Grocery shopping bills are a necessary expense that takes up a major chunk of our earnings. With the quarantine on our hands, most of us spend our time devouring 6-7 meals per day to beat boredom. When we go grocery shopping, we can’t help but fall prey to consumerism and end up spending wayyy more than we planned! Roomi shares every good grocery secret out there.

If cutting down your grocery shopping bills is on your mind, here are some secret tips that have been proven to work, if followed diligently. You’re welcome!

Secret #1: Make a meal plan before grocery shopping

This simple yet effective tip not only saves you time but tons of money. Imagine going grocery shopping with no dish in mind and deciding your weekly needs while standing in front of the veggie stand (aargh, been there done that). Be smart, and get ahead of yourself – make a weekly meal plan and stick to it. Make use of what you already have in your pantry when creating your meal plan to avoid food waste

Related: Easy Healthy Meals On A Budget!

Secret #2: Make a monthly budget for your grocery shopping

This may be a little tough for most of you initially, but it will be super rewarding once you reach the end of the month and realize that you stuck to your budget! The trick is to give yourself a reasonable figure like – “I will only spend 30dollars a week on groceries.” or “I have reserved 100 dollars for grocery this month.” Roll with this idea like a way of challenging yourself to spend less and save more.

Secret #3: No grocery shopping on an empty stomach!

Ahh, this is a rookie mistake – NEVER go grocery shopping when you’re hungry, as you will end up buying much more than you need (everything looks super yum when you’re hungry). Eat a light snack or a meal before you go grocery shopping.

Secret #4: Write a grocery shopping list

This is no secret sauce; our mothers, fathers, and grandparents have been doing this for decades now, and for good reasons. While you’re preparing your weekly meal plans, add the items you need before you go grocery shopping. This will let you stay within your budget and not lose focus with all the yummies around you.

Secret #5: Make the most of leftovers

In the United States, food waste is estimated at between 30-40 percent of the food supply.

A part of this food wastage is partly down to American households not planing their meals properly and tossing the leftovers. One can always use leftovers by reheating or turning it into another fantastic dish. Have leftover pasta? Add it to a bowl of soup! Leftover chicken? Add it to a salad! The opportunity to create something new is endless, just be a little creative.

Related: Redefine Your Quarantine Cooking With Quick And Easy Recipes From Around The World

Secret #6: Buy what’s on sale

Do you ever check grocery shopping sale ads online? If you don’t, now is the right time to start! Say, for example, if you spotted chicken on sale, try and come up with different recipes that you can make throughout the week with this main ingredient. This can apply to almost all ingredients!

If you see a bunch of ingredients on sale, plan your weekly meals accordingly. It will help you stay within your budget and keep you feelin’ creative! The Flipp app can help you see the items on sale in your zip code. Works great to keep those grocery shopping bills under check!

Secret #7: Utilize cashback!

There are tony of cashback apps that you can leverage to take the load off your grocery shopping bills. Our top recommendations are:

  1. Ibotta
  2. Checkout 51
  3. Discover
  4. Fetch Rewards

Also, keep your eyes and ears open for discounts, budget grocery tips, and sales in grocery stores near you.

Secret #8: Meatless Mondays

When grocery shopping, meats are often the most expensive items in a store. Try adding a meatless day (or more) in your weekly plan to save money and explore good nutritious veggie-rich options. If you’re amongst a few who’re looking to ‘go vegetarian,’ then this is a good place to start your plant-based journey.

We hope you enjoyed our secret tips on how to stay within your budget while grocery shopping. If you’ve tried any of these tips, let us know in the comments below.

D’you know what else Roomi does besides helping its readers with grocery shopping bills? With our ever-increasing lists of rooms and roommates across the world, we help you find your perfect match! Download the app here and hop on the easiest ride home, ever!