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You might not find food shopping to be at all like what you are used to as an Indian student studying in the United States. There are a few crucial decisions you should make in order to maximize grocery shopping in USA for Indian students as well as stay on budget.
Planning your food shopping is among the most crucial things. Before you go shopping, make the list of the things you’ll need. This will help avoid impulse purchases of things you may not need. Plan your meals for a week as well as make the shopping list accordingly. You can also check your pantry, fridge and freezer to see what ingredients you already have at home to avoid duplicates. Planning will help you shop efficiently and save money.
The cost of groceries varies greatly in the US. For the things on your list, it’s the good idea to compare pricing at several places like Walmart, Target, neighbourhood groceries, etc. Each week, shops could offer different promotions on various products. You can save a lot by shopping at stores with the best prices for most of the things on your list. Download store apps too that provide digital coupons and deals. Always check for discounts and offers before checkout.
Most grocery shopping stores have their own store brand or generic alternatives for popular items that are often significantly cheaper than national brands. Store brand products tend to be of similar quality at a lower price point. Opt for store brands especially for basic pantry items, snacks, beverages etc. This can help lower your grocery bill considerably. Read labels to ensure store brand ingredients match what you need.
Meal prepping for the week and bulk buying certain items is a great way to save on groceries as a student. Cooking larger batches of curries, rice dishes or soups allows you to portion and freeze individual servings for easy reheating throughout the week. Buying ingredients like rice, lentils, frozen vegetables in larger quantities when on sale is more economical in the long run. Meal prepping and bulk buying helps save time and money on repeat trips to the store.
Most major grocery shopping stores have loyalty programs, digital coupons and offers that you can take advantage of. Sign up for their loyalty cards or apps to earn fuel points, get exclusive discounts and deals. Browse weekly circulars and flyers for coupons on select items. You can combine manufacturer coupons from newspapers or online with store coupons to maximize your savings. Check store websites and social media too for any ongoing promotions. Using all available coupons and loyalty perks can help shave a good chunk off your grocery shopping bill each month.
Also Read: How to Identify Online Shopping Scams?
Conclusion: Grocery Shopping in USA for Indian Students
Grocery shopping in the US as an international student requires some adjustments to your shopping habits back home. With a bit of planning and comparison shopping between stores, you can feed yourself well within a modest budget. Following a few key considerations like meal prepping, buying store brands and using all available coupons will help you save the most on groceries each month. Additionally, using a student forex card can provide the best exchange rates for converting currency when shopping for groceries as an international student in the United States.