Bad news: You’re almost certainly wasting money on groceries. Don’t worry though, we’ve rounded up the eight most common mistakes people make when they go food shopping and our easy solutions for cutting out these bad habits.
So, whether you shop at Aldi, Whole Foods, Target, Costco or your local market, follow these tips and you’ll find yourself saving some serious cash.
1. You’re not getting paid to shop
It really is possible to get paid to go grocery shopping. I do and you can too with the free Ibotta app.
Ibotta pays you when you buy a huge range of stuff at your local supermarket. Simply shop as you normally would, take a picture of your receipt and they’ll credit you for any eligible purchases. Some of the best deals I’ve seen are getting paid 75 cents to buy milk, $5 for beer and $1 for pasta, pretty sweet, right?
To help you get started, Ibotta is offering a massive $10 bonus for new users! This one is essential.
2. You’re not stacking your savings
Real savings come when you start stacking your savings. Signing up for multiple reward sites like Survey Junkie is a guaranteed way to double your earnings.
You can share your opinion on things that really matter to you with household brands to shape what ends up on the supermarket shelf. In return for your opinion, they’ll pay you generously with gift cards or cash. I suggest regularly grabbing a $20 or $50 gift card to help pay for your groceries!
3. You’re not growing your savings
Don’t have a savings account yet? You really should especially when there are 100% free banks like Chime that actually put money in your savings account every time you go shopping.
Unlike traditional banks, Chime operates fully online and doesn’t have any physical branches. That means something amazing, that they are able to offer 100% fee-free banking. Chime’s “Automatic Savings” feature saves you money by rounding up your transactions to the nearest dollar and then transferring the change to your Savings Account. It’s a dead-simple way to save.
You can also get your paycheck two days early when getting paid via direct deposit. If your fridge is bare right before payday, those two days are huge.
Head over to Chime and open a free account – it’s free and only takes five minutes.
4. You’re unknowingly wasting money
If you don’t know where you’re wasting money when shopping, InboxDollars can help.
They’re a top paying consumer behavior site that pays you for learning about all sorts of different products for free. It’s the best way to discover affordable alternatives to expensive brand-name products. There’s also a free $5 signup bonus for new users – not bad!
5. You’re not using free gift cards when shopping
Paying cash for groceries means you’re paying full price. Using discounted (or free) gift cards means you’re instantly saving.
Online sites like Ipsos i-Say let you complete activities online in return for gift cards. They don’t send activities like surveys that frequently, but when they do, the surveys pay really well. If you want to save but don’t want to dedicate too much time to saving, it’s your best choice. Make sure to cash out your earnings for gift cards to your favorite supermarket.
6. You’re not discovering new products for free
Smart shoppers know that price doesn’t indicate quality. Often, store brands are identical to more expensive name brands.
But, finding the best product can be difficult and expensive. A unique way to discover alternatives is to join Shopper’s Voice®, an online survey that lets you earn samples, coupons and free stuff.
Luckily, they’re accepting new applicants right now. You won’t want to miss this.
7. You’re paying for grocery store subscriptions you never use
So you have a Costco membership ($60 dollars a year) or an AmazonFresh grocery membership ($14.99 a month) that you never use? You might have even forgotten whether you are paying for one of theses, or another grocery store loyalty program, and could be wasting money every month on something you don’t even use.
Sign-up for Truebill, and the app will sync with your bank accounts and credit cards, alerting you to all of the subscriptions you are paying for on a recurring basis so you can instantly cancel subscriptions you don’t want. The savings could be huge!s
8. You’re putting your groceries on high-interest credit cards
Budgeting for all of your expenses from your rent to your groceries is hard stuff. Sometimes when you run out of money at the end of the month you have no choice but to dump your groceries on a credit card with a high-interest rate and hefty fees.
There’s a better way, though. Digit is an app that automatically pulls small amounts of money from your checking account throughout the month so you can start saving for groceries without even realizing it. No more getting to the end of the month with no money left for food.
Digit also has a great new feature that will help you start paying off your credit card debt the same way!
Final Thoughts (TL:DR)
Get paid to go grocery shopping – Ibotta (my favorite!)
Double up your rewards – Survey Junkie
Top up your savings account every shopping trip – Chime
Discover where you’re wasting money shopping – InboxDollars
Stack the savings with free gift cards – Ipsos i-Say
Discover new products through free samples – Shopper’s Voice®
Instantly cancel your unused subscriptions – Truebill
Automatically save for groceries without trying – Digit