Grocery shopping on a budget: How to save while prices soar

SPOKANE, Wash. — Saving money when you go grocery shopping is more than just making a list and sticking to it.

It takes making a note of how much you spend and what you actually consume.

Numerica shared some tips on how to save when you shop.

Start by making a list of what you want to eat for the week.

It even helps to keep an ongoing list on your fridge or your phone to keep track of what you’re buying.

You’ll also want to set a target amount for how much you want to spend each week or each month.

AVP of Community Development and Engagement for Numerica, Lars Gilberts. says the average American family of four throws away $1,500 of food every year from buying more groceries than needed.

“Just keeping track of what you’re spending each day of the week, sometimes we don’t even know where our money is going,” said Gilberts.  “So if paper and pencil is a good way to go or an app or other things like that — there’re a lot ways to keep track of spending and then plan ahead.”

So how do you plan ahead and keep yourself from overspending when there are so many things catching your eye on the shelves?

The Budget Mom, a.k.a. Kumiko Love, was able to provide some insight.

She says meal planning helps so you’re going into the store knowing what you actually need.

Base your recipes off of ingredients you already have at home and then go to the store to get what’s missing.

When it comes to the best time to go grocery shopping, she says Wednesday mornings, because you can take advantage of last week’s deals and new ones that start on Wednesdays.

How often you decide to grocery shop depends on you, your family and what your schedule is like.

“I think it’s really important that you plan your grocery trips and your meal plan around a routine that’s sustainable for you. Not necessarily around the coupons or the sales, but really something that’s manageable in your life. Whether that’s once a week or going to the grocery store every two weeks or even monthly,” said Love.

Curbside pick-up is also a useful tool.

You’re not tempted to throw things you don’t need into the grocery basket.

It’s a great way to compare brands and shop strictly from your list.

The Budget Mom website has a free resource library where you can access templates to help you meal plan.

Numerica has a free budgeting workbook online and some additional budgeting tips here.

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