With the current cost of living, it is not unusual to struggle to make ends meet. That explains why 12million Americans each year are taking out payday loans. But what if you could save enough through minor lifestyle changes to take some of the financial pressure off?
The average American household forked out $412 monthly on groceries in 2020, totalling around $5,000 each year in the supermarket. There are plenty of ways to shave this down, saving you money, and preventing you from needing a loan.
- The average US household spent $412 on groceries each month in 2020.
- The average cost of a home-cooked meal is $4.12. This spikes when incorporating complex ingredients.
- Use online comparison websites to find your cheapest local supermarket and those with loyalty schemes.
- Look into cashback schemes offered by the stores you shop at.
- Some credit cards, such as the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express offers up to 6% cashback on grocery shopping on up to $6,000, and 1% cashback thereafter.
How Do I Reduce How Much I Spend Ahead Of Time?
Meal Plan In Advance
Meal planning reduces waste, excessive purchases, and therefore costs. Before you go shopping, plan what meals you want, and buy the correct quantities of ingredients. Excess buying can land you with food wastage and overspending.
Plan Simpler Dishes
Simplicity is key when it comes to cooking on a budget. With the average cost of a home-cooked meal being $4.12, it is easy to cook well at home for a healthy price.
If you opt for complex recipes, you will likely require more (and more costly) ingredients. Trendy foods usually consist of high-price items.
To save money on groceries, pick a few simple, yet tasty, recipes that you love and that only require a maximum of five ingredients, or thereabouts. One key hack for saving when meal planning is choosing recipes which use overlapping ingredients. This also encourages you to buy in bulk.
How Can I Save Money During My Grocery Shop?
Ditch The Cart For A Basket
Another method supermarkets use to get you to stop saving money on your groceries is to provide you with oversized shopping carts and baskets. This makes it seem as though you have fewer groceries than you do simply because they don’t seem to fill the space they’re in.
This physical adjustment makes you more aware of how much you are buying, and limits the amount of impulse purchases you can simply chuck in.
Look At The Lower Shelves
Many supermarkets put their most expensive products at eye-level, using psychological nudges to corner customers into spending more.
If you look at the same types of food that are being sold a shelf or two below eye-level, you’ll notice that the prices tend to decrease, especially if you opt for own brand goods.
The cheapest products are often closest to the ground, so start there first.
Comparison Shop For Better Prices
Online comparison tools allow you to spot which supermarkets are generally cheaper. You should keep an eye on these, and also look out for seasonal deals issued by grocery stores.
Don’t Shop When You’re Hungry!
It sounds simple, but it can make a huge difference. Shopping while hungry encourages your body to make split-second impulse purchases.
Pay In Cash
By paying for your groceries with a fixed amount of physical cash, it makes it virtually impossible to overspend.
This cash technique can be extended to many facets of spending. You could have one envelope for fixed costs, like rent, car insurance etc. You could have one for this, to make sure groceries are accounted for. You could have one for nights out. This allows you to have a rather rigid budget, ensuring that overspending doesn’t get out of hand.
What About Loyalty Schemes?
Many stores offer loyalty schemes in the hope that their shoppers become repeat customers.
Plenty of stores offer loyalty schemes, in the form of points-based-systems, lower prices, or special offers such as BOGOF only for members. It is a sure-fire way to save your hard-earned cash.
Many stores offer money-back guarantees if you let them know that a competitor store is offering the same product for a lower price.
While this may seem like a futile task, the dimes mount to dollars which can mount to hundreds. This habit, over a lifetime, can save you thousands! It’s simple and satisfying to do, too.
You could also apply for a credit card which offers cashback at supermarkets, making you low-effort but high-reward savings throughout the year. For instance, the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express offers up to 6% cashback on up to $6,000 per year, and then 1% cashback after that.
Other Useful Guides
- Where To Start With Budgeting Apps
- How Can I Get Money in an Emergency?
- Can I Get A Loan with No Income?