how to maximize your grocery budget

Your rent is already eating a hole in your pocket… so how can you maximize your grocery budget? Getting savvy with your grocery shopping techniques can go a long way toward grocery shopping on a budget. You probably already know about clipping coupons (which is still a great tactic), but here are some other tips to keep your bank account in the black and your pantry and fridge full of goodies.

Get to Know the Store Manager

If you’re going to the same grocery store a lot, it helps to get to know the Manager. These are the guys and gals who can clue you in to when they mark down produce, meat and even fish that’s about to go past the sell-by date. They’ll also let you know about upcoming deals, and it’s in their interest to sell these things.

Sign Up for Loyalty Programs

Loyalty card? Collecting points? All of these things can pay off in the long run. Some stores only offer certain deals to card holders, and many also let you load digital coupons on to your card, making your shop a lot easier. Find your grocery store’s loyalty program here.

About Those Digital Coupons

By taking just an extra 20 minutes a week to go to your store’s website, you can find savings on the things you were already planning on buying (or even stock up on the things you use all the time). This is also a good time to browse any specials the store might be running and plan accordingly.

Sign Up for Cash-Back Apps

Apps such as Ibotta or Checkout 51 can really help boost your savings on your foot budget. Additionally, look for savings on apps you’re already using. For example, eBates and Acorns give cash back when you shop at certain online stores.

stretch your grocery budget
Are you spending more on groceries than you should? That can put a world of hurt on your overall monthly budget.

Get Clipping

Yes, coupons are still very much a thing in your Sunday paper, and having a look can really help reduce your grocery budget. Remember, only buy things that you will actually use, or that you can use to stock up your pantry. If you don’t like beans, then buying a truckload just because they’re cheap won’t help you.

Stock Up on Savings

Even if you live in an apartment, there are always places you can stash essentials and build your pantry, particularly when they’re on sale. Find a cupboard, closet or shelf where you can store nonperishable essentials like canned foods, pasta and rice. Having these on hand can mean a quick dinner when you don’t feel like heading out to the store, or you’re too broke to order in.

Beware of the BOGO

Buy one get one free? Awesome deal, right? Not always. Check the original price and make sure you’re not just getting seduced into buying more than you need. Also, some grocery stores have a policy to let you buy just one, giving you ½ off. Make sure you know your store’s policies and use them to your advantage.

SEE ALSO: How much can you save with energy-saving bulbs?

What are your best tips to save at the grocery store? Let us know below!

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About The Author

Kari Lloyd has been a freelance writer for over 15 years. A Chicago native and recent Atlanta transplant, Kari spent 10 years living in London, UK where she worked as a music journalist and restaurant reviewer.

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