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 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.
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 haven’t compared your spending to other people your age
Finding out if you’re overpaying for food means comparing your spending to similar people. The easiest way to compare your finances is with Status Money.
Status is a website that lets you anonymously compare your finances to similar people. Using the wisdom of the crowd, it’s easy to discover where you’re overspending and where you’re doing a good job. For example, if you see your food spending is 50% more than other people in your neighborhood, it’s clear you could be cutting back.
5. 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. It’s the best way to discover affordable alternatives to expensive brand-name products.
6. 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!
7. 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.
8. You’re not earning rewards for every purchase
The biggest issue with store loyalty programs and coupons are that they’re so easy to forget to use. A better way to guarantee you’re rewarded for purchases is to download Drop.
Drop rewards you for everyday purchases by supercharging your credit and debit cards. Best of all, it works in the background so you earn automatically. Just register for free, link your cards, then go shopping to save. It’s that easy!
Points earned are redeemable to stores like Amazon, Seamless and Whole Foods. When combined with cashback apps and credit card rewards, Drop can save you some serious money.
Final Thoughts (TL:DR)
Get paid to go grocery shopping – Ibotta (my favorite!)
Stack the savings with free gift cards – Ipsos i-Say
Top up your savings account every shopping trip – Chime
Compare your spending to people your age – Status Money
Discover where you’re wasting money – InboxDollars
Double up your rewards – Survey Junkie
Discover new products through free samples – Shopper’s Voice®
Get rewarded for everyday purchases – Drop