You can beat inflation at the store with these money-saving tips.
- Grocery prices have risen dramatically in 2022 and it’s unclear when price increases will slow.
- Try to reduce the number of trips you make to the store and find coupons for things you buy regularly.
- Find apps that will save you money, either in the form of cashback or discounts.
Rampant inflation has put pressure on many Americans’ bank balances and made it harder to cover essential living costs. According to the latest consumer price index, food prices in October were more than 10% higher than a year ago. The good news is that there are a number of relatively easy ways to cut your costs next year.
Here are five ways to save on groceries in 2023.
Grocery stores are on a mission to help you part with your money. Whether it’s carefully positioned candies or two-for-one deals, it’s all too easy to walk into the store for one thing and walk out of six or seven. One way to reduce impulse buying is to a list before you go to the store and stick to it.
Another is to go to the store less often. If you currently shop once a week, maybe you can do it every two weeks instead. If you already do this, try extending it to once a month. Stock up on staples like pasta, rice, beans, canned goods, and frozen vegetables. This way, you can always cook a meal from what’s in the cupboard, even if you’re not into meal planning. Buy seasonal products and store them carefully to make them last longer.
2. Become a coupon ninja
Coupons can be a great source of great deals. You’ll find them online, in newspapers, in grocery stores, and on various apps. Sites like The Krazy Coupon Lady keep track of all the latest deals so you can find the best deals on the products you need. You can often find half-price deals on relatively expensive essentials like laundry detergent or diapers.
As with all types of discounts, coupons only save you money if you get deals on products you were going to buy anyway. If a coupon tempts you to buy something that’s not on your shopping list and is likely to sit in the back of your closet for several months, it will cost you more than you save.
3. Buy in bulk and cook in batches
You’ll often find big savings by buying in bulk, especially if you join a wholesale club like Costco. The only caveat is that you must use the food you buy before it spoils. This is where batch cooking comes in. You can cook large batches of food and freeze them for those nights you don’t want to cook. Not only can you save money, it’s also more time efficient and means you’re less likely to rely on ready meals or takeout.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to saving money on your groceries. If you hate cooking, the idea of batch cooking might fill you with horror. If this goes wrong, you could be stuck eating three bad meals instead of just one. Start by becoming less dependent on prepared foods, which will already lower your food bill. Once you’re sure you can whip up a few low-cost meals like macaroni and cheese, pasta bolognese, or chili con carne, move on to making double or triple quantities.
4. Use technology to save money
Seems like there’s an app for everything these days. But it’s worth experimenting to find the ones that make your life easier. Many of them are free and can help reduce your grocery costs. Here are three types of apps to consider:
- Cash Back Apps: The best cashback apps work across different stores and allow you to easily claim rewards. Try a few and find the ones that work best for you.
- Applications on food waste: You don’t have to dive into the bins to get food close to its expiration date. Some food waste management apps allow you to buy discounted food from restaurants and stores before it goes to waste.
- Price comparisons: It can be difficult to keep track of the prices of items you buy regularly. Try comparison apps that can help you find the best deals without searching through every grocery store.
5. Maximize your credit card rewards
If groceries are a big part of your monthly budget, consider a grocery credit card that offers high rewards on groceries. If you can qualify for a card that reimburses 3-6% of your food purchases, you may be able to offset some of the impact of inflation. Credit cards aren’t for everyone, and it’s good to think about which card will best suit your expenses and lifestyle.
At the end of the line
Soaring grocery costs have caused some Americans to dip into their savings and others to go into debt just to keep food on the table this year. Whether prices continue to rise in 2023 or not, it’s worth looking at ways to lower your food costs. Even small savings can add up and mean more money in your pocket.
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