When it comes to the big 3 for daily spending it’s Home, Food and Transportation. Food is by far one of the more challenging ones. The big issue with food comes from lack of planning. When you don’t have a plan you resort to fast food, restaurants and prepackage meals.
All of these are ok, but they come at a heavy premium. If you can get a good solid footing on having a meal plan and a shopping list you are 90% of the way to cutting your food costs. Here’s what you need to do before you go to the grocery store.
First Thing You Must Do Before You Go To The Grocery Store:
Sign Up For Your Stores Reward Plan
I can’t tell you the amount of times the person in front of me is asked for their rewards card and they say “Nah, I don’t have one.”
If you don’t have a rewards card at the grocery store you shop at the most, then you are throwing away money. Period.
BEFORE YOU READ ANY MORE!
Sign up for your grocery store’s reward plan. Most people don’t sign up or take advantage of this. By giving your email and/or getting a loyalty card your grocery will be able to learn your eating and spending habits in the store.
This is a really good thing.
These stores get that everyone sells potatoes and meat. When they know that you like meat, they will offer you deals on it (and anything else you eat, but seriously, meat is friggin’ expensive).
When you buy cereal every week from them, but never buy milk, they will catch on and give you a coupon for milk. They want your business and this is a great way to manage your meals.
Grocery stores know they sell a commodity (food), so to make sure they keep your business they will make you better offers if you share a little information with them.
So do yourself a favour, sign up for their program, and let them give you offers on the things you already buy, or in some cases don’t buy from them. They want to target you personally and you want to be targeted otherwise you are leaving money on the table.
Grocery Stores with Loyalty Programs or Cards
Second Thing You Must Do Before You Go To The Grocery Store:
Load the Following Apps onto Your Smartphone
There are 3 ways to earn with Ibotta, You can use the app to save in store, link your loyalty rewards card or use the mobile app to make purchases.
Get Started with Ibotta and Get a Free $10 bonus when you sign up using this link
Save Money and Get $10 When You Sign Up With Ibotta
Checkout 51 is a great app for getting additional discounts on your grocery shopping. Make sure to load the app and check out the great additional discounts on your more commonly consumed groceries.
Start getting cash back on your groceries with Checkout 51
Start getting your coupons directly from Coupons.com
This book has come a long way. Now there is a great app you can check out and see if there are grocery coupons for your area. Usually they have some good coupons for everything. Make sure to check and see if there are grocery stores in your area offering coupons.
Save Money With the Entertainment Book App
Ever been grocery shopping and you realize that you forgot your coupons. Or maybe you hate clipping coupons and going through all of that stuff. Flipp makes it easy. All you have to do is download their free app and show the digitla clipped coupon when you get to the check out and you are good to to.
Download the Flipp App
Third Thing You Must Do Before You Go To The Grocery Store:
Bring Your Price Book
This is a great little thing to start, if you haven’t already. In it you have all your prices on your most commonly purchased items. That way when you get to a store and see that chicken is 30% off you know to check the price per lbs and see if it’s actually a good deal and not a mark down on an inflated price (a.k.a. not on sale).
Fourth: Make a Grocery List and Meal Plan
The best way to shop for groceries is before you leave the house. Make a meal plan and a grocery list before you leave your house. But the list is only as good as the person using it. Make it a rule to stick to the list. One of the best ways to stay on budget is to stick to the list.
If something isn’t on the list we don’t get it.
Make sure to use the grocery list and meal plan together. For instance, if you are planning Monday nights meal and it’s chicken and rice. When you write chicken down on the meal plan, add it to the grocery list as well as any other
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