These tips for grocery shopping can be used by just about anyone, especially if you’re on a budget. Food, along with everything else, is getting more expensive today. From gas to groceries, our hard-earned dollars are challenged to stretch further. Now, we may be able to ride a bicycle around town if we can’t put gas in our cars. But, we have to eat. There’s no getting around that. So, we have to find ways to spend less on groceries while still getting the things that we need to feed ourselves and our families. Here are 9 money saving tips for grocery shopping:
- Clip coupons. You can clip them from the Sunday newspaper, find them online, or get an app for your phone. Most coupons will be for name brand items or for prepared items. If there are new items you want to try, use a coupon to get it at a discount. If you like it, you have saved some money. On the other hand, if you didn’t like it, you didn’t pay full price. For many people, coupons save an average of ten or more dollars per visit. That’s money in your pocket that you can put towards other expenses. Watch those Extreme Couponers TV shows for more examples.
- Buy more staples than prepared foods. It is easier to buy a box of macaroni and cheese, but is it more economical? A large box of macaroni and a block of cheese will make more servings for your family than one box of prepared macaroni and cheese. The next time you go shopping and pick up a box or bag of an already prepared item, ask yourself if you can make that at home for less. If you can, then put that item back in favor of less expensive staples. An added health benefit to making it yourself is that you know what’s in it without the added chemicals put in many prepared foods.
- Plan your weekly meals. If you plan out menus for your family each week, put the items you need on your list. Check what you already have in your pantry, refrigerator or freezer. Planning your meals also takes away some of the stress of cooking, especially after a hectic day at work or running around with the kids.
- Buy in bulk. Consider the food items that you use most often. Cereals, meats, vegetables, condiments, juices, and paper products can be bought in bulk usually at a lower price at food warehouses like Costco, BJ’s, and Wal-Mart. This assumes you have room for these bulk purchases. Also, make sure to check prices, because if you can get an item on sale, with coupons, at your regular store, that may actually be the cheaper option.
- Comparison shop. Whether you shop in one store or several, compare brands and prices. Do you really need that name brand item? Sometimes the taste and quality are better and sometimes they aren’t. Using a coupon on a name brand item may reduce the cost down to match the generic store brand item that may or may not taste the same.
- Don’t shop when you are hungry. This is a definite no-no. Shopping on an empty stomach means that you will pick up more things than you need. You are more likely to pick up that bag of chocolate chip cookies or that box of donuts when the growling gets underway. Also, running into a store after work because you forgot to plan your dinner may cause you to spend more money on something prepared and less healthy.
- Take a grocery list with you. This is another protection against picking up things that are too costly or that you just don’t need. Check your cabinets and the fridge to see what you need and write them down. Remember, the goal is to stick to the list as much as possible. Another tip is to keep a list on your refrigerator and write things down as you run out.
- Stock up on sale items. Your favorite store is having a sale on things you buy all the time—stock up! Yes, you may spend more this week but you’ll pay less per item than usual. If you have coupons, it’s even better for your wallet.
- Shop at the same stores. This is more of a stress & frustration reliever. In a new store, you spend most of your time looking for things and walking up and down every aisle, which oftentimes leads to forgetting an item or two. Going to the same store each time makes you more familiar with the prices so you can estimate your bill as you write your grocery list.
If you’re like most people, you probably buy the many of the same items each week or month. You’ll learn what a good price on an item is, you’ll find sale ads and clip coupons. If you plan right, you can grocery shop and really save some money. Stack these tips for grocery shopping and you’ll be amazed at how much you can save!
Hopefully, you can find more ways to save on your grocery bill by checking online. From shopping list templates, store sale ads to coupons, there are apps or downloads to help. Your savings will also depend on the size of your family, what type of food you eat, and how much you like to cook. Rising prices don’t have to mean a lean dinner table. These tips for grocery shopping are just a stepping stone to more money in your pocket.
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