’t have to go to Target, Whole Foods, etc. for your groceries. Instead, try the lesser known franchises such as Grocery Outlet or Super A. These franchises are either known to be cheaper and/or targeted towards non-American cuisines. Usually, they also have in-store butchers and sell meat at lower prices (double check the quality of meat of course).
Tip: if you don’t want to travel far, think smart. If you expect to travel for another reason besides grocery shopping (ex: work), shop there on your way back.
The deals are worth it! $7.99 for .63lb of beef chuck steak (cheaper cut) at Target isn’t worth it when I can buy it for about half the price at a different grocer.
3. Make a Grocery List and Stick to it!
Grocery lists can not only help you stay organized, but it can keep your trip to the market short. When you keep your trip short, you leave less time to buy something you don’t need. So stick to your list!
4. Be Open-minded About Your Meal Choices
Adventurous eaters, or open-minded eaters, will rock their grocery shopping budget. If you’re like my picky roommate, you will most likely find yourself letting your food take over your budget.
This also applies to organic products. If you can’t afford organic, then that’s something you should spend time thinking about whether it is worth it or not. If organic is important to you, you should still check out discounted grocery stores, because they should have some organic products available.
5. Try to Avoid Drinks + Snacks
I swear the only reason why my budget is above $50/week (for 2 people) is due to drinks and snacks. I can easily spend less than $50 on food, but because my boyfriend and I don’t love water, we spend $20 on drinks alone. However, this gets thrown out the window when we need to keep our money tight. If water isn’t your friend, opt for powdered juice (not the best alternative, but cheap). Instead of chips and cookies, go for fruits.
I love grocery shopping, but I love grocery shopping on a budget even more. By following these tips exactly, you’ll spend less on your grocery shopping trip without tackling coupon over coupon.
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