College is the first time, for many, that you’ll be living on your own. One of the most difficult things about living away from home, is grocery shopping. When I first started college I hated going to the grocery store.
Waiting in long lines and trying to find food that I would actually eat during the week was terrible. Though most of all I hated spending so much money on food that would eventually go bad. Fortunately after a while, I got used to and even good at grocery shopping and in the process have developed these five tips to aid you as well.
1. Make a List
Making a list is crucial to keeping within your budget while grocery shopping. Without a list you’ll find yourself adding items that are completely unnecessary to your cart. You might even forget the items you went to the grocery store for in the first place.
Think of the meals you want to eat. Then think of the ingredients you’ll need to make them. These are the items that need to be on your grocery list. Make sure to account for the meals you’ll need to eat out that week and only buy enough for meals at home.
I usually make lists on my phone, though you could virtually make a list anywhere. Just make sure that you remember to take it with you when you go grocery shopping.
2. Buy in Bulk
Before you even go shopping, look at your list and think of the items that you can get cheaper if you buy in bulk. Typically items such as rice, and cereal are cheaper if you buy a lot at once.
The best places to buy groceries in bulk are Costco and Sams. Though if you don’t have a membership, ask around your friend group or family since someone is bound to have one.
3. Compare Prices
After you make your list look, at the weekly ads of places you usually shop. You can find most of these online. Looking through these ads helps you find the grocery stores with the best deals for what you want.
Often times finding the best deal for something requires, looking in many places. Don’t be afraid to shop at multiple grocery stores, especially if it means that you’ll save money in the end.
4. Keep Count
While you’re in the grocery store remember to keep track of the prices of all of the groceries in your cart. Having the calculator on your phone open while you shop will help you keep track of the price. Though if your good at mental math, you can count that way as well.
5. Make it a Ritual
Making grocery shopping a habit will not only save you money on food overall but also groceries. If you find yourself going to the store just about every other day, you’ll find that the money you spend overall on groceries is substantially more. Setting a budget and going to the grocery store one day a week, will save you money in the long run.
I find that the best time for me to go grocery shopping are Sunday mornings, since I always have them free. Though you could go anytime that grocery stores are open, just make sure it’s only once a week!
What are some of the ways you save money on groceries in college? Let me know in the comments below!