We’ve all been there. You load your groceries onto the belt. Then you stand back to watch the price go up every time the scanner beeps. Often, the final price is so high, it can make the heart sink just a little. This doesn’t have to be the case. Follow these tips to hack your grocery run and save big in the checkout line.
#1 Plan Ahead and Make a List
Going to the grocery store without a list is a recipe for disaster. To avoid getting home and finding that you don’t have everything you need, or that you have way more than you need, make a plan and a list. Plan out your meals for the week and make sure to pick recipes that will use some of the same ingredients. For example, you can have spaghetti and meatballs on Monday and cheeseburgers on Wednesday. Once you have a meal plan, make a list of everything you’ll need.
#2 Shop Your Pantry First
Don’t make the mistake of buying duplicates. Once you’ve created a list, peruse the shelves in your pantry, fridge, and freezer for what you need. Cross off what you already have before you head to the store.
#3 Shop Solo
If you can, shop by yourself. Shopping should be a solo mission. You can resist the huge sales displays on the endcaps and impulse buys at the front counter better when you’re alone. When you take your kids or your spouse with you, it’s almost impossible to leave the store without at least a few items that weren’t originally on your list.
#4 Know Where to Look
Look up. Look down. The prices will go down. Most name-brand items, which usually cost more, are stocked at eye level. If you look up and down the shelving you’re likely to find a similar, off-brand, product for a reduced price.
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#5 Don’t Buy Premade or Pre-portioned Items
It might save you a little time if you buy a premade meal but the price difference (and the taste difference) between the ready-to-eat meal and making it yourself just isn’t worth it. The same goes for buying pre-packaged items like individual cups of yogurt, pudding, peanut butter, etc. The pre-portioned items may be convenient, but your wallet will be better off if you buy a large container and dish out the servings yourself.
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