Consumers experience the effects of increasing inflation most acutely in their shopping budgets. Families with lesser incomes are hit harder by the price rises since food costs up to a third of their income on average. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the median expenditure on food by low-income households in 2020 was $4,099, or about 27 percent of their total disposable income (USDA).
Like your mortgage or rent, your utility bills, and your loan payments, food is an essential cost. When things are tight, you can’t suddenly eliminate their funding. The good news is that you have some control over your food spending.
Although you have to buy groceries eventually, you may save money by planning your purchases ahead of time. Listed below are twelve suggestions for cutting down on your weekly food costs.
1. Things like loyalty cards and rebate applications
It is possible to save money and make good use of rewards by using a credit card that offers extra cash back on groceries, provided that you use the sound card and shop at the right retailers.
In the case of groceries, the top grocery store credit cards may reward you with up to 6% cash back, and some even provide sign-up bonuses or promotional APRs of 0% for a certain period. However, when your promotional rate ends, you should pay off your amount in full to maximize your incentives.
Discounts and freebies are only the beginning, however, loyalty programs are another great way to save money at your favorite retailers. Complimentary grocery delivery, gas station discounts, and advance notice of in-store sales are just some benefits of joining the loyalty programs of big-box stores like Walmart, Target, and Kroger.
You may save money on your weekly food shop by using a rebate app like Ibotta. After downloading the app and gaining access to the rebates, you may make your purchases in-store. By uploading a picture of your receipt, you can prove that you made the purchase and get a refund in your Ibotta account within 48 hours.
2. Food discount coupons
Even though using coupons may seem like an antiquated practice, it’s still an excellent method to save money when grocery shopping. According to research by CouponFollow.com, a website that collects and offers discount codes from online shops, the typical American could save $122 per month by utilizing online and mobile coupons, or $1,465 per year.
Now more than ever, this tactic requires no extra effort since coupons can be found online rather than in the Sunday paper. Household items like toilet paper, paper towels, soap, and shampoo often have the most excellent coupon discounts. Look out for sales on these things and stock up.
Coupons may be used for fresh and preserved foods, such as canned and frozen meats. You’ll squander fewer of these items than perishable goods since they keep for a more extended period of time in storage.
Be cautious while using coupons because of the potential savings they provide.
If you utilize coupons for products you were already planned to purchase and don’t spend hours on it, “couponing may save you a huge chunk of coin every month,” Latham says. He recommends picking a discount supermarket that’s convenient for you and has plenty of discounts for store brands.
As Latham puts it, “excellent examples of retailers that give coupons on store brands that already have competitive pricing include Walmart, Target, Food Lion, and Publix.”
3. Wholesale purchases
Warehouse clubs are great places to stock up on necessities for the home at a discount. There is an initial investment required for these memberships, but your per-unit expenses will go down. Also, stocking up on groceries in bulk might reduce the times you need to go to the market.
Latham acknowledges that it is possible to save money by purchasing large quantities. He claims that since his family began stocking up on necessities in bulk during the epidemic, their grocery bills have been much lower in the last year than they were in the two years before.
As with coupons, however, you don’t want to go crazy and stock up on unnecessary items. A large bag of fresh vegetables may seem like a good deal at the store, but if it spoils before you can use it, it is a waste of money. Not only do perishables take up valuable real estate in your pantry, but they also symbolize money you spent in vain.
4. Maintain order and prepare for the future
Going to the supermarket prepared might help you keep your expenditures in check. Bring a list to the shop with the things you need, and resist purchasing anything, not on the list. Even if they don’t seem like a big deal at the time, impulse buys may hurt your bank account over time.
Make sure everything in your fridge and pantry has a home. Determine how fast you and your loved ones consume different food products by keeping a food consumption log. Before buying online grocery Singapore, plan what you need and what you will need in the future on the month.
Additionally, you should strive to limit the number of times you run errands for groceries. Consuming food stocks before they spoil or expire is one way to reduce waste.
5. Time is of the essence.
Grocery stores often have sales on various products. These purchases seem to go in cycles. Get in the habit of keeping track of when things are discounted at your favorite retailer. This will help you better anticipate when prices will begin to fall.
If you shop throughout the week instead of on the weekends, for instance, you could find better deals. The arrival of fresh goods in the middle of the week often results in a surge in purchasing. To get the most bang for your buck, you can also save time and gas by comparing pricing at other supermarkets.
6. The best time to shop is just at the beginning of the season, when fresh, seasonal produce is at its peak
Generally, the price and quality of in-season produce are better and lower, respectively. To make the most of seasonal vegetables, you should search for recipes that call for it. In the summer, the farmer’s market is a great place to pick up some extra motivation.
Consider growing some of your fruits and veggies if you’ve got the space and the time. Grow your herbs, tomatoes, and another summertime fare in your very own home garden.