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5 helpful money hacks for your next grocery run

Stay hungry for saving.

 

Jaime Carrillo

The Daily Dot Bazaar

Published Jun 8, 2021   Updated Jun 8, 2021, 1:44 pm CDT

Cutting down your grocery bill is a great way to save cash every month. But far too many of us succumb to the siren song of spending splurges when we make quick runs to the store for “essentials.” There’s no shame in it, it happens to even the most well-intentioned frugal folks. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be this way. 

Cutting back on your grocery bill and making your dollars work smarter (not harder!) is a lot easier than you might think. Like dieting, it’s all about making small changes that eventually blossom into big ones. And best of all, it’s easier than polishing off a box of Girl Scout cookies in one sitting. 

If you want to stretch your grocery bill even further, we recommend a Sam’s Club Mastercard. Not only do you earn cash back on Sam’s Club purchases—Plus Members earn 3% and Club Members earn 1% cash back—you also earn 5% cash back on gas anywhere Mastercard is accepted (on first $6,000 per year, then 1%)**. You also earn 3% cashback on dining and takeout**, 1% cash back on other purchases wherever Mastercard is accepted.  All with no annual fee.†

Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when you’re grocery shopping.

5 tips for saving money on your groceries

1) It doesn’t always pay to save

When comparing the price of items that are inside an opaque bag, like kettle chips, you shouldn’t always assume that the least expensive item is the more fiscally responsible option. Instead of simply looking at price, dig a little deeper and look at the weight of the item. A 9 oz bag of chips that costs $2.75 may seem more prudent than a 14.5 oz bag costing $3.98. But in fact, you’re paying more for an ounce in the cheaper option. 

This goes double for getting your shopping done in bulk at a membership retailer like Sam’s Club. By the way, did you know that your credit card doubles as your membership card? Pretty handy, no?

2) Keep shopping days to once, maybe twice a month

You’re less likely to be frivolous with your spending if you stick to a more concise shopping schedule. Make a list, check it twice, and don’t forget the essentials. Aside from that, refrain from going to the store more than twice a month. The less time you’re there, the less chance you have to overspend. Quick trips for “a few things” can quickly turn into baskets full of junk you simply don’t need. 

3) Go big or go home

Everyone knows the untold amount of savings shoppers can find inside a membership club. But layering the Sam’s Club Mastercard on top of the regular Club savings gives you an opportunity to earn cash back, making it a financially savvy option in the long run. Cash back rewards are only available for the Sam’s Club Mastercard, and not the Sam’s Club credit card (PLCC), so choose wisely to get the top benefits. Club members can earn 1% cash back and Plus members can earn 3% cash back on Sam’s Club purchases with a Sam’s Club Mastercard.**

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4) Polish your butchering skills

More often than not, buying a massive roast of your favorite meat and slicing it into steaks yourself can lead to dollars per pound savings. There’s a good chance your local favorite restaurant stocks up at a local membership club and does their butchering in-house. And as long as you have a sharp knife or two, it’s easier than you may think. If this is daunting, don’t forget: there are how-to videos on YouTube for how to dispatch everything from a whole deer to a PSMO beef tenderloin.

5) Sometimes, it pays to just eat out

When you’re prudent with your grocery budget, you deserve to occasionally spoil yourself with a fancy meal from your favorite place. Luckily, with the Sam’s Club Mastercard, you can earn 3% cash back on dining and takeout**, covering everything from pizza to tikka masala. 

†For new accounts: Variable Purchase APR is 15.65% or 23.65% Minimum interest charge is $2.00 for both cards. All APRs are accurate as of May 1, 2021 and will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate (as defined in your credit agreement)

**Sam’s Club® Mastercard® cardholders earn Cash Back Rewards on eligible net purchases (less credits, returns, taxes and adjustments) made with their Sam’s Club® Mastercard® account. Rewards percentages depend on the type of purchase made. Cash Back Rewards are not earned on the following purchases or transactions at Sam’s Club or SamsClub.com: cash advances, tobacco and smoking related products (including electronic cigarettes), prescription purchases, reloading or purchase of prepaid cards, gift cards (including third party gift cards), or any cash equivalents.  Maximum of $5,000 in Cash Back rewards can be earned in a calendar year. Eligible Purchases on multiple Card Accounts for the same Sam’s Club member, including business and personal accounts, will be aggregated in determining the $5,000 maximum Cash Back per year.  Cash back Rewards are issued starting each February for the Cash Back earned during the previous calendar year. Cash back rewards are forfeited if the Sam’s Club® Mastercard® account is not in good standing (i.e., is delinquent) or if the Sam’s Club Membership terminates or lapses. Cash back rewards will be automatically loaded onto your Sam’s Club membership and may be redeemed only at a Sam’s Club location or at SamsClub.com. See the “How to Earn Cash Back with your Sam’s Club® Mastercard®” rewards program for details. The Sam’s Club Mastercard is issued by Synchrony Bank pursuant to a license by Mastercard International Incorporated. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.

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*First Published: Jun 8, 2021, 1:41 pm CDT