The average US household will spend thousands of dollars on groceries this year. That number will continue to trickle up on the back of inflation.
If you’re seeing your grocery bills rise beyond what you can handle, the good news is that there are levers you can pull to get your food expenses in check. From understanding the value of an online coupon database to instituting a handful of other shopping tips, by better organizing your buying experience, you could feasibly put thousands back into your bank account every year.
In this post, we discuss all of the tips and tricks you can leverage before and during your time at the supermarket that could positively alter your financial future.
Get Friendly With a Coupon Database
Despite their aged reputation, coupons are here to stay and drive the same value they did in their heyday.
Coupon use is straightforward. You find coupons for the products you buy regularly and use them to get anywhere from quarters to dollars off of your purchase.
A coupon database makes the finding of coupons simpler as they scour the web to pull together digital coupons for Kroger, other markets, and product manufacturers in a single place where you can download everything you need.
Store vs. Manufacturer Coupons
To maximize your coupon database use, understand that there are two primary types of coupons available for items: Store coupons and manufacturer coupons.
Store coupons are discounts extended by the place you shop at (ex: Kroger coupons) while manufacturer coupons are extended by the group that makes/distributes a product (ex: Proctor & Gamble coupons).
In most cases, you can stack these coupons to create extreme discounts on items.
Opt for Home Grown Veggies
If you’re like most people, you’ve seen your veggie prices go up due to rising transportation costs and other factors. Rather than cutting back on your veggie purchases, try growing your produce.
No matter where you live, you have the climate to grow something at some point in the year. Not only will doing so save you money but having your own garden can be a wildly rewarding experience.
Shop on a Full Stomach
There’s nothing grocery stores love more than you coming into the market to shop on an empty stomach. The hungrier you are, the more likely you’ll be to make impulse buys.
Our recommendation is to save shopping for after you’ve gone to eat. Shopping on a full stomach will make you less reactive and will help slow your shopping experience down, which will allow more time for things like price comparisons.
Avoid Cash Register Buys
Nothing being sold right next to the cash register is a good deal. These items are data-backed goods that shop owners know are the most prone to being bought on impulse. Consequently, their prices are typically inflated.
Buy Near Expiration
Meat and dairy are items that see extreme fluctuation in prices, even more so than produce. While it can be hard to circumvent these prices given the necessity this class of food represents to many households, there are strategies you can use to absorb some of your cost.
Our favorite strategy is to take advantage of near-expiration discounts.
For example, if you know you’re going to have burgers this evening and find that a package of ground beef has been discounted by 40% because it expires in two days, there’s no reason why you should pass up that deal.
Near-expiration meat and dairy aren’t expired yet, so don’t let their near-death date deter you!
Support Off-Brand Products
We don’t want to tell you that different brands of the same product are the same. In some cases, we appreciate that there’s a difference that’s worth footing the extra cost to enjoy.
For most things, however, purchasing store brand products will net you the same experience as purchasing a name brand product, and the discount on store brands is sizeable. Consequently, at least try the store brand variation of a food item you eat often.
You may find you like it and will go on to save $2-$3 per grocery trip by making the switch.
Always Shop in Season
Wouldn’t it be great if you could enjoy peaches year-round? In today’s marketplace, you can, but both quality and price are affected.
To meet year-round demand, grocery stores will fly in/freeze and drive in products from across the globe. Avoid the temptation to buy these items if you care about your bottom line and if you’d like to enjoy an optimal experience.
Shopping in season can also have a positive impact on local farmers.
Value Your Time
Time is extremely valuable and a lot of it is eaten up during your shopping trips. To get some of that time back, consider shopping online ahead of time and picking up your groceries after a store clerk has assembled your order.
Many grocery stores offer online shopping/pick up for free. They’ll even walk your bags out to your car.
Start Saving on Groceries Today
Leveraging a coupon database and the other ancillary savings tips we’ve shared is sure to save you hundreds of dollars on groceries each year, if not more. We hope you find the inspiration to put the advice we’ve shared into practice so you can see for yourself how it can change your life.
If you’d like more insight on lifestyle topics that are important to you, consider checking out the newest content on our blog.