Avoid These 5 Costly Mistakes When Grocery Shopping

A mother, father, son, and daughter unpack grocery bags in the kitchen and play with food.

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If you don’t like the total at the grocery store checkout line, it might be time to change your grocery shopping habits.


Key points

  • No matter where you live, you’re paying more for groceries than you were last year.
  • Many shoppers are looking for ways to save money while still getting the food and necessities they need.
  • Consider shopping with a list, checking out store brand products, and using your store’s mobile app, which can offer coupons.

Thanks to the above inflation, prices in grocery stores continue to rise. For many, rising prices make grocery shopping stressful. If you follow the budget, you may struggle to buy all the food and essentials you need without breaking the bank. Many shoppers don’t realize that they’re making small mistakes that cost them a lot of money, but you can save less at the checkout line if you change your shopping habits. Here are some costly mistakes to avoid at the grocery store.

Most grocery stores have weekly sales. You can find out what’s on sale by browsing the paper flier or using your grocery store’s website or app to see what’s on sale right now.

Buying items on sale is a great way to save money at the store. By choosing your meals for the week and planning what to buy based on what’s on sale, you can avoid buying more expensive items.

It may take some time to get used to browsing your store’s sales before you grab your shopping cart, but it gets easier once you do. You may even find it to be a fun game.

2. Buy only name-brand products

While some name-brand products are better than others, that’s not always the case. If you only buy popular brands, you will probably spend more money than necessary.

You can get the same quality product and save money when you switch to buying generic brands. Many generic products taste the same, and cost less — meaning you’re spending less money.

The only thing to remember is that sometimes branded products are cheaper if they are on sale. Keep an eye on what’s on sale each week to make budget-conscious purchasing decisions — but don’t be afraid to try generic products.

3. Forget using your store’s mobile app

Your grocery store probably has a mobile app, which can help you save money. You’re missing out if you don’t use it to plan your shopping trip.

Grocery store apps usually outline sale items for the week. But they can also offer other ways to cut your grocery bill. Many grocery apps include virtual coupons, which you can use to get discounts when you buy eligible items. These coupons take seconds to activate and the savings can add up quickly.

4. Ignoring the package size

Many people scroll down the aisles and just look at the prices. While it’s a good idea to pay attention to the price tag, you should also consider the size of the product you’re buying.

While an item on the shelf may technically be cheaper, due to the packaging, you may be getting a product for much less than a similar item that only costs a few cents more. When you pay attention to package sizes and prices, you can make a more informed decision. Spending a little more money on products that will last longer might not be a bad idea.

5. Pay by debit card or cash

Many shoppers also make the mistake of using debit cards or cash to pay for groceries. This move can cost you money.

You can use a instead credit card rewards and earn cash or other rewards every time you fill up on groceries. You’re missing out on valuable rewards when you use a debit card or cash. If you’re interested in getting a rewards card, check out our list Best grocery credit card.

Develop new habits to save more money on groceries

Yes, food prices are high. But you can still take steps to save money when doing your weekly grocery shop. You may need to develop new habits and change the way you approach grocery shopping. However, if you are willing to do this, you can save more money bank account.

If you’re on a financial wellness journey, check us out personal financial resources for more tips.

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