How Do I Know If I Am Paying Too Much For Groceries?

Posted byLucille Wood Posted onApril 2, 2023 Comments0

How Do I Know If I Am Paying Too Much For Groceries?

Everyone is looking for a way to reduce grocery bills. Money spent on groceries and household goods is a major, if not the major, component of most household budgets after mortgage or rent. You want to cut your bill down, but can you really be sure that you will save money following all the advice you find on the Internet or culling through supermarket flyers?

1. Determine How Much You Spend on Groceries and Household Goods

In order to know how much you might be overspending, you have to know how much you actually spend. Therefore, you should begin tracking your grocery and household goods costs. Save receipts for at least two months to get an accurate picture. Costs for items might fluctuate from week to week and chances are you will replace some of the longer lasting items, like olive oil and detergents, at least once over that time.

2. Inventory Your Costs

Using those receipts you have saved, create a record of all the items you purchase. If you are good with the computer, put the inventory on an Excel or similar spreadsheet so you can update your list each week. Use the far left column for the items you purchase. Across the top you will provide columns for each shopping week and list the prices for groceries and goods accordingly. After two months, average the prices for each item you purchased. Here is your grocery and household good expense.

3. Start to Compare Prices

This is when you really begin to find out if you are spending too much on your groceries – it is time to shop around. Now you do not want to run all over town to visit supermarkets. You might be surprised, though, to notice places to shop near your work or your kids’ school or the ball fields they play on. With your inventory in hand, it should not take you long to cruise the aisles and jot down prices as you come to them.

While you are at the new store find out a little bit about it. Do they have a customer loyalty program that offers additional savings or are there certain days when they honor double coupons?

4. Back to Your Record Sheet

Take the sheet you created to determine how much you are spending on groceries and this time list the stores you went to in columns across the top and enter the prices you found for the items accordingly.

5. The Facts Where You Can See Them

There are two ways to look at the information you have acquired. The easiest way is to add the total for each store and see if you can save money simply by changing where you shop. Another is to go through the records price by price and highlight the lowest at each store. You might be surprised to see a pattern emerging where you can realize significant savings by “specializing” your shopping list for different stores according to the items you purchase on a regular basis.

Armed with this information, you are now prepared to be a savvy shopper. You know if you have been spending too much on your grocery bill and a picture is emerging about how you can do something about it.