3 Tips to Save Money At the Supermarket

I get a ton of emails offering guest posts, and most of them are really horrible. Usually it’s the quality of the post, and other times the typos drive me mad. And then sometimes, I get an email with a post like this. How could I turn this down? It has that touch of personal that I just love. Enjoy!

I don’t know about anyone else, but supermarket shopping puts a bigger hole in my monthly budget than any of the other purchases I have to make in a month. I couldn’t figure out why. I only have a small family consisting of a husband, 2 kids and myself. None of us are big eaters and we’re not above having hot dogs and fries, home cooked mind you once in awhile. So why am I blowing my food budget week in and week out?

After some really careful thought and soul searching I came up with some really good answers, and some innovative ways to overcome the problems. I thought maybe some of you may be in the same circumstance and might want to save a few bucks.

Don’t go grocery shopping after work
Big mistake! My usual pattern was to take my grocery shopping list to the supermarket on Thursday nights on my way home for work. It’s the day I get paid so it makes sense to get this chore out of the way. Here is what I discovered:

First of all I am really tired. It’s towards the end of a grueling work week. So my mind set is to grab foods that basically take no, or at least very little preparation. There is no question that these kinds of foods are more expensive because of the convenience they offer.

The next issue with shopping at this time of night is I am starved. We all know that when we shop for food when we are hungry, we end up buying a lot more than we need because everything looks good.

Finally, the third issue is I just want to get out of the store, go home, get a quick dinner together and get my feet up! So do I take the time to bargain shop? Nope! Whatever is closest to the end of the aisle is good enough for me. It just means one less aisle to walk down. You can imagine how much money alone I saved when I put this practice to an end.

Don’t take the kids with you
Quite often I would get my youngsters to meet me at the grocery store to help load the shopping into the car. Needless to say with three pairs of hands filling the shopping cart it didn’t take long for the bill to add up.

Delegate your shopping authority
I found that the kids were beginning to get a bit picky at some of the food choices I was making. So I made them a deal. Both my kids are teens, so now is the time for a lesson in life. I gave them the choice to each plan a meal for a night. They were given a certain amount of money to do this with. The bonus was whatever was left over from their shopping they got to keep. It had to be a healthy wholesome meal however. I had to say I was quite impressed with the money they managed to save for themselves. Plus, it put the complaining to an end as well now they had a chance to see how expensive food can be.

My husband’s delegated duty was to shop for the sale items each week. This worked out really well. He drives right by the supermarket on his way home from work. He would just pop in and pick up the specials that we were interested in and nothing else. Not only did we get a good selection of what was on sale, but we saved a good amount of money by taking advantage of the daily and weekly specials.

Just by changing these few things and putting some innovative ideas in place I managed to not only stay within my grocery budget, I cut it down by a third.

This was a guest post written by Lior who works for company that sells nursing tops and also advises to a task management startup.

11 Responses to 3 Tips to Save Money At the Supermarket

  1. Great tips. I’ve been doing these as well. i make a make a list and if possible, i don’t bring the kids to that they won’t point cute stuff. and use coupons for more savings.. :)

  2. Jenna says:

    Great guest blog post! I totally agree that shopping while hungry is SPENDY! I am going to add that when I was in high school (since you mentioned you have teens) our family kept an on going shopping list on the refrigerator so my brother and I could add things we wanted for dinner we were in charge of or if we noticed something was running low.

  3. Ben says:

    LOL… Yes when I shop when I am hungry I spend WAY more. The other day my wife and I were at Costco and I was starving. I said… “Hun lets go get some Mexican food and come back to finish shopping. I want to buy everything.”

    Great tips!

  4. I really like your idea of involving the kids in the planning! Good training and experience plus the involvement probably adds a greater appreciation for your hard work.

  5. Jerry says:

    These are very practical and good tips that will definitely lead to savings. I might also add that if you plan your meals that use inexpensive ingredients you can save even more. Not only can you cook and eat frugally, you can do so healthily, as well. It’s insurance for your budget and your health!

  6. So if buying groceries after work is a bad idea, when do you recommend buying them? Before work, which means you have to make a separate trip home unless you have a private refrigerator and freezer at work? Or on the weekend, when everyone else in the universe is going to be at the supermarket? Just curious.

  7. Barb Friedberg says:

    Creative idea with the kids! Also, a great way to teach life skills!

  8. Betty Kincaid says:

    At 16 I was assigned the task of grocery shopping (and cooking) for my family. Each week I made my grocery list. My father then estimated the cost and gave me just enough money to cover the bill.

    I loved the freedom of getting out of the house, being responsible for an important job and getting to choose what we ate.

    My parents (who both worked) didn’t have to spend their precious free time at the grocery store yet retained control of the budget and the menu while giving me an opportunity to learn how to cook, shop and be budget conscious.

    What jobs are you doing that your kids could be doing instead?

  9. Great guest post =)

    Yeah, the idea of not shopping after work is good. I have a colleague who shops BEFORE work, and it seems to work for her (I guess it’s good for the big chain grocery stores that open early at 5:30 or 6am).

  10. The worst thing to do; going at the grocery with your kids on a Thursday night ;-)

    When we go with the kids, we go together (we have 2 kids) so each of us take one (they are 3 and 5) so they don’t motivate each other to run over the place and play hide and seek ;-).

    I try to eat just before going to the grocery so everything seems less interesting. Planning your food throughout the week in advance will avoid you to overspend in grocery.

    • Daniel says:

      @The Financial Blogger, On the flip side, sometimes I’ll go shopping after I eat and be so full that everything turns me off. I’ll come hope with just about nothing. That means another trip to the supermarket just a few days later!

Get Income and Money Saving Tips To Your Inbox

Get Income and Money Saving Tips To Your Inbox

Want more tips on how to make more money each month? Sign up to receive the great tips and tricks to boost your income and save more!

You have Successfully Subscribed!