Have you noticed how expensive groceries are these days? I sure have. My budget has stayed the same but I’m coming home with a lot less food. Since we like to eat, I’m always looking for easy ways to save money. Did you notice the word easy? I don’t have a lot of time so I don’t want to clip coupons or shop at a bunch of stores. Both of those are great ways to save money but I don’t have the time or desire to do them. So I look for easy ways to save money. Here are five easy ways to save a little bit:
- Be sure you purchase the right item. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve grabbed two of something without checking to be sure both were the same thing. Then when I got home, I discovered they were NOT the same. I ended up with a product I didn’t need and didn’t have a product I did need. Slowing down and being sure I’m getting exactly the right items can save me money and hassle.
- Be sure the item isn’t damaged. Apparently I don’t pay attention when I’m grocery shopping. At least once a week I get home with something that isn’t useable. Last week I got a bottle of chocolate syrup that was partially opened and had dripped down the side. I don’t know if it was that way when I picked it up or it dripped later. Either way, I didn’t end up using it. Sometimes, unfortunately, you can’t tell something’s damaged until you’ve already purchased it, but other times you can if you just pay attention (which apparently I don’t do!). And actually using the products you buy will save you money.
- Watch the cash register as the prices ring up. Most of the time the prices ring up correctly but I’ve had plenty of times where they haven’t. Either the checker put in the wrong information (like on fruits and vegetables) or the system had the wrong price. But watching as purchases ring up can alert me to any problems. And let me tell you, it’s a lot easier to correct issues at the check out than having to stop by customer service.
- Don’t buy “sale” items that aren’t on sale. Just because something is labeled as “on sale” doesn’t mean it actually is. Check the normal price and be sure it really is a deal. If you need it, of course, buy it. But don’t buy it because it’s on sale unless it really is.
- Take advantage of savings programs. For example, Wal-mart has a program called Savings Catcher that allows you to scan your receipt and get money back if they find a cheaper price. I’ve gotten a lot of money back doing this. Target has an app called Cartwheel that gives you additional savings at the checkout. I have this one but I don’t use it a lot. My daughter loves it but I think it’s a lot of work. You can also take advantage of Ibotta which gives you savings on groceries and other items. It’s a little bit of work but not too bad. But there’s no reason not to take advantage of these programs and save a little more money.
- Buy things you use. Sometimes I buy things I don’t end up using. For example, occasionally I decide to buy a few frozen meals to have on hand in case I don’t want to cook. I already know that I HATE frozen meals and most likely won’t eat them. But I buy them anyway. And I eventually throw them away. I could have saved that money and purchased something I knew I would eat – like chocolate!
- Check your receipt when you get home. Even if I watch the checker ring up my purchases, I still skim the receipt when I get home. If I can’t watch for some reason, I always skim the receipt either before I leave the parking lot or when I get home. Mistakes are made more often than you think and they’re rarely in your favor.
These are some of the easy ways I save money at the grocery store. What are your favorite easy ways to save?