As a mom, keeping control of your family’s finances is a key part of running a household.
Since the recession, it seems like prices have been on the gradual increase and families are starting to feel the pinch.
One of the major expenses for a family is buying groceries. It is an essential part of keeping your family fed and stocked up with all that’s needed.
First, you would need to do a little research.
Get online and check market comparison websites to check supermarket prices and find the best place to buy groceries that suit your budget.
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Also if you do shop online, using cashback sites can really save you lots of money.
Rakuten (previously ebates) is my favourite because you can earn up to 40% cashback with over 2,000 retailers to choose from – we are talking Amazon, Target, Macy’s and more.
Using Ebates is simple, once you sign up, you will need to visit the Ebates website every time you want to make an online purchase to be eligible for cashback.
Here are several ways that will teach you how to spend less on groceries, yet gather all the essentials your family needs.
1. Money-Saving Vouchers/Coupons
Most reputable grocery stores offer a loyalty program that grants you access to the good stuff they offer. Grocery stores have a lot of competitions so they have to offer incentives for customers to stay loyal.
Members usually are given a card that is swiped when a transaction is completed. The more you swipe, you gain more promotions and offers with that store, such as coupons.
Using coupons may have that stigma of being cheap, but there is no shame in saving yourself some hard-earned cash! You can get coupons from various different ways, even though mobile apps and websites.
Swagbucks is my favourite app for this. It is FREE to download on your smartphone and desktop, which then allows you to view coupons and deals available at Walmart and a thousand other retailers.
Ibotta is another popular cashback app to save money on shopping. View the image below to see how Ibotta works.
Once you download the app you can view all the offers available. Choose the products you need to shop and get cashback on your account. You can view how much cash back you earn while you shop.
Ibotta works great if you shop at Walmart as this will give you money back for your next visit.
3. Snap a photo of your shopping receipt
Did you know that you can get paid to take a picture of your shopping receipts? If you live in the US, you can earn free gifts cards for just scanning your shopping receipts that are no longer than 7 days old.
Fetch Rewards is a free smartphone app where you can earn points for your receipts. These points are redeemable for gift cards to be used for your next shopping. Fetch Rewards works any place you buy groceries – big box stores, mom and pop corner shops, drugstores, liquor stores, and even hardware stores.
Definitely worth checking out!
4. Automatic Rewards
Drop App is also a rewards program but works a little different.
Here you can link your debit or credit card and choose from 5 different stores. Once you have done this, the next time you use the linked bank account to shop with one of the chosen stores, you earn cashback.
You can choose to shop from Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Walmart and many more.
Popular brand names marketing teams have spent a lot of money to launch their products through commercials, but what if I told you that there are cheaper and just as good products in the market?
That’s right, some grocery stores generic brand names is significantly cheaper than brand named products for almost the same thing.
Compare the ingredients list to ensure that you are buying the same product.
6. Plan Meals and List Your Shopping
Planning your meals doesn’t only save you money on your trip to the grocery store, it also reduces waste and encourages healthy eating. Why not look online for cheap and healthy recipes before heading to the store?
Take some time to create a weekly menu, list the required ingredients and stick by it.
7. Don’t Shop Hungry
Shopping on an empty stomach increases the number of unnecessary items you put in your trolley. A lot of us make the trip to the grocery store just before making the next meal.
By going to the store hungry, you are letting your stomach take over rather than your mind which can result in plenty of unhealthy snacks and a larger amount of food.
8. Consider a Smaller Cart
Research shows that using a bigger cart while shopping increases the amount you buy by at least 40 percent. This may be a psychological effect with your brain reminding you of the need for filling up your cart.
A potential saving can be made of up to $233 for two people in a month by using a smaller cart.
9. Budget and Calculate
An obvious way to save money is to budget. You can set a monthly limit on your grocery shopping by creating a list or simply shopping below that budget. Carry a calculator with you as you shop and add up costs of the items you put in your shopping cart.
Once you see the costs mounting up, it may deter you to put some items back in an attempt to stay within budget.
Store-prepared food is commonly bought for convenience, but it also comes with a high price. It can be tempting to stock up on pre-prepared food to save time in the kitchen. Skip the bland pre-made lasagna and make it from scratch with fresh ingredients, it will also taste delicious.
One of the best ways to save money is by eating at home. If you are a busy mom that finds it hard to find time to cook healthy meals at home – this will help you get dinners ready that even your picky eaters will enjoy.
Pre-cut and pre-washed produce is also a culprit, with a lot of the cost going into the store cutting and washing your fruit and vegetables. Better to buy whole produce and preparing it yourself.
11. Plan around Your Refrigerator
Most of us make a trip to the store when we are only a couple of items down in an attempt to restock. This will likely increase the amount of food you throw away as you tend to consume the fresh items. Workaround your refrigerator and only make the trip to the grocery store when it is required.
Get creative with what you have in stock and make meals with leftovers. Reduce waste and save yourself some money.
12. Portion Control
Buying less food naturally reduces the cost of your grocery shop. Make your pasta or rice last longer by reducing the amount you cook for the family.
Not only can you save by buying less frequently, but you can also reduce the risk of obesity in your household.
13. Bulk is Cheaper
Buying in bulk is significantly cheaper than individual items. You can see the price difference in wholesale retailers compared to normal grocery shops. Buy longer-lasting products in bulk where possible, or buy with your family and friends to share the savings.
We all love to make a saving and none feels more satisfying by saving on the essentials with minimal sacrifices. Following some of the rules stated above can save you small amounts per transactions, but it can soon add up to a huge amount when looking at the bigger picture.
Imagine being able to fund your family holiday to Disney by just being savvy about the things you have to buy? I’m sure your kids would love that too.
Here are some ideas to make quick money. Two ideas that require little effort from your end, yet can make an extra $300 or more a month.
Survey Junkie – A robust survey platform with over 9 million users making money from home. You will need to be living in the US, Canada or Australia to sign up. Earning potential with this website can go up to $50 per survey.
My Points – Owned by the same company that founded Swagbucks, My Points gives away gift cards and PayPal cash for points earned to shop with them.
Mandyis the founder of a motherhood lifestyle blog, Make Me Up Mandy. As a mom to 4 girls, she’s always on the lookout for ways to save more and manage her family finances creatively.