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Grocery Budgeting Tips for Students



Having to sacrifice a few things here and there is a part of student life. You might not be able to buy the newest sneakers or go out as much as you would like. But, the one thing you need to be able to afford is food. But, in today’s economy, if you are a student, sometimes that can get tricky as well.

Eating well on a budget can be tricky, but it is not impossible. You might not be able to go and buy whatever you want without looking at the price. But, with a few tips and tricks, you can have a well-balanced, healthy diet. If you were having trouble buying groceries on a budget, read through the tips we have prepared for you.


Look for own-brand products

You have probably noticed that all bigger supermarkets have their brands. Since they produce the items and they do not have to buy them from another company, these products are a lot cheaper. Many people do not buy these types of products, because they think they can not be good. Truth be told, a lot of these products are made by the same manufacturer that makes other brands, but they are just packaged differently. 

So, before you rush to buy a product that looks better, check if there is the same product from a supermarket brand. Another advantage you will most likely encounter is discounts on own-brand products. Check if your supermarket has a frequent buyer card to obtain such discounts. 


Use coupons

It is confusing why so many people are still not using coupons. With very little effort, coupons can save you hundreds of dollars throughout the year. They can sometimes reduce the price by a few percent, but it can happen that you don’t pay for a product at all. Nowadays, besides the traditional paper coupons, you can also get digital ones. Many sites offer these types of coupons, one of them being, and are very easy to use. If you know where to look, saving money is an easy feat. 


Shop seasonal

Fruits and vegetables that are produced outside of their peak season are usually more expensive and frankly, they don’t taste as good. If you want to save money on fruits and vegetables, buy them during their peak season. They will taste good and will be cheaper for sure. 


Buy in bulk

Many people are reluctant to buy things in bulk because they have to give more money at once. But, sometimes it pays off to stock up with products. You have probably noticed that certain products have a lower price per unit when you buy them in bulk. For these types of purchases, aim for products that can sit in your house for a while without going bad. 

For example, you can buy beans, rice, oatmeal, and pasta, since they are not easily perishable. The same goes for toilet paper, laundry detergent, and toothpaste. Another great thing about shopping like this is that you will always have some food at home, in case you are on a tight budget. 


Try not to waste food

Many people usually make larger portions of food so that they don’t stay hungry after a meal. Truth be told, in most cases, that extra food gets thrown away. So, try to make smaller portions of meals or to pack the leftovers and eat them the day after. If you wouldn’t like to eat the same thing for two days in a row, you can always add extra ingredients to make the meal different. You can add some spices and herbs, or mix it up with a new dish you prepare. If you do these things, you will spend less time on weekly shopping and will certainly spend less money.


Set a spending limit

If you do not have a spending limit, it can become easy to get distracted and buy products that cost more than your budget can afford. When you go for weekly shopping, make a list of all the things you want to buy and set a spending limit for that purchase. Once you know how much you can spend, you will automatically look for cheaper products or products that are on sale. At the end of the day, you will realize how many things you were able to buy just because you were careful with the prices of the products.


Explore smaller grocery stores

When most of us think about weekly grocery shopping, we think about supermarket chains. But, to save as much money as possible, try to explore some smaller grocery stores as well. Since they need to compete with the big stores, they usually have special offers as well. 

Another good thing about these small stores is that their fruits and vegetables are of higher quality than in the big supermarkets. They usually get their goods from the locals, and more often than not, they produce them as well. So, explore your local stores to find better products and save some money on the way.


Plan your meals

We have all been in a situation where we buy random stuff and then figure out what we will cook later on. This way, some of the products that you buy will surely go to waste. To avoid wasting food, and money at the same time, make sure you plan your meals. When you know what kind of products you need to buy, and how many of them, you will use all of them. By doing so, every dollar you give for food will be well-spent.


Eat before you go grocery shopping

This is something that people rarely think about. A lot of us go to the store even if we are hungry and just grab something there to eat. But, by shopping like this, you will probably end up with a cart that is packed with the food you won’t even like. There is a big chance that you will grab some additional products that are placed next to the cash register. So, to avoid buying unnecessary products, make sure you always eat before you go to the store.

We know that shopping for groceries on a student budget can be tough. But, if you put enough time into planning, you will be able to eat healthy foods and save money as well. If you follow all the tips we have talked about, you will probably have some money left to treat yourself.