Roaming the aisle of the grocery store can sometimes feel like walking around in a big money pit. Sure, everyone needs food to survive, but does it have to end up costing an arm and a leg every time you make a trip to stock up on your weekly necessities? If you’re walking out shaking your head and wondering how it all piles up, you can probably chalk it up to a few reasons.
Lifehacker takes on the question of overspending at the store, noting that if you could just cut $20 from your weekly grocery bill, it’ll add up in a big way by the end of the year. Here are six habits to look out for if you’re trying to spend less at the store.
Buying prepackaged produce: The closer an item is to going from the container to your plate, the more expensive it’ll be. So instead of plunking down extra cash for a package of pre-cut fruit or carrots already sliced into sticks, grab things that will take more preparation at home. Yes, you might have to actually cut something yourself, but you’ll also be cutting down on your grocery bill.
Going all organic, all the time: While it hasn’t been proven if organic foods are healthier than their conventional counterparts, many shoppers gravitate toward organic to avoid the possibility of ingesting pesticides. But organic foods cost anywhere from 30-50% more, so if you want to save you’ll have to pick and choose. Go organic for items that are more likely to be contaminated if grown conventionally, like apples, celery, bell peppers, peaches, strawberries and grapes. If you have a farmers market nearby, you could find better prices there as well.
Being rigid in your weekly routine: So you’ve planned all of your meals for the week. Great! But what if something isn’t in season or there’s a discount on something else kinda similar? Buying the same things each week can add up — instead look for specials on certain items and tinker with your meal plan to substitute them for costlier products.
Math hate: There’s no excuse when it comes to this one — if you’ve got a cellphone, you’ve almost definitely got a calculator. Comparison shopping just takes a bit of calculating; for example, whether to buy this many ounces of canned beans for this amount, or that many ounces for that amount. It’s also helpful to double-check so-called deals to ensure there isn’t any fuzzy math going on.
For more tips on how to save at the store, check out the source link below and start practicing how to cut up a pineapple on your own.