Between store sales, couponing and money-saving apps, there are plenty of ways to save on groceries. But even with all the ways to save, when we're not careful enough, we wind up wasting money. Here are a few ways you may be wasting money at the grocery store.
1. Go in with a plan. Who has time to create a grocery list each week. You'll probably purchase the same items you always do, so why make a list of these things? That’s where we often run into trouble. Without a list, we’ll often forget something, adding another trip to the grocery store. And without a list, we can easily waste money because we purchase duplicates or purchase more than we really need.
2. Assuming bulk items are always a bargain. I’m a big believer in buying in bulk, but you can’t always assume you’re getting a great deal. To make sure you’re really saving money, look at the bottom of each sticker for the unit price and compare the unit price for each size. And even if you do get a better deal with the larger size, make sure you’ll be able to use the item up before it expires, or it really isn’t a bargain at all.
3. Check expiration dates. Most of the time, we’ll rush through the aisles, just trying to get out of the store as quick as possible, missing to check one important piece of information—the expiration dates. Even though most stores keep track of expiration dates, sometimes expired items might slip through, so it’s best to check the dates before you checkout.
4. Buying only store brands. Store brands are generally cheaper than well-known name brands, but if you just shop generic brands, you’re probably missing out on much more savings. I have noticed name brands go on sale for the the same price or less than the store brand. And if you combine with a coupon or a cash back rebate with a money-saving app, that will lower the price even more.
5. Buying produce that’s out of season. Buying only produce that’s in-season is always a great way on saving on groceries, but sometimes the winters are so long, and I crave fresh strawberries or melon as a healthy treat. One way of off-setting these higher costs is buying frozen produce which usually have more nutrients than fresh because they are flash frozen. Another option is buying fresh fruit and vegetables in bulk when they’re in season and also on sale and freezing them.