The rising cost of food has seen many families around the country struggling more than ever to afford even the basic essentials each month. This has resulted in several people looking for different ways to try and reduce the amount of money they spend on food and other grocery items, while still trying to eat as healthily as possible. Below is just a few ways in which you can start reducing your grocery bill each week.
1. Avoid Center Aisles
It’s a known fact that the center aisles in most grocery stores contain the items that are considered to be unnecessary. These can include but may not be limited to various types of junk food, processed items, and other non-essentials. When shopping, do your best to avoid these aisles and stick to the perimeter of the store. This is where you will not only find the most affordable food, but also the most nutritious, such as fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry and fish. Only use center aisles for items such as ketchup, mustard, spices and other condiments.
2. Always Look Up and Down
While this may seem like strange advice, retailers are known to place the more expensive items on shelves that are at eye level. When going through the aisles at your local store, being willing to search the top and bottom shelves could result in your finding cheaper alternative products. In some cases, products that are not placed at eye level can be up to 30% cheaper than the rest.
3. Consider Switching Brands
Are you and your family fiercely loyal to particular brands of ketchup, mayonnaise, toilet paper and other items? If so, this habit could be costing you a few hundred extra dollars per year. Although it is not advocated that you simply take the cheapest product on the shelf, even changing to a brand that is slightly cheaper than the one you usually use can add up to real savings over time.
4. Compare Unit Pricing and Amounts
Instead of just comparing prices on different products when grocery shopping, it is a good idea to compare to the amount of product in the package as well. While a so-called sale may seem good, you may sometimes find that you get more value for money with an alternative product this way.
5. Ask About Manager’s Specials
This can be one of the best ways to reduce your grocery bill, especially where various meat products are concerned. Meat, fish or poultry products that are relatively close to their sell-by dates can end up being reduced in price by as much as 75%. However, these products may not always be easy to find – you may have to ask a supervisor or member of management whether any are available if nothing is visible in the store.
When purchasing produce or meat, fish and poultry products, always be sure to check expiry dates beforehand. This will help you determine whether you will be able to use everything up before it reaches its best before date.