The grocery shop is a routine and unavoidable part of every person’s week. Yet it is the most essential shopping trip we make. The habitual nature of our grocery shopping might mean we are prone to making the same financial mistakes each week. This can add up to a considerable annual sum both financially and in terms of time. It is estimated that the average shopper spends over 40 minutes a week grocery shopping. This totals well over 50 hours a year, with the financial spend of groceries around $4,000 a year in American households. These yearly figures seem like massive expenses of time and money. Thus, we should try to reduce them through smart, small adjustments in our grocery shopping habits. This article reviews some of the best ways to save on groceries. With the right effort, our actions will transform small weekly changes into considerable annual savings.
 Sticking to the List: the importance of planning your shop
There are now more opportunities to take advantage of offers and savings than ever. Supermarkets provide a range of ever-changing offerings. However, there are as many chances to get sucked into tempting purchases and deals and overspend. One of the most effective and easy ways to budget for the supermarket is create a list. A recent survey found that shoppers with lists are three times less likely to overspend on their shop. This adds up to a £200 saving on average over the course of a year.
A shopping list can better help you decide if these offers fit into your weekly shop. Especially when confronted by a grocery stores bevy of special offers. You will be less likely seduced by offers and focus on your weekly budget for just items on your list. Offers such as 2 for 1, 3 for 1, or even 4 for 1 deals might look great on paper. However, buying more than you need may leave these goods sitting in your cupboards and spoiling before use. There are however some exceptions to this rule, such as bulk buying, which will be discussed later.
 Save on groceries by using cooking ingredients you already have at home
Another way to make the most of the shopping list is to plan it around items and ingredients already at home. Consider the meals that can be made in the following week. This can be a particularly effective method of saving especially if steps are taken to better preserve food at home. There are also two further time and cost-cutting methods to include in a weekly shop. Avoid shopping on an empty stomach, which can motivate increased spending even on non-food items. Also, try to shop in as small a group of people as possible. Children are especially prone to adding unneeded groceries to the shopping car. Combine effective planning with purpose and a lack of distraction. This will help cut time and money out of your weekly grocery shop.
 Shop from Home: the efficiency of online groceries
It might seem that the most effective way to save time on your weekly grocery shop is not to go to the shop at all. Fortunately with the internet, you can have groceries brought to you. Online grocery orders are now a common way to shop. They are becoming one of the fastest growing channels in the grocery sector. There are however still many things to watch out for when ordering groceries online.
One of the most readily accessible benefits of online shopping are the wide ranging amount of vouchers aimed at newcomers. These commonly offer massive introductory savings off your initial weekly shop with a new grocery store. However, some research suggests that consumers spend more on their grocery shopping when doing it online. Such behaviour might be motivated by the fact that the sizes of our shop are not so readily visible online. Once a shopping trolley starts to fill we know it may be time to jettison some items. Online the shopping cart is only a list. Meaning a shopper can quickly lose track of the size of their grocery shop.
For these reasons it is important to apply the rules that apply to going to the grocery store itself. This includes preparing a list and remaining focused on what is needed rather than tempting offers.
Don’t forget the click and collect option
Another way to save on groceries is to opt for a pick up option rather than delivery. Whilst this may seem like a time-consuming option, if appropriately scheduled into any time you are likely pass a supermarket it can be beneficial. Though it is ultimately up to you to decide between cost or convenience.
One unique feature of online shopping is the potential for substitutions if certain ordered items are not in stock. Though this may not seem ideal, substitutions can be a way to experience cheaper own brand options that you might wish to add to your cart in the future instead of more expensive brands.
 Save on groceries with buying in bulk from wholesalers
On top of shopping in store or online in a weekly routine, bulk buying offers an alternative model to maximise savings on food stuffs. Buying in bulk provides clear and measurable savings on essential foodstuffs without the temptations and small print of grocery stores’ more flashy offers and deals. Costs are driven down by a generally humble approach to the products presentation, often leaving it to the customer to bring containers. Making great savings on buying large numbers of non-perishable items means there’s no risks of goods going off if they sit in your cupboards.
Bulk and wholesale grocery shopping is also moving online. This allows the well-planned grocery shopper to maximise savings without leaving the house. Many stores that cater to bulk buying on-perishable goods offer free delivery. There is, however, a sizeable minimum spend if you wish to make use of their services. One effective way to reach this requirement is to plan and share your order with neighbours and friends. Thereby easing the amount each has to individually contribute for their bulk bought order.
 Keep in mind weekly shops compound to annual expenses
As our most common and routine shop, any trip to the grocery store, in person or online, is the most important place to save on groceries in order to bring down our annual expenses. With 52 weeks in the year, each seemingly inconsequential addition to our long grocery receipts adds up to a large expense. Whether online or in store, the key to saving is not the heady pursuit of theatrical deals and offers, but being able to maintain a focus on what groceries are needed and what groceries are not, and being open to experiment with cheaper brands and options. A well-planned grocery list will not only bring down the amount of money you spend in store or on the website, but also the amount of time there, reducing the chances of distraction. Getting the groceries planned and under control will have an equal effect on your finances.
Shoppers should be mindful that saving at the grocery store on food items can have big impacts on their finances. This article covered some of the basics on how to save on weekly shops at the grocery store or online shop. These included using a shopping list, not shopping on a full stomach, shopping alone, as well as not getting pulled into promotional offers. Happy grocery shopping and happy saving.