A Shopping System that Saves

We all need to eat, right? Of course - it's something we all have in common. Whether you're feeding just yourself or a family of six, we all go to the grocery store and spend money (sometimes more than we intended). Saving money at the grocery store can feel like an impossible task, but we're here to tell you that it doesn't have to. With the right tools and practices, you can up your savings game and feed your family fresh, delicious meals on a budget.

With the holiday season quickly approaching, these tips and tricks can help you plan your meals and save money:

Tip #1 - Plan, Plan and Plan!

One of the first and best tips we suggest is to plan, plan, plan! You hear people talk about budgeting all the time - that's because it really works to help you reach your financial goals. In terms of planning your grocery budget, think about:

1. Meals for the entire week, including what can be used as leftovers for the next day's lunch or dinner (Pro tip: Pick recipes that have ingredients that can be used in different ways throughout the week)

2. Snacks and drinks you like having around the house and for kids lunches

3. Personal and household items that are running low. If you have an HSA account, you may be able to use those funds to purchase items like medication, first aid supplies, menstrual products, and other healthcare necessities.

Once you have your list, set a realistic budget. Take the time to go back through your list to see what you really need and what feels like a wasteful buy. The goal is to create a list that resembles your desired outcome - the items you need within your budget.

Tip #2 - Beat Your Budget

Picture this, you're at the grocery store with your shopping list in your hand and budget in your head. The first thing on your list is bananas, so you walk over to the fruit section and see three different sections with bananas. Instead of picking from the first section on bananas you see, try looking at the price of each type of banana before putting it in your cart. This goes for all things at the grocery store. Your budget is a great outline of the average prices or prices you're used to paying, but for some items on your list, there could be a cheaper choice.

Tip #3 - Different Store, Different Prices

Another easy way to save money is to shop at different grocery stores in your area to find the best deals. There are specific stores that are well known for having the cheaper alternatives. Try it out and compare your receipts. You might be surprised!

Tip #4 - Shop Online

If you are the type of person who has a hard time sticking to your shopping list, see if your grocery store provides an online option. This way, you can pick what you need without ever setting foot in the store. This is also a great option when comparing prices of other grocery stores.