By: H. Grey
For those living on their own or in an apartment at college, spending money on groceries is a necessary evil. Since it is something that we all must do, why not make it as cheap and painless as possible, seeing that the grocery bill racks up quite fast.
Plan your meals according to this week’s deals. Steve Economides, co-author of Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America’s Cheapest Family, told TIME to plan your meals for the week around a store’s deals – that way, you get meals for half the price.
Have a lot of food in the pantry or just sitting around? USE IT. Move the stuff that is going to expire to the front, and make plans to use it. Wasted food turns into wasted money.
Now, let’s cut some costs on that grocery list. According to TIME, you can save money by trading out items for more expensive ones, such as ground turkey for ground beef.
Sticking with replacements, stay away from the brand-name items. The Huffington Post reports that a lot of generic items are often the same product as brand-name items, just with their own labels.
Time to exercise that neck. Stores often place the priciest items at eye level, according to the Huffington Post. So be sure to look up and down the shelves for cheaper products.
Can I get a rain check? Yes, that’s exactly what you need to do. When a store runs out of a popular item that is on sale and that you use, ask for a rain check to get it at that price later.
Eat before you shop. If you go to the store hungry, you’re going to buy more than you really need.
Watch for those 10 for $10 sales, because they might not actually be a sale at all. TIME reports that you need to check the actual price of the item before purchase, because an item that is cheaper than a dollar normally isn’t a sale when it’s labeled as 10 for $10. Also, you don’t have to purchase all 10 items to get the deal – just get what you need and what you know you will use.
Skip looking through the aisles. Huffington Post reports that grocery stores strategically try to make you walk through the middle aisles and potentially pick up items that you don’t need by placing dairy and produce on opposite ends.
Finally, take a list. This will help you remember what you need and stop you from buying things that you don’t.