As we begin to approach the holiday season, planning out your budget can be a big part of getting ready. Between buying gifts for loved ones, holiday decorations, activities and other expenses that come along with the holiday season, you may be looking for ways to save in other areas. Here are some simple tips on how you could help build that holiday reserve by saving on grocery shopping.

1. Start at Home

Take note of the food items you already have so when you make your shopping list, so you’re not double buying. Once you have your list be sure to check your local grocery store’s website or social media to see if they’re currently offering any coupons or running any specials. Many grocery stores are now offering newsletters you can receive to your email filled with great discounts and promotions.

2. Resist Impulse Buying While at the Store

Okay, you’ve made your list, now stick to it! It’s hard to ignore those sweet or savory treats that stores stock during the holiday season but do your best to resist tossing unnecessary items in your cart. If you have a certain weakness (such as cookies or chips) avoid those aisles all together.

3. Keep a Tally While You Shop

Do some rough math while you’re putting items in your cart so you can keep track of how much your spending before you get to the check out counter. Take it a step further and round up each item’s cost to the next dollar. By doing this with everything in your cart, you’ll still know roughly how much you’re spending, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you’re at the checkout counter coming in under budget every time.

4. Stop Buying Based on Brand Names

Did you know that many of the store brand products are actually made by the same company as the brand name products we all know and love? It’s true! Many store brand products ranging from peanut butter, coffee to even diapers will come from the same manufacturer as their brand name competitors.

5. Know Where to Look on the Shelves

Stores will often keep their most expensive items at eye level, so be sure to search the top and bottom shelves for similar (but usually cheaper) options of the same item.

6. Make Meals from Scratch

Pre-seasoned meats, pre-cut fruits, veggies and cheeses are certainly much more convenient when they’re cut, portioned and packaged before you buy, but if you have the time to do the cutting and prep work yourself at home, you’ll end up saving big when you get to the checkout counter.

7. Dish to Pass Holidays

When the time comes for holiday gatherings, make a tradition of having everyone bring a dish to pass. If you’re the host, perhaps cover the main dish and all your guests can bring a side or a dessert.

Bonus Tip!

Ready to take your saving efforts to the next level? First Heritage offers a Vacation Club Savings Account that can help! There are a few times every year when you’ll probably need extra cash. A Vacation Club is the perfect way to help you save for those occasions. Make deposits when you have extra cash or set up your account for automatic deposits.

Source(s): hip2save.com, daveramsey.com, thesimpledollar.com

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