Food is a necessity in life, so spending money on groceries is inevitable. If you are trying to save for instance for house rent or other needs, then cutting your grocery bill is one of the easiest places to start.
The best part is, you can reduce your food expenses without sacrificing taste, nutrition, or variety. All you need is a bit of skill in the kitchen and some planning. So, want to learn how to go grocery shopping on a budget? In this article, we’ll cover some simple but effective tips for saving money on groceries.
1. Shop on a full stomach
Avoid shopping when you’re hungry. When you shop on an empty stomach, everything suddenly looks delicious! You may be more tempted to buy unhealthy choices and foods you don’t even need.
2. Buy Everything Else In-Season
In-season produce will be cheaper because it’s so bountiful, even at the local market. It’s more common to find red oil in April in abundance and low price than at the tail end of the year.
3. Go meat-free at least one day a week
It’s no secret that meat is one of the most expensive food products you can buy. So, a great workaround is to give yourself the challenge of going meat-free at least once a week.
Not only will this save you money and improve your vegetarian recipe repertoire, but you may find it’s not as hard as it sounds. If this leads you to eat even less meat in the long term, well, that’s just more money in the bank. So instead, find some meatless recipes to whip up on meatless Monday—or whatever day of the week you choose!
4. Shop alone
A word to the wise—if you find that your kids are the culprits of adding all those not-on-the-list items to your basket, you might want to leave them at home. You’re way more likely to be coaxed into buying stuff you don’t actually need. Go it alone and stick to buying what you know you need without peer pressure.
5. Shop with a list
Go to the market with a list and adhere to it, especially if your kids are ‘helping’ that day.
6. Compare prices
Compare prices between shops and different vendors. Haggle. Bargain. Negotiate prices. That’s the standard here except in some selected supermarkets, malls, or stores that have their price tags displayed on their goods or services. Aside from that, negotiate and try to bring the price down. The initial price you are told is never what it is.
Why did you pick this food store to shop at? Is it the friendliest? Is it the closest to home or most convenient to your commute? If we’re being honest, most of us probably shop where we do out of pure habit.
We know it’s hard, but it may be time to break up with your go-to grocery store. It’s not you, it’s their overpriced produce. Find out what’s happening on other sides. You may be surprised to learn that they have probably been milking you dry.
7. Shop Online
Although you often have to pay a delivery fee when using an online grocery delivery service like Jumia or NaijahFresh, ordering your groceries online can help you save. When you order online, you can eliminate the risk of making impulse buys. You can also combine your pantry inventory check and meal planning with online shopping, meaning you’re likely to order precisely what you need and less likely to have to make multiple purchases. Happily enough, NaijahFresh offers free delivery provided you meet the free shipping minimum, you can get what you need without paying a delivery fee.
Shopping online also gives you access to promotions and coupons which in turn saves you more money.
8. Buy in bulk and cook big
If you have multiple mouths to feed at home, we don’t need to tell you the benefits of springing for the ‘family size’ option whenever possible. Still, even if you don’t have a big brood, bulk buys save big money, especially on items that don’t spoil. Cook big meals and divide leftovers into portions and freeze them. Freeze as much as you can from your shopping.
9. Don’t buy more than you need.
Just because something is marked three for ₦200, four for ₦500, etc., doesn’t mean you have to buy that many items. You get the same discounted price if you buy just one.
10. Know when to shop.
If going on a Wednesday isn’t doable for you, just try to avoid the weekends. Bigger crowds equal fewer deals.
Time of day plays a big role with bargains too. Early bird gets to the better deals first.
11. Avoid buying while in the car
Try as much as you can to avoid buying while in the. I assure you that if you do it, you get what you are buying triple the price. There is this general consensus among market vendors that whoever buys items sitting pretty in the car is well off and cares less about the product price. They also believe that you are in a hurry.
12. Take a look in your store/pantry
To cut down on food waste, begin every shopping trip with a visit to your kitchen. Take note of what you already have on hand and what needs to be eaten as soon as possible. You can create a pantry and refrigerator inventory using a spreadsheet or by writing out a list you hang in the kitchen.
Now that you know how to save money on groceries, try one of these grocery budget hacks on your next trip down the aisle. You may be surprised by how much cash stays in your pocket. Who knows, you might also get a lot more creative in the kitchen too. Getting creative in the kitchen entails you getting learning how to prepare many meals and special drinks like zobo, yoghurt and kunu at home. You can learn how to make Yoghurt at home without a Yoghurt maker here