Due to Increasing Food Costs, I Never Go to the Grocery Store Without Doing This First

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  • If you want to stick to your grocery budget, make sure you go in with a plan.
  • Your grocery store's sales flier can help guide you, so you make more cost-effective purchase decisions as you load up your grocery cart.

With higher food costs, you don't want to forget to do this before grocery shopping.

Trips to the grocery store can be stressful with today's much higher than normal food prices. If you're not careful, you may spend more than you planned to. But if you're strategic, you can ensure that you stick to your budget. There's one thing that I make sure I always do before I head to the grocery store, and it helps me waste less money.

I'm a big planner, but planning is even more important now that everyday costs are higher. If I walk into the grocery store without a plan, it'll be challenging for me to notice what's on sale.

I don't want to see a shocking number at the checkout line, so I plan now more than ever.

That means never leaving my house without first reviewing the sales flier. By doing this, I find I'm better able to stick to my grocery budget, and I'm less upset by the total at checkout.

Use sales fliers to your advantage

Using your local grocery store's sales flier to guide your purchase decisions can be the ultimate savings hack. Most stores outline their weekly sales, and you can reduce your bill if you plan your shopping trip based on what's on sale.

Before you head to the store, take a few moments to review the weekly flier as you outline your shopping list. You may already know the meals you want to make and the essential ingredients you need to buy, but the flier can help you decide which brands to buy based on current sales.

It's worth noting that sale items may not always be the best buy. As you look at products on the shelves, compare sale items to store-brand equivalents to see if you can save more money by purchasing off-brand items. You likely won't notice a difference in the taste or quality.

As you look at prices, remember to verify product sizing, too. Some items may appear to be a better deal -- but you may get less product when buying a slightly cheaper item.

Don't ignore free grocery rewards programs

Your store may also have a rewards program. These programs are usually free to join. Make sure you utilize these programs -- especially if you're following a budget. You could earn valuable rewards on your spending by using grocery rewards programs.

Many stores also have mobile apps, which allow you to review sales items and better plan your upcoming shopping trip from your phone. You may be able to clip virtual coupons within the app to save even more money on eligible purchases.

Use a rewards credit card to earn cash back

Another way to earn rewards on your spending is to use a rewards credit card to pay for your grocery purchases. The best grocery credit cards reward frequent shoppers with cash back.

If you pay cash or use a debit card at the grocery store, you're missing out on the opportunity to earn credit card rewards. However, if you use a rewards card, you can earn rewards with minimal effort. And remember, it's best to pay your entire card balance each month to avoid expensive credit card interest charges.

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