Did the holidays do a number on your bank account? We’ve got you covered.
Groceries are expensive. Most American families spend between $150 and $300 per week on groceries—and that’s not including fast food and restaurant purchases. Here’s how to (easily) cut costs and make the most of each shopping trip:
1. Download Ibotta.
There are a lot of rebate apps out there, but Ibotta is the best of the best. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, fair warning: You’re going to be obsessed. Ibotta features new cash-back opportunities on certain brands or types of food each week. Before you shop, scroll through the app and add items to your shopping list. When you get home, take a photo of your receipt and scan the items barcodes. That’s it! Free money.
2. Give these brands your email address and receive hundreds of dollars in coupons.
WATCH: How to Make 10 Costco Chicken Dinners
3. Always come prepared.
Oh, what a difference a shopping list makes. It seems obvious, but going to the grocery store unprepared is like going to a war zone in a bathing suit—it’s not gonna go well. When you don’t know exactly why you’re there, you’ll end up with things you don’t actually want or need. A list will keep your eyes on the prize.
4. Become a mystery shopper.
Get paid to shop—yes, really. Mystery shopping is a market research method employed by a ton of your favorite chains. Here’s how it works: Companies will pay you to shop at their stores, ask specific questions, and then provide feedback about the quality of service you received.
5. Shop in-season.
Produce is generally a lot cheaper when it’s in season. When it’s out of season, save money by buying it frozen. It’ll will probably taste better, too, so it’s really a win-win. Here’s a handy list from the USDA that outlines when certain fruits and vegetables are in season.