When I wonder the aisles at the grocery store, many delicious items find their way into my cart… whether I originally planned to buy them or not. Although my tastebuds appreciate this mindless habit, my wallet does not. I’m sure you’ve experienced the same situation – suddenly your weekly grocery list turns into multiple bags, and multiplies in price.
After reevaluating my expenditures at the grocery store, I’ve figured out a few ways to keep myself from spending more money than I need to, which saves money, prevents food waste and keeps me healthy.
Plan Your Meals
As a college student, I’m always on the run, whether it be to class, a meeting, the gym, hanging out with friends, or work. So when I get hungry, I get really hungry. In order to avoid this from happening and to save some bucks, sit down with a calendar and map out when you’ll eat your meals for the week. Depending on when you’re free to cook, how much food you purchase, and how long you have to eat, you can figure out how much food to prepare in advance (hellooooo meal prepping!) or have snacks ready to go. When we get hungry (or should I say HANGRY), we’re more inclined to purchase a pre-made meal at the deli or closest restaurant, and this is something our wallets do not like. Figure out your schedule and plan from there!
Bulk Up & Freeze
Newsflash! Food is WAY cheaper in bulk, so don’t be afraid to buy family packs of meat, bread or spices and put away what you’re not planning on using anytime soon. There’s no harm in freezing food, so use this to your advantage.
Coupons Are Your Friends
People are extreme couponers for a reason! Grab your grocery store’s coupon newsletter, or better yet, look online for these handy things. Next time you run to the store you’ll cut down your purchase by a few dollars, which is always exciting.
Brand Names Are Meaningless
Believe it or not, whether you’re buying the brand or generic version of your product, you probably won’t taste a difference. Next time you’re looking for dish soap or ketchup, spare yourself the extra dollars and go generic.
Make a Grocery List
Similar to planning out your meals, writing down exactly what you need will keep you from straying off and buying what you want in the moment.
Cook with Friends
Spend your evening with a bunch of friends grocery shopping, cooking and eating dinner together. Not only can you hang out and catch up with your group of friends, but when you all split the cost of groceries and labor of cooking, it's a blast.