Updated: September 19, 2020
If there’s one thing Filipinos are known for, it’s how we always put the family first. While countries like the U.S. expect young adults to leave the nest, most Filipinos would rather stay with the family if given the chance.
Sure, it’s always a privilege to live close to your loved ones. But it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. After all, with a big family, comes bigger responsibilities.
Aside from electric and other utility bills, your groceries will also take a huge chunk out of your budget, especially if you have more stomachs to fill.
But regardless if you live by yourself or with your family, below are seven ways to save money on your next grocery shopping.
1. Plan your meals ahead.
Charging to the supermarket without any clue on what the buy is the root of overspending. Fortunately, this can easily be avoided by creating a weekly meal plan.
But before thinking about what you want to eat, consider looking at what’s currently on sale first. This will prevent you from looking for alternatives that may throw you off your budget in case the ingredient you need isn’t available.
If you shop at major supermarkets like the Robinsons Supermarket or Walter Mart, you can refer to their e-catalog or online store to check what’s available.
2. Shop no more than once a week.
To further avoid impulse purchases and save money on gas, make it a habit to shop no more than once a week. Ideally, this should coincide with a weekly family activity, such as going to church or eating out.
Just be careful when bringing your kids along. Unless you are immune to their cries, avoid walking to the chocolates or ice cream isles. Otherwise, consider asking your spouse to walk them around as you do all the shopping.
If you can do it once every two weeks, the better. However, a quick trip to the grocery once a week allows you to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, and eat healthier.
3. Take advantage of promos.
The more you stick to your shopping routine and budget, the easier it gets to keep the habit for the long haul. However, there’s nothing wrong with a little flexibility, especially if it means taking advantage of promos and other store events.
One strategy is to look for announcements on the supermarkets’ websites before rewriting your weekly meal plan.
Alternatively, you can follow their official accounts on social networks like Facebook or Twitter so you never miss an update as soon as they’re posted.
4. Compare prices.
While you’re at it, you should also compare the product prices offered by different stores. Sure, the price difference may look negligible on paper, but even a small amount means a lot if you look at the bigger picture.
It’s also important to factor in the distance between you and the supermarkets in question. This will help you save even more money on gas or public transportation.
5. Use shopping list apps.
To make groceries and meal planning a breeze, you take advantage of shopping list apps like “Out of Milk”. Doing so can make the activity slightly more fun and engaging. It can also help you organize your grocery items according to any category or list.
For example, to help you stick to your meal plan, you can use the app to create separate food lists on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and so on.
6. Look for substitutes.
As you build your shopping list for the week, be on the lookout for cheaper alternatives to branded food products.
Of course, quality is paramount when it comes to food. But sometimes, the quality difference between an expensive brand and a cheaper one isn’t enough to justify the higher price tag. That’s why you should start by reviewing your previous grocery receipt and underlining the most expensive products.
7. Take advantage of loyalty cards.
Major supermarkets nowadays offer loyalty cards to reward their regular customers. Not only can they provide discounts, but they also offer tons of other benefits, such as freebies and value-added services.
They’re also quite easy to apply for — simply look for the customer service desk and ask for assistance. Research or learn more about loyalty programs in popular Filipino establishments.
Did we miss a crucial money-saving strategy? Let us know in the comments below. Finally, help spread financial awareness by sharing or tweeting about this post.