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With much of the country practicing social distancing, we’re all looking for ways to get what we need without leaving home.  A good alternative to wandering the aisles at your local supermarket is to buy your groceries online.  While you do have to be mindful of delivery fees and slightly higher prices, there are tricks you can use to keep your grocery budget in check.

Browse weekly circulars and clip digital coupons

Many grocery stores have special pages dedicated to savings.  There you’ll find weekly circulars, coupons, and information about reward programs.  Before adding items to your cart, see what deals they have to offer and clip any coupons beneficial to your shopping trip.  Be sure to join the store’s email list so you can get exclusive offers delivered right to your inbox.

Double check your pantry to avoid buying things you don’t need

One of the biggest ways people waste money is by buying things they didn’t realize they already have at home.  Grocery shopping online saves you money because you have easy access to your fridge and pantry.  So, if there’s an item you’re iffy about, you can quickly run to your kitchen to see what’s available.  This will prevent you from buying duplicates of items you don’t need.

Don’t be scared to try generic brands

Some people only like to buy the brands constantly advertised on TV.  However, you can save a lot of money by buying the generic versions of certain items.  Often, the quality will be the same, but the price tag will be much smaller.  Foods worth buying generic are canned beans, milk, cereal, frozen fruit and vegetables, spices, and condiments.

Compare and save

It’s not unusual for different stores to charge different prices for the same exact item.  To ensure you save the most money, grab your shopping list and compare the prices for multiple stores.  Be sure to factor in taxes and delivery fees into your budget.

Avoid delivery fees with curbside pickup

Get the staples you need without entering the store thanks to curbside pickup.  Many retailers offer the service for free.  Simply place your order online and choose the nearest location when checking out.  A store employee will do the shopping for you and notify you when your order is ready.  Once at the store, you’ll park in a designated area and your groceries will be loaded into your vehicle. 

Pay for your items using a cash back credit card

Considering how much money you probably spend at the grocery store, we’re sure you’d love to get some of it back.  A great way to earn money with every purchase is to use a cash back credit card.  Some cards offer a flat percentage while others offer varying amounts based on the category.  If you plan to shop with plastic, just be sure to pay your balance on time and in full at the end of each month.