How to Be a More Sustainable Shopper & Save Money

Do you want to be a more sustainable shopper while saving money? Here are the best ways to save money at the grocery store and eat healthily. 

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How to Be a More Sustainable Shopper & Save Money

Save Money Grocery Shopping with Food Prices Rising
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Grocery shopping can be expensive, especially with the rising inflation. When you know what to pay attention to, it will be easier to make conscious choices. 

You see, retail stores and online retailers are putting all their efforts into their sales techniques to sell more of their products to you. They want you to buy as much as possible to make a maximum profit.

However, you have the power to make small decisions in your everyday life that can add up over time. You’ll make a positive impact when you implement one or two items from the list. That's how I'm able to live on half my income.

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1. Meal Plan

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Meal planning is something that impacted my life for the better. We spend less time cooking, we spend less time doing groceries, we eat more vegetables, we rarely waste food, and we save a lot of money. 

It is great to only buy what you know you will eat throughout the week, preventing food waste and saving time going to the grocery store every day. 

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2. Make a Grocery List

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Start by making your grocery list. It is an absolute must that will help you not forget things. In addition, it will help you stick to items that are on the list only instead of buying things that you don’t need. 

Shopping with a grocery list can be good when you are not sure what you have at home. You buy yet another product you already have in your pantry while you forget that one essential item you needed. Having a grocery list prevents all of that. 

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3. Avoid the Middle Aisles

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Grocery stores are super smart and put most fresh products at different ends of the store. The milk, bread, and produce are often found opposite sides of the store. That is smart because you must go through all the aisles to get there and resist all temptations. 

When the stores place the necessary food in one place, you can get in and get out without passing by most of the products. That’s not how you sell things. If you need to cross the entire store and walk through different aisles, you will likely spend more money.  

Sometimes we go to the store and want to buy just one loaf of bread but come home with an entire bag full of stuff. That happens.

But the way to avoid this is to go around the store’s outer aisles because the products you need are often located there. 

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4. Never Buy Food Hungry

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If there is one thing I’ve learned over the past years, it’s never to go to the store hungry. When I go grocery shopping after work before dinner, I always buy more than I need. 

One important thing is to eat before you go grocery shopping. If you go grocery shopping when hungry, you will buy more unnecessary things that may be tossed. 

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5. Free Samples

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When you’re walking through a grocery store, and they are offering free food samples, we all know it’s hard to resist. 

The thing is that a little bit of food can make you hungry. And the previous point already mentioned, never shop for food when hungry. Besides, you may buy the thing you tried because you liked it.

When you are eating at home and sticking to your grocery list, it becomes much easier to save money at the grocery store! 

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6. Eat With the Seasons

Vegan Potato Salad
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It is a great thing to eat with the seasons. It means the food tastes better, will be more regional, and will save you a ton of money!

When buying food out of season, the prices are seriously more expensive. The products need to travel further, and you will notice that in the price. Plus, it needs to be transported longer, which means more harm to the environment.

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7. Buying Things Because They’re on Sale

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Stores have sales often. They use sales for a lot of different things. The major reason is that you come into their shop for sale and buy other products that are not on sale. 

If the products you use regularly are on sale, this is a great opportunity to get them at a discount. If you are just shopping because there is a sale, you may spend more money than you need. 

Stick to the items that you wanted to buy in the first place. Only make use of the sales if it is something that you need. It is easy to overspend when grocery shopping if you’re buying many products on sale. 

If you’re having a hard time with that, I suggest a no-spend challenge to get the hang of it.

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8. Don’t Buy Bottled Drinks

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Bottled water is something we don’t need in our lives. Most people who live in first-world countries can drink water from the tap. Think about all the plastic and all the money you’re wasting!

If you’re not living in a place where the tap water is drinkable, I understand that. That’s not an excuse to buy bottles of water every week. You can make a one-time purchase like a water filter or a filter bottle and use that going forward.  

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9. Precut Items Markup

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If you’re buying something precut, be aware that this is much more expensive. Things like sliced fruits, cut vegetables, and cut meat are marked up a lot. Often they are also packaged in plastic and produce more waste.

Pay attention next time you’re in the supermarket. In my supermarket, the precut carrots are almost three times as expensive as regular carrots, for example. That will save you a whole lot of money over the long term.

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10. Sale Items at Checkout

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When you’re waiting in line to check out your groceries, there are a million small things that you can buy. One of the things they often place there are items on sale. 

If you’re waiting in line and seeing what is in the sales bin, they hope you will take some items home with you. 

I have to say placing sale items at checkout is very smart. You get tempted to see what they have to offer, and you end up spending more money. Plus, often, they’re not things you need. You may end up not using or tossing them, which wastes your money and the resources used to produce the item.

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Related Articles From the Wealth of Geeks Network:

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This post was published by Radical FIRE and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

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Marjolein is the founder of Radical FIRE. She has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. Radical FIRE is a personal finance blog that helps you live your dream life through making more money and investing. We want you to reach your financial goals and have fun while doing it!